The Art of Happiness by Francis Rous (1579–1659)
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Francis Rous (1579–1659) was a fiery preacher of the Gospel of Christ, and a member of the Westminster Assembly as a lay assessor. He was a sound Puritan divine, and was highly recognized for his “Art of Happiness,” and his writings against Arminianism.
Who doesn’t want to be happy? So ask yourself, “Are you happy?” Rous masterfully explains how man may attain true and eternal happiness. He expounds multiple passages in Scripture in order to be skilled in the “Art of Happiness.”
Man must understand God’s original intention in happiness, how it was lost, and how man in his fallen condition can attain it once again through Jesus Christ. It is in Christ Jesus that the Christian is able to be happy, and able to see Christ’s beauty. It is here that all Christian affections desire and gasp after Christ. The soul is a wide opened door to receive the benefits of Christ by the power of his quickening and sanctifying Spirit. The Christian must desire him as the only happiness, for true happiness is found in Christ alone.
Rous teaches the Christian how to discern true happiness, how to gain this happiness, how to keep this happiness, and how to cultivate this happiness; especially by those who may be depressed or despondent. Here the Christian should not only be content to get this happiness, but there must be in them an insatiable desire to forever increase it, and never to lose it. Rous shows that the Spirit of God is the fiery chariot that carries the soul through the way of piety to the country of happiness. Once the Christian finds true happiness, God is theirs, and they are God’s, and in this unity is the fullness of happiness, experienced both now, and the life to come.
The Table of Contents is as Follows:
ARE YOU HAPPY? – McMahon
MEET FRANCIS ROUS – McMahon
ORIGINAL TITLE PAGE
A WORD TO MAN
PART 1: A SEARCH OF MAN’S HAPPINESS
CHAPTER 1: THE BEST PROPOSED END IS HAPPINESS
CHAPTER 2: THE CONDITIONS OF TRUE HAPPINESS
CHAPTER 3: CAN THE WORLD MAKE MEN HAPPY?
CHAPTER 4: PLEASURES AND RICHES ARE NOT MAN’S HAPPINESS
CHAPTER 5: OF KNOWLEDGE
CHAPTER 6: THE UNIVERSAL VANITY OF THE WORLD
CHAPTER 7: WHAT REMAINS OF NECESSITY TO BE THE HAPPINESS OF MAN
PART 2: SETTING FORTH THE HAPPINESS OF MAN, AND ITS RESTORATION AFTER IT WAS LOST
CHAPTER 1: THE PURPOSE OF THE CREATOR IN CREATION
CHAPTER 2: HOW MAN FELL FROM HAPPINESS INTO MISERY
CHAPTER 3: HOW MAN IS RESTORED TO HAPPINESS
CHAPTER 4: HOW MAN IS FREED FROM MISERY AND MADE HAPPY
PART 3: THE ART OF HAPPINESS
CHAPTER 1: HOW MAN FASTENS HIMSELF TO HAPPINESS
CHAPTER 2: HOW A MAN MAY GET THIS FACULTY WHICH UNITES MAN TO GOD
CHAPTER 3: THAT WE SHOULD STRIVE TO INCREASE OUR HAPPINESS
CHAPTER 4: INCREASING HAPPINESS WITH QUICK OBEDIENCE
CHAPTER 5: INCREASING HAPPINESS WITH WATCHFULNESS
CHAPTER 6: PRAYER
CHAPTER 7: MEDITATION
CHAPTER 8: ASSOCIATION
CHAPTER 9: OF HUMILITY
CHAPTER 10: PATIENCE
CHAPTER 11: THE FINAL POSSESSION AND FRUITION OF HAPPINESS
This is not a scan or facsimile, has been updated in modern English for easy reading and has an active table of contents for electronic versions.