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V. I fhall conclude all with fome direc
tions concerning the right manner of
1. Seek wisdom early, or without delay: now, immediatly, apply yourselves to the ftudie of the principles of Wisdom, the rules of right conduct. Attend to the inftructions given you, fuitable to your age and condition, by those who are knowing, and are concerned for your welfare and profperity, both in foul and body. And now, immediatly, form in your minds a fixed purpose and refolution of living and acting by thofe rules, which appear juft, wife, and reasonable.
2. Seek wisdom diligently. Let not time run wafte, 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 Wildom 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 fhould be VI. brought into action, and when you are in danger of being feduced to act contrarie to them.
3. You must alfo endeavor to continue in this your love and affection for Wisdom, and careful attention to her, because of our natural weakneffe and inconftance, and because there are temptations and tempters: and 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 poffible familiarity and intimacie with those who shew no respect to the laws of Wisdom : who have little or no worth: who poffefs, indeed, the human fhape and intellect, but aim at no emprovement: who rafhly and inconfideratly venture to make a jeft of fin, and despise Wisdom, because it is too high for them who are pleased with the worthlefs trash of fenfual enjoyments: but have no taste of perfection and beauty, order and proportion, and the principles thereof, either in the natural, or the moral world: whofe views and profpects are narrow and confined, low and bafe, like the very beafts that perish:
minding nothing, but prefent objects: nei- SERM. ther looking forward to future time, nor obferving the confequences and tendences of things prefent. Reckon yourselves to be above fuch contemptible people. And difdain to follow either their counsel, or their example.
These are they that love Wisdom. These The loves. They that fo feek her fhall find her, and be bleffed 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 difpofition, 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. Efteem, and study her rules and maxims, conftantly obey her precepts, and decline not from her paths. She will, then, bring you to bonour, and crown you with durable riches and
Little Children brought to Chrift.
MAT T. xix.
13. Then were there brought unto him little children, that he should put his hands on them, and pray. And the difciples rebuked them.
14. But Jefus faid: 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.
T was now near the conclufion of our Saviour's ministrie and life on this earth. He was in a place beyond Jordan, from whence he went up to Jerufalem, where he fuffered.
This particular hiftorie being related by SERM. three Evangelists, it is likely, that it contains VII. fomething, which may be of ufe for our direction, or encouragement. St. John indeed has not taken any notice of it. But you are fenfible, that he had feen the three former Gofpels, before he wrote: and therefore he very rarely gives an account of fuch things, as had been fufficiently related already by one or more of the other Evangelifts.
In St. Mark's Gospel this hiftorie is recorded after this manner: ch. x. 13. And they brought young children unto him, that be Should touch them. And his difciples rebuked thofe that brought them. 14. But when Jefus faw it, he was much difpleafed, 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, he shall not enter therein. 16. And he took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them. St. Luke fays. 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 Jefus called them unto him, and said: Suffer