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SER mibearing than they might be, or may be in
especially since he has given us-fatisfying
which he will judge the world in righteousnessSER.N. by Jesus Christ, who will be glorified in his XI.
Saints will give them crowns of life and glory, and fall take vengeance on them that know not God, and obey not the gospelos ein
If we fincerely believe the christian religion, it is impossible to disbelieve this article, which lies at the very foundation of it; indeed it may justly be called the foundation of all religion, which is nothing else > but the practice of virtue out of respect to the Deity, or from a sincere perswasion and acknowledgement of his Being, his moral perfections, and moral government, or his
providence ruling the world in righteousness; onay, virtue itself, in the most abstract way
of confidering it, however amiable it may mappear to the human mind, is left naked and destitute of its greatest security, unless we be convinced of its connection with happiness, and that it shall be well with the righteous. - . But still this principle, as clear as it is and important, confirm'd by the concurring evidence of reason and revelation, and fo nearly affecting the highest interest of every man in particular, has not that influ.ence and effect on the minds and the
praccice of men which it ought to have. Whence T3
Serm.doth this arise ? Certainly from inattention, , XI. from the influence of particular affections,
passions, and habits. There is nothing more unaccountable in the state of human nature, and the conduct of its powers, than that men should be determined to act against the conviction of their minds, and that the lower springs of action should prevail against those which are acknowledged to be superior. This is our infirmity, but it is not remediless; and the remedy is in ourselves: By a vigorous careful attention, and strong resolution, which our hearts will tell us are in our power, our contracted and even natural weaknesses may be cured; but if we will not fhew ourfelves men, we choofe our own destruction, and perish like fools. However, if the filthy will be filthy still, let the righteous be righteous still, affured that it fhall be well with him.
The Path of the Just, like the
Proverbs iv. 18.'
But the path of the just, is as the shining
light, that shineth more and more, unto si the perfect day.
N this book Solomon recommends reli-Serm.
gious virtue to our affectionate esteem, XII. to our choice and constant pursuit, by the character of wisdom; a character which if it be justly applied, should render it highly amiable to mankind; for what can be more agreeable to an intelligent nature, than the proper use, and the best improvement of understanding? Indeed, if we fix our thoughts attentively in the contemplation of this excellent object, we cannot miss of difcerning its beauty ; it shines by its own native splendor, and must strike every rational being with a sense of glory and dignity,
SERM. which is to where elfesto be seen to Every XIK ehing under the fun, when set againft it, » is
but low in comparison; the most finithed beauties of corporal nature, are empty. Thas dows; for it is in reality reafon itself in its highest exaltation. But we must make a difference between the abstracted idea of virtue or wisdom, and the practice of itim human life. The one is truly a divine forms for moral rectitude and goodness is the glory of God himself, and in him it is a trans scendent excellence, which is the object of qur highest admiration and love, though we cannot form adequate conceptions of siti The other virtue, as exemplified in human characters, is a faint image, Thaded not only with intellectual imperfections, as it is im all finite beings, whereby they.come infisz nitely short of absolute wisdom and original holiness, but with moral defects in our present state ; for there is not a juft man that liveth upon the earth and finneth not, who has not some remaining weakness, whereby he is in danger of being drawn away into evil and folly. And yet imperfect as it is, virtue makes an important difference among men, a difference between their characters, and a difference between their conditions.