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

,,.onfadered under the _Notion of Wifdom. 27 natural to us, and felfifh affe tîons, which S E R M. are very firong, the difcipline of religion is I. irkfome to men, efpecially at their firft en-`"^"j trance into it ; fo that true virtue, as prac- tifed in oppofition to the bent and tendency of depraved appetites and paffions, is juftly reprefented under the notion of felf- denial and mortification. This at firft view may, to unattentive minds, have an unnatural ap- pearance, and not feem worthy the name of wifdom ; for that which is to be denied, thwarted, and controuled, being a part of our nature, the difcipline which prefcribeth the denying it, muff neceffarily prefcribe pain, (indeed the rule of our religion ac- knowledgeth this, reprefenting that part of the exercife it enjoineth, under the notion of pulling out the right eye, and cutting off the right hand) and therefore it may feem to be a difcipline not wifely calculated for promoting the felicity of the human nature, which is confeffedly an end of wifdom. Yet upon a more clofe and ferious confide - ration, it will appear, that felf-denial and mortification is a neceffary part of wifdom, as a remedy accommodated to the infirmi- ties of our prefent Bate, and the diforders of our nature, We