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

38 The Excellency of TP fdòm:. S E R M. cellarily determines our practice ; we find by II. experience that it is otherwife, and that `- -n(--) men milled by their felfilh inclinations, vi- cious cuftoms and habits, and ftrong preju- dices, chufe what they know to be evil, and refufe what they know to be good ; but every one who, according to Solomon's ex- hortation, will hear and ferioufly confider, is qualified to difcern that the things which wifdom fpeaketh, are indeed excellent. If the queftion be, What are thofe things, in the inftruEtions of wifdom, or of religion and virtue, which appear to be fo excellent ? I anfwer, every thing. Let any man feri- oufly confider the great branches of religion as they are propoféd to us in the fcripture, let them think on them feverally, and then in conjunétion, as making up one fyftem, and let him calmly pronounce judgment, whether they, or their oppofites, are the more excellent and amiable ? whether the fear and love of God, with a confiant tenor of practice agreeable to thefe great princi- ples, be better than irreligion and profane - nefs ? whether charity, fidelity, gratitude, temperance, chaftity, patience, be better than malice, fraud, violence, perfidioufnefs, drunkennefs, Iewdnefs, and a continued courte