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

Í ii 34 The Excellency of Lïfdont, S E R M. in nature, as the neceffary invariable deter - II. mination of our minds. If you fuppofe the charaEfer of excellent and right to be the refult of arbitrary human conftitutions, it would never be uniform, but muff have as much variety as the meafures of the under- ftandings, fancies, cuffoms, affeCffions, pre- judices, or whatever elfe might influence men in making fuch conftitutions. But we will find, by looking into our own minds, that we do not learn our notions of excellent and right that way ; they are before the confideration of all laws, appointments, or- ders, and inffru' ions whatfoever; for we bring all thefe to the teft in our own minds, and try them by a fenfe which we have prior to any of them. This is not acquired (though it may be improved) by ffudy and learning, for then very few would be qua- lified to judge ; but in the text wifdom ap- pealeth to the fimple and to fools, fubmit- ting her inffruEfions to their examination. Nay, this fenfe cannot depend on any pofi- tive declaration even of God's will, nor is the meaning, properly, of excellent and right things, fuch things as he hath com- manded. When St. Paul giveth thefe epi- thets to religious virtue, much of the fame fignification with thofe in the text, whatfo- ever