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Kingdom of Christ within us, by pro- SERM. moting the Love and Pra&ice of Evangelical Purity and Holiness; and let us likewise frequently put up our most are dent Requests for the Enlargement of his Visible Administration without us; bé seeching God, in the Words of our Church, that he would please, of his Gracious Goodness, shortly to accomplish the Num. ber of his Elect, and to haften the King, dom of his Dear Son!
To Him, with the Father and the Ho,
Ly Ghost, be ascribed all Honour, Do-
PRO v. xiv. 6.
of Men, who speaks ; and about That, which most nearly concerns Us, and He best understood, even the Method of attạining True Wisdom: It becomes us,
SER M. therefore, to give the most fix'd and few rious Attention, we can, to what he is
A Scorner, faith he, Teeketh Wisdom, and findeth it not. Where we are, first, to enquire, Who it is, that is represented to us, under the Character of a Scorner; and, then, in what Sense he is said to seek Wisdom, but not to find it.
The Scorner is One, who is frequently mention'd in this Book of Proverbs; and against whom the Author of it hąth le vell’d no small Number of his Apophthegms, and wise Sayings. We find in the Psalms, and Prophetick Writings also, many Glances at him, many Complaints of him: so that the Nation of the Jews did, it seems, abound mightily with this Sort of Men; and they were a Great and Particular Grievance to the Followers of True Piety and Wisdom.
Their Character seems, in short, to have been This. They were Men, that, with much ado, had made a shift to get rid of Good Principles, and such stiff Opinions, as they found inconsistent with
a Loose Practice. As they had not any
V. Religion themselves, so their way was to despise Those who had; to look down with Pity and Contempt upon a poor deluded Under-World; Beasts of Burthen that follow'd, in a Track, after their Leaders; Slaves to receiv'd Rules, and Precarious Opinions, to Foolish Empty Forms and Observances; but who never once reason'd freely, or thought for Themselves. They were unfortunately fallen into a Time, when frequent Commotions hapned in the Jewish State (as the Cafe remarkably was, in the Age before Solomon came to the Throne) and had seen several Sorts of Men uppermost, and, consequently, several Notions of things prevailing by Turns. This contributed mightily to unsettle their Thoughts, or (as they call'd it doubtless) to enlarge them; to create in them a slight Opinion of the Eternal Differences of Right and Wrong, Good and Evil; and to make them laugh at Those, who were Eager on any Side, or for any Cause whatsoever, which they did not get by,