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Would Men but seriously Consider these Things, and the vaft Importance of them, and frequently revolve and debate them with themselves, they could not Live fo loosely and madly as they do; preferring their Bodies before their Souls, their Mammon before God, and Things Temporal before the Things which are Eternal.

God grant that We may be Wife in Time, to Confider the Things that belong unto our Peace, before they be hid from our Eyes.

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How the True Wifdom is to be attained.

The Third SERMON on this Text.

PROV. IX. 12.

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


AVING already fhewn, what is the Common Worldly Wifdom, and

its Infufficiency to make us Happy ; and also what that True Wisdom is, which will make us truly Wife for Ourselves; with the Advantages and Preheminences of it above all the Wisdom of this World, I now come in the

Vth and

Vth and Laft Place to fhew, How this Heavenly Wisdom is to be attained.

Now it is to be attained by these Means.

I. By the Word of God, and the Divine
Inftruction therein given us.

II. By the Affiftance of his Holy Spirit.
III. By our own Endeavours, and
IV. By our Prayers.


I. By the Word of God, and the Divine Inftruction therein given us.

Happiness is the Common Defire of all Mankind: It is a Natural Defire, and therefore all Men do, and muft Defire it. But there is Nothing in which they have more difagreed, than in the Way that leads to it. The Wifeft Men were much in the Dark in their Search after it.

Quale per incertam Lunam fub luce malignâ Virg. Æn. Eft iter in Sylvis

Or to use Job's Expreffions, They wandered Jobxii. 24. as in a Wilderness where there is no Way, they groped as in the Dark without Light. And this was the Cafe, as has been already hinted, of the greatest Men amongst them. However eminent they made themselves for other Points of Knowledge, they All fail'd in the only great Concern; they None of them could ever find out the Sure Way to Happinefs. St. Paul therefore derides, and triumphs

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umphs over all their Wisdom and Knowledge, as Vain, and Empty, and Infignificant, 1 Tim. vi. Science falfely fo called, Mere Folly in Comparison of Gospel Knowledge,- Where is 1 Cor. i. the Wife, where is the Scribe, where is the 20, 21. Difputer of this World? Hath not God made Foolish the Wisdom of this World? For after that the World by Wisdom knew not God, it pleafed God by the Foolishness of Preaching to fave them that Believe. What was hid from the Wife and Prudent, is now revealed to Babes: The great and saving Truths of the Gospel, that Word of Salvation, which, the Prophet tells us, when it Pf. cxix, fhould come forth, fhould give Underftand130. ing to the Simple, and make the meanest and

Luke x.


pooreft Chriftians Wifer than the Learned: It should teach them a nobler Sort of Wif dom than ever They were Mafters of, that Wisdom which fhould make them Wife unto Salvation.

The World, (fays the Apoftle, in the aforecited Place,) that is, The Gentile World, by all their Wisdom knew not God. They neither Knew him aright, nor worship'd him aright. They only knew they offended him by their Sins, but knew not how to propitiate him: Nor were they fure that he was Placable, or Reconcilable to them upon any Propitiation. They could only Prefume upon the fuppos'd Goodness of the Divine Nature, and thereupon conceive fome kind of Faint Hopes,

Hopes, that there was Mercy with God, and that poffibly he might be Gracious. Thus the Ninevites, a Heathen People, in their great Distress, proclaim'd a Faft, and cried Jon. i. mightily unto God; for who can tell (fay they,) if God will turn away from his fierce Anger, that we perish not? Who can tell? They indeed could not Tell, They could only Wish and Hope; But we Chriftians can furely Tell; We have Sure and Certain Hopes that there is Forgiveness with God; Hopes grounded upon a Sure Foundation, even the Word and Promife of God, which alone can give Satisfaction and Acquiefcence to the Mind.

But the Word of God not only fatisfies us that God is Placable, that he is Gracious and Merciful to forgive us our Sins, and receive us again to his Favour; nay, and that he is Tender of us, and Solicitous for our Good; but it fatisfies us alfo upon what Terms and Conditions he will receive us, which was but blindly guefs'd at by the Wifeft of the Antients. They faw plainly enough, that there was a Disorder and Corruption got into Human Nature, that inclin'd them to Evil rather than Good, and captivated and carried away their Affections, even contrary to the Judgment of their own Minds. But how to remedy all this they knew not, nor how to get rid of their Guilty Fears, or clear and fet their Minds at Eafe. Such Knowledge was

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