The envied spot, the imaginary paradise?

(edited from Thomas Reade's, "On True Happiness")

There is one important truth which cannot be too
deeply engraven on the heart, that TO BE HOLY
IS TO BE HAPPY. This truth, being once admitted,
accounts for the misery of thousands who are in
search of happiness. They mistake its real nature,
and the way which leads to it. They thirst, indeed,
for the refreshing stream, but find it not; because
their minds being unholy, they cannot discern (nor
even relish, if they could discern) the true felicity of man.

Where, then, is this sacred treasure to be found?

What shall we answer to the thousands who inquire,
"Who shall show us any good?" The blessed Gospel
reveals the important secret.

While worldly minds are toiling through the valley of
life to reach the envied spot, the imaginary paradise
of affluence, where happiness is supposed to dwell;
the humble Christian, living day by day on Christ by
faith, enjoys the real blessing in every situation and
condition of life.

Riches cannot confer happiness.

Grace can, and does.

Herein is the goodness of God strikingly manifested,
that true happiness is not the result of human
wisdom, power or grandeur. The poor may enjoy
it, while the most wealthy are destitute of it. The
illiterate may discern its excellence, while the wisest
philosophers may be blind to its beauty.

We see this continually verified.

The rich rejecting the true riches; the wise of this
world despising the true wisdom; the men, who
are struggling after happiness, refusing that Gospel
which alone can make them happy.

And why is this?

Because man is naturally blind to the things of God,
and his own true interest, until enlightened by the
Spirit of God. Truly, man by nature is dead in
trespasses and sins.

He is alive indeed to evil, and active in the pursuit
of earthly good; but towards God he is dead. His
heart has no impulsive feeling of love and gratitude.
His will has no holy bias in childlike simplicity and
obedience to his great Creator.

He is averse from God.

The carnal mind has not only no desires towards
God but is rooted in enmity against him. This is
the true state of man by nature. He is up in arms
against his Maker. Hence he is an object of deserved
condemnation. His natural conscience testifies
indeed against him. But he breaks through all
restraints, and sins with awful determination.