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

46 The Excellency of Tzifdain. S E R M. none of them come up to the character df II. excellence before infifted on, and which mufi be attributed to wifdom. They all have only a limited and relative worth ; no man can deliberately value them highly otherwife than with reference to their ufe, and there- fore they cannot in reafon be as much efteemed as thofe things which muff be acknowledged excellent on their own ac- count, and without refpect to an higher end. Though for want of reflection and not look- ing narrowly into things, we may haftily take up the imagination of fome excellence in fuch objects, yet upon a more thorough examination, we (hall find that their price mutt be eftimated according to their ufe - fulnefs, and the advantages which may be procured by them ; but the excellence of religious Wifdom is in itfelf abfolute, and the more we inquire into it, and view it on all fides, its dignity and beauty will be Rill more confpicuous. If we put the cafe of diftrefs which is incident to all men, of a man, for inftance, in lingering ficknefs, in the utmoft agonies of pain, or in the views of death ; he lofeth all relith for his riches, for they can be of no ufe to him ; the luftre of his gold and pearls fadeth ; but the ex- cellence of virtue fuffereth no diminution, nay,