Εικόνες σελίδας
PDF
Ηλεκτρ. έκδοση

appear in any Shape ; let it address the darling Affections of our Souls, and seem to fall in with the natural Frame and Constitution of our Being ; let it come recommended by the prevailing Fashion of the Times, or the powerful Example of the Rich and Mighty ; yet still the Baseness of it should make us asham'd; the Danger of it should make us afraid to commit it.

The Objects of worldly Contempt and Hatred are Poverty and Weakness : But God, whose Thoughts are not as our Thoughts, bath a Regard to the low and despised Estate of the Godly, and beholdeth the Sinner afar off: And if our Sentiments did but take their Measures from Truth and Justice, Sin alone would fill our Souls with Indignation. Virtue, tho' cloath'd in Rags, and greatly depressed in Fortune and Condition, is truly ho. nourable ; but Vice, though never so highly exalted in Station, and enrich'd with Abundance of Wealth, and faring fumptuously every Day, is but Scandal and Vanity at the best ; its Enjoyments are Shame and Emptiness, and its End is eternal Destruction.

SERMON

[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]

JOB xxviii. 28. And unto Man He said; the Fear of the

Lord, that is Wisdom; and to depart from Evil, is Understanding.

ATSISDOM and UnderstandSIERS ing are to the Soul whac

w ens Meat and Drink are to the Beau Body; and Man's AppeSe tites for the former, are naturally as universal and intense, as for the latter. Accordingly we find with what Closeness of Thought, and Application of Industry, Mankind in general pursues Knowledge ; and in what Esteem

those

those Persons are held in the World, who have been at all successful in their PursTuits ; those, for instance, who have made a more narrow Scrutiny, and produced more enlarged Discoveries of natural Things and Causes in the material World; or those, who have sunk deeper than ordinary in the abstracted Niceties of those Scienes, which relate to the Spiritual and Moral World ; or those again, who by History and Conversation and Business have improved in Political Knowledge, and with some Exactness understand what we call Men and Manners. ,

But among these various Pursuits after Wisdom ; amidst the many Searches and Researches, wherein the Men of Speculation and Business have been ever labouring, but continue ever dissatisfied and bewilder'd, they may with great Fairness and Reason put this Question of Holy Yob to themselves ; Where Mall Wisdom be found, and where is the Place of Understanding ? The Answer to which we are likewise furnish'd with from the fame facred Writer ; The Fear of the

Lord

Lord, that is Wisdom; and to depart from Evil, is Understanding.

It is usual in Holy Writ "to express. the Whole of Religion by some eminent Part of it. Both these Terms, viz. the Fear of God, and departing from Evil, are intended, tho’ Branches only, to declare the Whole of our Duty; and Religion is here call’d the true, the only true Wisdom of Man: For indeed the Knowledge and Practice of that alone, doth denominate a Man truly wise ; but without it, all other Sciences are mere. Vanity and Emptinefs, all other Knowledge but foolish Amusements and pom. pous Ignorance.

In order therefore to establish what is here asserted, I shall endeavour, 1. To enforce the Belief of the Pro

position itself from these Words,
Unto Man He said.

And,
II. To prove the Truth of the Pro-

position more directly, by shewing
in what Respects, Religion is juftly
stiled true Wisdom.

ift, THEN,

« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »