Abernathy - Houston-Packer Collection BX9178.A33 S4 1748 v.3

the Fruits of Wifdom: Ì 47 tain they do not ; as the bleffednefs of the S ER ivt: future ftate is always awarded by the Lord, VI. the righteous judge, to them who feek it by patient continuance in well- doing, and who love his appearing. But though what bath been Paid on this fubjecî is ftrietly true, and it was neceffary to obferve it, that we may rightly under- Rand the fcriptures, and know upon what foot religion ftandeth according to the gof pel ; nay, even under the Old Teftament it- felf, the promifes of profperity to good men were not to be taken fo abfolutely, but that the cafe of perfecution was always to be ex- cepted, which fometimes proved fo violent a temptation to the belt men, as to (hock them in the belief of the reality and advan- tage of religion, which we find was the cafe of the Pfalmift, the prophet yeremiah, and others : Notwithftanding all this, if we obferve the ordinary methods of divine pro- vidence, and the general courfe and ftate of things, with their connexion and dependence in this world, we (hall find that, for the molt part, the pradice of the chriftian vir- tues bath a tendency even to our outward advantage, and to promote our prefent in- tereft, rather than the contrary. The ob- fervation holdeth more univerfally with re- L 2 fped