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

24 Religion and Virtue, S E R M. direcleth us to the bell and molt effectual L way for fecuring that end. Now, not to enter on any large explication of this point, the queflion concerning the wifdom of reli- gion may be brought to a fhort iffue. Let any man ferioufly confider, and upon ma- ture refleEtion anfwer to himfelf, whether he really thinks it would be better for him, upon the whole, to be religious or wicked ; whether he would find himfelf eafier, and be better fatisfied in his own mind, and have better hope concerning his Rate here- after ; by fearing God, or not fearing him ; by a courfe of regular ftri& virtue, or li- centious immorality? If there be any diffi- culty at all in anfwering the queftion, it arifeth from the vehemence of corrupt in- clinations, and the prefent uneafinefs which accompanieth them; whereby men are ur- ged to comply, without confidering the certain, though at prefent diftant, confe- quences of fuch compliance. But, not to infifl on any other arguments, this is a dif- ficulty unworthy of wifdom, becaufe it ari- feth from the weak part of our conftitu- tion, originally intended to be guided and direded by reafon, which in man ought Hill to hold the reins; and we turn into folly, whenever