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SERM.

ISHALL conclude This Head, with
VI. observing that there are Two Particulars,

wherein True Religion, the Religion taught
by Christ himself, ( for the Religion pro-
fessed by many Nations who call them-
selves Christian, is palpably nothing but
Superstition;) the true. Religion, I say, as
taught by Christ bimself, has in Two
Particulars principally, by men who re-
ceive not the Gospel, been objected to as
encouraging Superstition. One is, that it
teaches men to be obstinate and wilful, in
parting with all Advantages, even with
Life itself, for the sake of Religion. The
Other is, that by teaching men to despise
the World, it hinders them from attend-
ing to the Good of the Publick. But the
Answer to Both these Objections is not
difficult. Without a Stedfastness which
cannot be moved by Temporal Inconve-
niencies, there is no Virtue to be depend-
ed upon, in natural Religion, any more
than in Christian : Is therefore All Virtue,
nothing but Superstition ? And as to de-
Spising the World, in the Sense of with
drawing from the Business of the World,
Christianity no where teaches this, but
only in Timęs and Places of general Pers

secution

secution. In Other Cases, despising the Ser m. World, does not signify despising the Bu

VI. finess of the World, or neglecting to attend the Publick Good, but despising all Temptations to the Wickedness of the World, the Temptations of lawless Pleafure, the Temptations of unjust Gains, the Temptations of corrupt Ambition. These only, are, in the Scripture-fense, That World which is an Enemy to God.

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SERMON VII.

Of the WISDOM of being Religious.

Prov. ix. 10, II.
The Fear of the Lord is the begin-

ing of Wisdom, and the Know-
ledge of the Holy is Understand-
ing; For by me thy days fall be
multiplied, and the years of thy
Life shall be increased.

HERE is no Defire which Serm,
God has so deeply fixed and

VII.
T implanted in our Nature, as

that of Preserving and Pro

longing our Life. Life and Health, are the Foundation of all other

enjoyments

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Ser m.enjoyments; and are therefore of greater
VII. .value than all other Poffeffions put to-

gether, because they are necessary in order
to the Enjoyment of those Poffeffions ;
And without These, all other things that
are the Objects of Men's Hopes and De-
fires in the World, have with regard to
Us, no Being, no Subsistence. For, what
fall it profit a man, if he gain the whole
World, and lose his own Life? Or what
Shall a man give in exchange for his Life ?
The principal Point of Wisdom there-
fore in the Conduct of Human Life, is so
to use the enjoyments of this present
World, as that they may not themselves
shorten that Period, wherein 'tis allowed
us to enjoy them.

And if any part of Knowledge deserves a steddier attention than other, and has of all others the juítest Pretence to be esteemed invaluable ; 'tis unquestionably That Knowledge, by which, as the Wiseman here expresses it, our days may be multiplied, and the Years of our Life may be increased.

Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die ; was the reasoning of the Epicure, mentioned by St Paul, 1 Cor. xv. 32. But it was very false reasoning, to make

the

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