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diligent and thorough Search after Wisdom, SERM.
and his utmost Enquiry into every thing ..
II. : that had even the Appearance of it, finding that nothing here below could fatisfy the Mind of Man, pronounces Vanity and Vexation upon all his Experiments, and being at last assured that Religion afforded the only Means of obtaining Happiness, makes that the Sum of all our Duty; and thus concludes his whole Enquiry : Fear God, and keep his Commandments, for this is the whole Duty of Man.-----When the young Man asked our Saviour what he fhould do to inherit eternal Life, he did not turn him over to Arts and Sciences, and the Wisdom of this World, or bid him do what was not in his Power; but said, If thou wilt enter into Life, keep the Gommandments. And when a certain Lawyer asked him the fame, Question, either to try his Knowledge, or improve his own, or to see whether he would. teach any thing contrary to the Law of Moses, he enjoins nothing contrary to That, but refers him to his own Rule; What is written in the Law? How readest thou ? And he answered, Thou malt love the Lord thy God with all thy Heart, and with all thy Soul, and with all thy Strength, and . with all thy Mind, and thy Neighbour as
SERM. thyself. Upon which our Saviour did not
11. say this was not sufficient, or that Matters n of a speculative Nature were more necessary
to Salvation, but said, Thou hast answered right; this do, and thou malt live. And indeed 'tis very consistent with the Nature of an all-wise and good Being, who would that all Men should be saved, to make the Way to Happiness plain and easy; and since eternal Happiness is a Matter of infinite Concernment, and not confined to a few who have more Learning, and greater A* bilities than others, but that the Learned * and Unlearned, Bond and Free, are all to be saved through the Mediation of Jesus Christ, if they will make use of proper Means, 'tis but reasonable to suppofe that those Means should be such as are fuitable to every Man's Capacity, and such likewise as will never fail of obtaining their End.--
Since then the Fear of the Lord, or a religious Life, is the only true Wifdom, what remains but that we endeavour to obtain it by a suitable Behaviour and Conversation in every Action of our Lives? And indeed there seems to be less Need of any great Persuasion in this Matter, because there are few but are willing and forward enough to be thought wilė, even at the Expence of
their Modesty, and therefore to be rear, Sarv
Ser M. they have in other Cafes, to obtain any 11. other good End. In short, a rational Crea
ture should act as such, and as Religion is undoubtedly his greatest Business, so should it be likewise his greatest Care. 'Tis true, it is not expected of a Horse or a Mule, that have no Understanding, to be religious ; but Man, who has a reasonable Mind, muft act contrary to his Nature if he is not fo; such a one can never contradia Religion, till he has first acted contrary to his Reason, and offer'd manifest Violence to his Understanding.-----And we may add to this likewise, that we profess ourselves to be Chriftians, and if so, we don't act at all consistently, if we are not Men of Religion ; for however a lewd, dissolute Life may fuit with a Mabometan Scheme of Religion, yet for a Christian to live so, who has engag’d to keep God's Commandments, and to walk in the same all the Days of his Life, is the oddest Thing in the World ; 'tis going against Nature and Principle both, and destroying the Notions we have of Right and Wrong. But if, after all, People will fiill go on in a vicious Way of Living, and yet nevertheless expect to be happy, tho? they don't concern themselves at all about Religion, which (as has been shewn) is the
only Means of obtaining it, it lies upon SERM.
themselves, if they think to inftruet with
then only be convinced that we deal equita
bly with them, when we require no more =; of them than what we ourselves do constanti ly perform. 1 To conclude. A good Life is the Sum is of the whole Christian Philosophy ; and le every thing else is to be valued more or less, i according as it has more or less Tendency is to it: And whatever Fancies People may 1 set up in the Room of it, which may be
always Master of Dispute, and become Demonstration in one Age, and Nonsense in another ; yet, as long as the Word of God haș any Influence or Authority with Men, the Fear of the Lord will always be Wisdom, and to depart from Evil Understanding.---