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

79 The Ways of Wäfdom, S E R M. could poffibly believe it, becaufe it woul4 III. deftroy natural religion, and, in effect, deny `^%""--,) the moral attributes of God, the'only fowl. dation upon which we can fear, and love, and obey him. But chriftianity, the only complete revelation of his will, is fo far from teaching any fuch unreafonable doc- trine, that it exprefily eftabliiheth our hope in the way already explained, as alone agree, able to the dictates of reafon. St. fohir, in his Ift epiftle, 3d chapter, teacheth us, that the only ground upon which we can affure our hearts before God, or be perfuaded of our acceptance in his fight, is our knowing that we are of the truth, or that we have lince rely embraced and obeyed the gofpel, by the genuine fruits of charity and obe- dience in our lives. If our hearts do not condemn us for infncerity, that is, aEting againft our confciences, or giving ourfelves up to the conduct of lufts and paffions, through their prevailing influence, or through floth and inattention, then we have confi- dence towards God ; and that confidence will be a fpring of perpetual joy ; for as terror and confufion muff feize the mind fenfible of guilt, and of its being obnoxious to the divine difpleafure, fo the ftrongeít confolatiol}