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

i.r 172 The Low of Wifdons S E R 41. moral excellence, of gratitude, benevolence, VII. and honefty, are brought into the mind, there is love excited to them, and they ap- pear very amiable and attractive objeIs. It is this indeed which is ftri&ly moral good - nefs or virtue, not a mere pronenefs to do good, raifed and excited to action by the impreffion which outward things make up- on the fenfes, but a temper formed to good- nefs, with the underftanding and approba- tion of a felt refleting mind, which dií. cerneth its excellence ; and Solomon very properly calleth it wifdom, becaufe it is peculiar to intelligent beings, and is the juft improvement of their rational powers. What, therefore, I think is firft of all im- ported in the love of wifdom, is, a high efteem of its fuperior excellence, as the re- fult of mature confideration. Solomon pref feth his difciples to exalt wifdom, chap. iv. 8. that is, to entertain very exalted thoughts of her dignity, for thefe will naturally com- mand our affeions, and engage us to ear - neftnefs and diligence in the purfuit of her. And it is for this reafon that he very often compareth her with things which are the molt defired by men, and afferteth that (he is principal, far tranfcending gold and flyer, more excellent than the ruby or the topaz ; the