W1160a ESSAY BY MARGARETTE BARKER LERNED [MCQUESTEN] at Adams Female Academy
Nov 30 1825 [estimated]
From: [Adams Female Academy] Londonderry, New Hampshire
"Wherein Lies Happiness?
In that which becks our ready minds to fellowship divine,
A fellowship with essence."
In whatever station of life the contented man is placed, or whatever occupation he pursues his days glide smoothly away, and peace and happinefs1 are ever his guests. Whilst contemplating the various objects; by which we are surrounded, we find there are many, which afford us much pleasure and benefit; but it requires a happy disposition, and one of tender sensibilities, to enable us to promote the happiness of others, as well as of ourselves. We cannot be happy, unless God is our friend, for he gives light and animation to the soul. Sweet is the hope of obtaining that offered salvation, which will lead us to mansions in paradise, where waters of salvation flow unruffled, green pastures of life flourish unfaded, and sorrows are unknown.
Happiness combined with friendship, is truly interesting, especially to a mind capable of receiving and retaining it. Friendship adds to our enjoyment; it is the sweetness of this life, and when we leave this transitory world, bright prospects are placed before us, those of being again united with our friends. Many exertions for obtaining that real happiness, which only God, and his saints can realize. If our minds are seduced from the path of rectitude, can we anticipate meeting those whom we hold dear in a glorious immortality? Can we gain that land, where the angelic choir join in praising God, and nothing but happiness there exists? Unless it be our object to possess the approbation of God, we shall forever lose that happy path, where Christians alone can enter.
The expectation of parting with friends, and especially with those from whom we daily receive knowledge, advice, and instruction, deprives us of the privilege of enjoying that happiness, which we should otherwise experience in their society. There is no real happiness on earth, every rose has its thorn, and every pleasure its illusion. Then let us like David and Jonathan, unite in friendship with God and man, so that when an end is put to our earthly career, we may meet in mansions of everlasting happiness.2
Margarette B. Lerned
1 Margarette uses the now archaic "fs" construction for the "ss" sound, which we have transcribed as "ss" for ease of reading.
2 This essay was sent to the Whitehern project by Mount Holyoke College Archives and Special Collections, which holds the collection from Adams Female Academy. We are grateful to them for their assistance. For a note on Adams Female Academy, and on Margarette Barker Lerned, see W1100.