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

The Excellency of Wifdom. 51 it ? Neither is it beyond the fia, that thou S ER M. fhouldefl fay, Who (hall go over the fia to II. bring it to us, that we may hear it and it? The word is nigh unto thee, even in thy heart, and in thy mouth, Deut. xxx. i2. But, Rill, let us remember what I obfer. ved before, that the fenfe we have of the excellency of wifdom, and the ftrong light in which it appeareth to every one who re- fledeth upon it, layeth no conftraint upon us ; if it did, there could be no fuch thing as virtue or religion at all, for that kind of neceffflty is inconfiftent with its very nature; the approbation is neceffary, the election or determination to ad, is not ; between thefe two there is a great difference, they are of- ten feparated, but always to the reproach of an intelligent creature. My brethren, it has pleafed God to fa- vour us with a gracious revelation by Jefus Chrift, with a new and clear publication of the doctrines and laws of religious wifdom. When men had darkened their underftand- ing by their own fault ; when, as the apoftle faith, The world by wifdom knew not God ; and elfewhere, the Gentiles walked in the vanity of their minds, having the underfland- ing darkened, being alienated from the life of E 2 God,