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"Advice as is proper for a Dying ChriStian*.

Thus have we feen the Fruits of the Wif dom of this World, in fome of the most confiderable Inftances of it; and how far short they are of making a Man Happy, even in this World. And if all the Good that the Politician and the Worldling, the Senfualift and Epicure, reap from all their Labours, is every way fo infufficient to Happiness, so Uncertain and Imperfect, fo Defective in itself, and so dash'd with Troubles and Difappointments in This Life, which yet is the Only Scene for their Enjoyment; What muft they then think of their Choice, when their Life is drawing towards an End, and they begin to confider, how vainly they have spent it in Sin and Folly, or Vanity, and muft now lye down in Sorrow, to Rife again to Mifery ---- -They then fee their Error, but fee it too late to redeem it.

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But God grant that We may be Wife in time, to follow the Things that make for our lafting Happiness, Things that accompany Salvation, before they be hid from our Eyes.


Exhortez moi comme il faut Un Chrétien Mourant. Maurier's Memoires de Hollande. And the Divine that attended him in his Laft Moments, tells us that his Last Dying Words were, In Chrifto fola omnis fpes mea repofita eft.. Quiftorpius S.T. P. Roftock. in Ep. de Morte Grotij. apud Mer. Cafaubon in Lib. de Ufu Verborum. A. D. 1647. SERMON


What is our True Wisdom: The Properties and Preheminencies of it above Worldly Wisdom.

The Second, SERMON on this Text.


PROV. IX. 12.

-If thou be Wife, thou shalt be
Wife for thyself.

N treating on these Words I have al
ready confidered,

I. What is the Common Wisdom of the World, That which paffes most for Wisdom amongst Mcn.

II. I have confidered, (in several Inftances,) what Account this Worldly Wifdom turns to; whether it is true Self-Wisdom, that Wisdom which will make us Wife for ourfelves. And having fhewn, that None of the Ways of Worldly Wisdom answer this Defign, I now come in the


IIId Place to confider, What is indeed true Wisdom, or what Sort of Wisdom it is, that will make us truly Wife for Ourfelves.

Now by True Wisdom, I mean nothing elfe but a Right Judgment in all Things; fuch as will lead Men to the Choice of the Beft End, and to the Prosecution of it by the Propereft Means.

Rational Creatures being made capable of Happiness and Mifery, muft well and wisely confider, how they may attain the one, and avoid the other: They muft rate things to their real Worth, and value every thing according to its Worth. They muft well confider wherein their Great Interest lies, what it is that will make them truly Happy; and must Unite and fix their Thoughts and Hearts to it. That is to be the main End and Scope, the Centre of all their Actions and Defigns.

For it is not enough for any One to Know what would make him Happy. A Man may be convinc'd in his Understanding, that Herein lies his Happiness; but if Sloth, or Cowardice,


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Cowardice, or Contrary Appetites and Paffions prevail, fo that he does nothing to obtain it, nor will walk in the Ways that lead to it, fuch lazy unactive Defires will never advance him one Step towards it. No, a Wife Man, when he has once fix'd his End, will have an Eye to it in all he undertakes, and will with conftant Care and Refolution be making Progress towards it; Nor will be diverted from it, or ever be engag'd in any contrary Purfuits: And all Other Aims and Defigns that would come in Competition with it, fhall be made to give Way, if they will not be brought to be Subordinate and Subfervient to it.

And when a Man has once well chofen, and propos'd to himself a Rational and Worthy End of Life, That will have a happy Influence on the whole Course of his Life and Converfation. It will keep him always in the Right Way; It will Set and Steer him Right; It will regulate and direct all his Actions; It will fhew him when to Act, and when to Forbear; What to Do, and what to leave Uudone: It will raife and inflame his Heart and Affections, and call forth all the Powers and Vigour of the Mind: I fay, The Man that has chofen Well and Wifely, with his End in his Eye, will stick at Nothing: He will, through all Labours, and Pains, and Sufferings, keep ftedfaft to his Point, and, with St. Paul, fill be preffing towards the Mark.


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On the contrary, without fome fuch fixed End, Men are ftrange Unconftant, Inconfi ftent Creatures, Unftable in all their Ways: Jam. i.8. Unstable as Water, that rolls about, and is Gen. xlix. tofs'd to and fro by every Wind that blows.

Or if the End be ill-chofen, and a Man takes his Aim wrong, every thing must go wrong with him. All his Time, and Thoughts, and Care are wretchedly mifemploy'd, and his whole Life runs out in vain Projects, and Endless Trifles and Follies. And the Iffue of fuch a Life, inftead of Happiness, is nothing but Vexation and Disappointment, Mifery, and Trouble and Confufion.


It is therefore a Matter of the greatest Confequence in the World, to find out the True Way to Happiness, and pitch upon it. Accordingly it has been the great Subject of Enquiry amongst the Greatest and Wifeft Men in all Ages, Wherein the Happiness of Man confifts, and what was the Way to it? But alas! What Miferable Distraction and Confufion do we find them in upon this Subject! The Learned Varro tells us of a vaftst. Auguft. Number of Opinions amongst them con- Lib.19. cerning the Summum Bonum; the End that Men were to aim at for their Happiness. Yet of all that Vaft Variety, there was not one that was fufficient for their intended Purpose. Human Learning and Wisdom fought to find out Happiness, and the Way



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