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

16 Religion and Virtue, S E R M. fo he may dire his behaviour. WifdorrÈ I. confifteth in forming defigns fuited to the dignity of our nature, and purfuing them by the belt means in our power. Religion, then, could never juftly be called wifdom, if it had not a view to the future confer quences of our prefent cndu&, fecuring the greateft perfe lion and felicity that can be hoped for. No man can be elteeme wife, who is infenfible to his own true in- tereft ; for it is an inclination infeparable from human nature, and juftified by the ilrideft reafon, to feek after happinefs ; it is a maxim which no one will deny, yob xxii. 2. He that is wife, is profitable to himfelf; which Solomon applies to his wife man, that is, the virtuous, who in the belt manner provideth for his own fafety and happinefs ; Prov. ix. 12. If thou be wife, thou 'halt be wife for thyfelf; but if thou fcorneJl, thou alone (halt bear it. Though virtue doth hand on another foot, and there is really fuch a thing as moral excellence, neceßârily acknowledged and approved by our minds, abftra& ing from all confideration of intereft, yet is it very much ftrengthened, and intel- ligent creatures reafonably eftabliiìed in their choice of it, and their refolution to adhere to '''''''''