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Serm. V. I shall conclude all with some direc
VI. tions concerning the right manner of feeking Wisdom. Seek it early, diligently, and with continuance, and decline the society of those who respect
not the laws of Wisdom. 1. Seek wisdom early, or without delay: now, immediatly, apply yourselves to the studie of the principles of Wisdom, the rules of right conduct. ' Attend to the instructions given you, suitable to your age and condition, by those who are knowing, and are concerned for your welfare and prosperity, both in foul and body. And now, immediatly, form in your minds a fixed purpose and resolution of living and acting by those rules, which appear just, wise, and reasonable.
2. Seek wisdom diligently. Let not time run waste, without employment. Let not whole days be lost in sloth and idlenesse; but be concerned to make daily emprovement in some part of useful knowledge. Let the rules and maxims of Wisdom be thought of, and meditated upon, early and late. Let her principles be familiar to your minds, and always entertaining and delightful. So will
Serm. they occur to you, when they should be VI.
brought into action, and when you are in danger of being seduced to act contrarie to them.
3. You must also endeavor to continue in this your
love and affection for Wisdom, and careful attention to her, because of our natural weaknesse and inconstance, and because there are temptations and tempters :
you are in danger, if you are off your guard, of being misled by the enticements, or the provocations of those you meet with.
4. Therefore let me add: Decline as much as possible familiarity and intimacie with these who shew no respect to the laws of Wisdom : who have little or no worth: who possess, indeed, the human shape and intellect, but aim at no emprovement : who rafhly and inconsideratly venture to make a jest of sin, and despise Wisdom, because it is too high for them: who are pleased with the worthless trash of sensual enjoyments : but have no taste of perfection and beauty, order and
proportion, and the principles thereof, either in the natural, or the moral world: whose views and prospects are narrow and confined, low and base, like the very beasts that perish :
I 2. 20.
minding nothing, but present objects : nei- SERM. ther looking forward to future time, nor ob
VI. serving the consequences and tendences of things present. Reckon yourselves to be above such contemptible people. And disdain to follow either their counsel, or their example.
These are they that love Wisdom. These she loves. They that so seek ber shall find her, and be blessed with all the precious things in her gift.
Let not, then, any immoderate love of pleasure, or ease, or much riches, or high honour and preferment, enter into the mind, to damp this reasonable principle, this excellent and becoming, this virtuous and hopeful disposition, the love of Wisdom. But let this always be the prevailing, the governing, influencing principle of your minds. Exalt Wisdom, and he will promote you. Esteem, and study her rules and maxims, constantly obey her precepts, and decline not from her paths. She will, then, bring you to honour, and crown you with durable riches and righteousnesse.
MAT T. xix. 13. Then were there brought unto bim little children, that he should put his hands on them, and pray. And the disciples rebuked them.
14. But Jesus said : Suffer the little children, and forbid them not to come unto me : for of such is the kingdom of heaven. 15. And he laid his hands on them.
MT was now near the conclufion
of our Saviour's ministrie and I
life on this earth. He was in a
place beyond Jordan, from whence he went up to Jerusalem, where he suffered.
This particular historie being related by Serm. three Evangelists, it is likely, that it contains VII. something, which may be of use for our direction, or encouragement. St. John indeed has not taken any notice of it. But you are sensible, that he had seen the three former Gospels, before he wrote : and therefore he very rarely gives an account of such things, as had been sufficiently related already by one or more of the other Evangelists.
In St. Mark's Gospel this historie is recorded after this manner : ch. x. 13. And they brought young children unto him, that be Should touch them. And his disciples rebuked those that brought them. 14. But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and faid unto them : Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not : for of such is the kingdom of God. 15. Verily, I say unto you: Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, be hall not enter therein. 16. And be took them up in bis arms, put bis bands upon them, and blessed them.
St. Luke says. xviii. 15. And they brought unto him also infants, that he would touch them. But when the disciples faw it, they rebuked them. 16. But Jesus called them unto bim, and said: