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Saviour to Himself, Luk. iv. 18. He has Serm. anointed me to preach the Gospel to the

I. Poor, - to preach deliverance to the captives, to set at Liberty them that are bruised. Lastly, of such a Person, who thus delights to do the Will of God, it may be declared, though he be a Servant, that be is the Lord's free Man, 1 Cor. vii.

that because the Son has made him free, therefore be is free indeed, Joh. viii. 36; or (as it is in the Words of the Text) that he knows the Truth, and the Truth dotb make him Free,


22 ;



n x


A Virtuous Mind the best Help to

understand True Religion.

DA n. xii. 10. latter part.
And none of the Wicked fall un-

derstand; But the Wife fall

O seek a man's true and final Se RM.

Interest, by parting with some II.

present and inconsiderable Adm
vantages for the sake of more

and much greater ones to eome, is the proper Act of Wisdom ; and the general Character of Folly, is the purchasing some trivial present Benefit, at the


Serm. hazard of much better and more valuable II.

things in reversion. For This reason, in Scripture-phrase, Religion and Virtue are almost always signified under the denomination of Wisdom ; and Folly, is but another Name for Sin. The Sinner and the Fool, are always reciprocal Terms; and no man is stiled Wife by the Spirit of God, upon any other account than that of being Religioas. For unto man he said; The Fear of the Lord, Tbat is Wisdom ; and to depart from Evil, is Understanding, Job xxviii. 28. And This is so much the known language of Scripture, that I need in this place but just mention it. Thus Ecclef. ii. 13. · Then I saw, says Solomon, that Wisdom excelleth Folly, as far as Light excelleth Darkress; the Meaning is, that Religion and Virtue is as much more, :excellent and more profitable to men than Wickedness, as one thing can be preferable to another. And in the Words of the Text ; None of the Wicked all understand: But the Wise, (those who are such in opposition to the Folly of Wickedness, that is, the Righteous) shall understand.

To Understand, may be taken in two $ermi Senses ; Either to signify the understand

II. ing of these particular Prophecies ; or the understanding the true nature of Religion in general. In Both these Senses, the Words are very proper and emphatical; and in Both, they are very remarkably fulfilled. If we take them in the former Sense; None of the Wicked fall understand; i. e. none of them shall

apprehend the true meaning and intent of these Prophecies ; But the Wise, viz. the righteous and well-disposed, the careful and diligent inquirers, fall understand them: If we take them, I say, in This Sense, then They were very remarkably fulfilled upon the Jews in our Saviour's timme ; who, notwithstanding that this Prophecy of Daniel contained as clear a Prædiction as could be desired, of the Time and Manner of our Saviour's appearing in the Flesh yet through their obstinate prejudices 2gainst Him and his doctrine, they resolved not to see it: And because there were other passages in the Prophecy, more obscure, and difficult to be interpreted; therefore they would by no means be perswaded to understand what was plain. The like to

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