MAN's Dignity and Duty as a reasonable Creature; And his Insufficiency as a fallen Creature: REPRESENTED IN A SERMON PREACHED AT THE Anniversary DUDLEIAN Lecture, IN THE Chappel of Harvard-College in Cambridge, MAY 11. 1763.

By PETER CLARK, M. A. Pastor of the First Church in Danvers.

IN homine optimum quid est? Ratio: hac antecedit animalia, Deos sequitur. Ratio ergo perfecta, proprium hominis bonum est: caetera illi c [...]m animalibus satis (que) commonia sunt.

[...]. Epist. 76.


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MAN's Dignity and Duty as a reasonable Creature, and his Insufficiency as a fallen Creature.

JOB xxxv. 10, 11.

BUT none saith, Where is God my maker, who giveth songs in the night? Who teacheth us more than the beasts of the earth, and maketh us wiser than the fowls of heaven.

THE subject that lies before me to be treated of, according to the method directed to, by the late honourable, learned, and pious Founder of this lecture, is that of Natural Religion. And that which is commonly so called (tho' variously defined by learned men) I apprehend to consist in such laws, or rules of moral con­duct, as are founded on deductions from prin­ciples of meer natural reason relative to divinity and morality, without the aids of any superna­tural revelation. This is natural religion in theory. The practice of it consists in the due observance of those rules.

[Page 4]IT is the excellency of natural religion, that it hath it's foundation in the rational nature of man, and is therefore stable, fixed, and indis­pensable, and no more capable of variation or change, than the reason of man, and the rela­tion he bears to his Maker, as his creature, subject, and servant; it is fundamental to all civil order, the welfare of society, and laws of government, all the laws and precepts of it being consonant to eternal truth and equity.

NEVERTHELESS, if we consider it, with respect to the great end of all religion, the guiding men to God as their ultimate, supream happiness, it must be confess'd, that the meer religion of nature, which was calculated for a state of innocent, uncorrupt nature, and could serve to this end only in such a state, is now, in the present degenerate state of mankind, in many respects defective, and insufficient to con­duct him to his great end; and needs the sup­ply of such helps, means and advantages, as the scripture-revelation furnishes us with.

YET the preaching of natural religion is highly useful to a christian assembly, in respect both of it's excellencies, and deficiencies. In the former respect,—as it is adopted into the christian system, and makes a considerable part of it, even the whole of christian morality; and it is for the honour and commendation of our holy christian religion above all other religions in the world, that it is allowed to be the highest and best improvement of the religion of nature, [Page 5] as it comprehends and injoins the precepts of the natural law, in the fullest extent and per­fection, and settles the practice of them on right grounds. And in the latter respect—(viz. of it's deficiencies) as it shews us how seasonably the christian revelation comes in to our succour, where natural light fails, and how aptly it cor­responds to the principles of uncorrupt reason, and receives light and confirmation from them; and how happily it falls in with, and crowns, the wishes and expectations of nature in the wisest and best of men.

'TIS with some view to each of these, that I propose to consider these words of Elihu (who is not without reason suppos'd by some to be the inspired penman of this book of Job) who, having observed under the providence of almighty God, the many evils, and calamities that mankind groan under, particularly the oppressions, and wrongs they meet with from the great and powerful, which cause them to cry, and com­plain; they cry out (saith he) by reason of the arm of the mighty: To vindicate the justice of divine providence in permitting this, and not appear­ing immediately for the rescue of the oppressed and injured, he introduces the words I have read; but none saith, Where is God my maker, who giveth songs in the night? who teacheth us more than the beasts of the earth, &c. which intimate the reason, why their complaints and exclamations against their oppressors were so little regarded, to wit, because of their irreligious neglect of [Page 6] God in their troubles: they were not solicitous to acquaint themselves with him, nor to apply themselves to him for relief, as reasonable crea­tures ought to have done, whom God has distinguished from, and dignified far above the brutes, by enduing them with the noble powers of reason and understanding, whereby they are capacitated, and therefore obliged to know the God that made them, to pay him homage and service, to reverence his majesty, and repair to his mercy in their straits and difficulties.

THE words may be conceiv'd as expressive both of lamentation and admiration. It is to be lamented, that God should be so much for­gotten and neglected in this our world, that there should be so few, that do seriously enquire after God our common maker, even when urg'd to it by their necessities and distresses, and when he alone is all-sufficient to administer effectual succour and solace to them in the darkest night of affliction. 'Tis also matter of admiration that man, who by the bounty of his creator, is advanc'd to the rank and dignity of an intelli­gent being, far superior in knowledge and wisdom to meer sensitive animals, the beasts and fowls, should not yet go beyond those irra­tionals, in their cries and moans, when pinch'd with hunger, or otherwise afflicted with a sense of pain, and not rise up to any suitable acknow­ledgements of their maker, to a dependance on him, enquiries after him, addresses to him, and expectations from him; all which might reaso­nably [Page 7] and justly be expected from man, in con­sideration of his rational capacities. Strange stupidity! But not to take any further critical notice of the words, I shall, from this general view, make these two observations, viz.

OBSERVATION I. THAT there is matter of duty expected and required of man purely as he is a reasonable creature, whom God hath taught more than the beasts of the earth, and made wiser than the fowls of heaven.

OBSERVATION II. THAT men do yet gene­rally fail in those duties which their own rea­son, if duely attended to, would lead and oblige them to the observance of. None saith, Where is God my maker—Tho' this is the main purpose for which he has taught them more than the beasts and fowls, more than to groan and complain under their cala­mities.

I SHALL endeavour, with as much brevity as I can, to speak to these two heads.

I. THAT there is matter of duty expected and required of man, purely as he is a reasonable creature.

THE great creator, in the first constitution of man's nature, put within him a principle of rea­son and intelligence, whereby he was dignified and exalted far above the brute creation. For [Page 8] there is a spirit in man, and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth him understanding. * Of him, who is our maker, and by whom all things were made, it is said, that in him was life, and the life was the light of men. A bright ray of intellectual light descended from the fountain-light into the soul of man, when God breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul. And 'tis in respect of his reasonable soul, that man only of all the creatures in this lower world, yea, of the whole visible creation, was made to bear the image of his maker, not only in a per­fect holiness and righteousness, his moral image, but (in that which was fundamental thereto) to carry some finite resemblance of his natural perfections in its spirituality, intelligence, liberty of choice and action, self-consciousness, immor­tality, and capacity of blessedness. And in these things lies the distinguishing excellency of man above the beasts of the earth and the fowls of heaven, by which also he is made their lord, and appointed to have the dominion over them.

THE capacities of the rational soul of man are vast and admirable: It is capable of appre­hending things past, present, and to come; whereas beasts are intent only on things present to sense. It is capable of conceiving and dis­coursing of such things as are abstracted from sense and matter, of metaphysical propositions, of the nature, and perfections of God, of angels and spirits, and of drawing conclusions about [Page 9] them—capable of all arts and sciences, and of many skilful inventions, in which it is divinely instructed. The powers of this rational and intelligent mind of man are of vast extent in the knowledge of nature. He is capable of ransack­ing the creation, and surveying the works of God in the heavens, earth and seas, from the greatest to the least, by the help of telescopes and microscopes, and of tracing the footsteps and impressions of a Deity, in the plain marks dis­cernable in them of an infinitely wise and de­signing mind, the framer of them all. He is thereby made capable of contemplating the hea­venly bodies that roll above us, and of obser­ving their beauty, order, position, distances, mo­tions, influences, and uses; the harmonies, combinations, and confederacies of nature; the mutual dependencies, and subserviencies of the various creatures among themselves; all condu­cing to the good of the universe, and ultimately to the creator's glory.

OF this capacity and disposition of the nobler part of man, there are certain signatures in the make or composition of his bodily part; in that when the rest of inferior animals are made with a downward look towards the earth, man is made (as the heathen Poet has observed*) erect, of a sublime countenance, and a face toward [Page 10] heaven, being designed by nature, and aptly disposed to contemplate the heavens, and to as­cend in his contemplations to an invisible crea­tor, whose glory is above the heavens. And tho' there are many things common to man and beast, in respect of the animal life, which we here live, yet there is a vast difference between the spirit of the one and the other, which ap­pears especially at death, when (as Solomon di­vinely notes ) the spirit of a beast goeth down­ward to the earth, but the spirit of man soars above, and ascends to its native region of spirits, agree­ably to the superiority of its nature and faculties.

BUT, to come nearer our purpose, it is espe­cially, by means of the rational powers of man's soul, that he is capable of religion and morality, of the knowledge of the great author of his be­ing, and of presenting a reasonable service to him. And herein especially God has taught us more than the beasts and fowls. For tho' there are strange instincts in some of those animals, that have a resemblance of reason in man, whence some have thought there is a lower degree of reason pertaining to beasts; but were this gran­ted, it must also be confessed, that reason in man is of a divers kind, as well as transcendent in degree, as the instances now mentioned of the largeness and extent of man's intellectual capacities, do abundantly demonstrate; [all the reasoning in beasts (if it must be so call'd) being confin'd to sensible objects, may equally be re­solved into natural instinct] but from all that is [Page 11] observable in the brute creatures, there appears not the least symptom, or shadow of any approa­ches to religion, not the least affinity or resem­blance to the human nature in a religious dispo­sition. And therefore many chuse to place the specifick difference between man and beasts, in religion, rather than in reason. Beasts, 'tis evi­dent, have the knowledge of pleasure and pain, by sense, and are thereby taught to pursue the one, and shun the other; but they have no knowledge of virtue and vice, nor of the plea­sure that attends on virtue, nor of the pain that follows vice. This is peculiar to man, who by a sort of rational instinct soon discerns the diffe­rence between moral good and evil, and in some cases previous to all instruction and discipline; and therefore is a subject capable of a moral law, and of government, by rewards and penalties; and consequently accountable for his actions, good or bad. He has a capacity for improving and enobling his mind by moral virtues, fitting him for agreable converse in human society; and more than this, a capacity for religious converse with his Maker, of bearing his moral image in knowledge and holiness, fitting him for blissful communion with him.

NOW do not these high and noble capacities of man's reasonable nature infer a moral obliga­tion he is under to proportionable duties? Most certainly they do; otherwise man would be no more subject to blame for not enquiring, where is God my maker, than the beasts themselves; [Page 12] which sufficiently verifies the proposition I laid down, that man's duty may be argued from his reasonable nature and capacities, tho' destitute of external revelation, (I mean his duty, so far as lies within the compass of his understanding); and this is what I propose to shew in the further prosecuting this point,—That God has put this principle of intellectual light into the nature of man to discover his duty to him, and to direct him in his whole moral behaviour, and also given it the force of a law to oblige him to the practice of it; the same which is commonly called the light and law of nature, or the light and dictates of conscience: For conscience is nothing else but the reason and judgment of man, as it is peculiarly conversant about his religious and moral acts, in its reflections on past actions, and directions of the future, and passing judgment on them, as it is subject to the judgment of God.

I SHALL therefore endeavour to shew, that God has given man reason for this two-fold end, 1st. to be a light to discover his duty to him; and 2dly, to have the force of a law to bind his duty upon him.

1st. REASON is given man for a light to dis­cover his duty to him, and to guide him in the practice of it. There is a three-fold object of our moral conduct commonly known. God, our neighbour, and ourselves; and the princi­ples of our reasonable nature dictate our duty towards this three-fold object, and our whole duty as reasonable creatures may be reduced to these three heads,

[Page 13](1.) THERE are in our reasonable nature or (which is the same) in the natural law, prin­ciples of piety, which dictate our duty towards God. Here, the grand fundamental principle of piety and of all religion, is the knowledge and belief of the existence of a God. This great truth is prior to all revelation; for we must first believe there is a God, before we can receive any revelation as from him. And this must be first received by means of rational con­viction, or by such proofs as are adapted to the apprehension of our reason; tho' divine revela­tion makes them more clear and strong. God hath given abundant demonstration of his exis­tence to all mankind, to the whole world of rational beings, partly, by the impressions of his being and perfections he has left on the hearts and consciences of men, as the God of nature; partly, by the external manifestation of himself in his works of creation: And this seems the meaning of the apostle's word when, speak­ing of the Gentile world, he tells us, That which may be known of God (his being and perfections as an object of worship) is manifest in them, (i. e. by inward impressions, or the law written in their hearts *) for God hath shewed it to them; (i. e. by his external works, visible, especially in the creation of the world,) and thereupon brings in this great evidence of the being of an eternal, almighty God,—For the invisible things of him, from the creation of the world are clearly [Page 14] seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead. The visible glories of the firmament, the sun, moon, and stars proclaim to all the world the being and glory of that invisible power which formed them, and presides over them. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. The silent language of these natural prea­chers is interpreted and understood among all nations to the ends of the earth, by that portion of reason which God has imparted to them.— Men are compell'd by the force of meer natural reason to acknowledge a first cause which is eternally self-existent, for nothing is more cer­tain than that some being must have existed from eternity, otherwise nothing could ever have been. But to exist from eternity is to be self-existent, or to have no cause of existence; which is incompatible to every finite being, and can agree only to a being that is infinite. As to the notion of the world, or the matter of it, it's being from eternity, or it's being cast into the present form by an eternal succession of cau­ses and effects, it is so shockingly absurd, that the reason of mankind cannot but reject it at first sight. And it is scarce to be believed possi­ble for the greatest atheist to assent to it on clear and sure grounds. But when we say, God is a being self-existent, it is to be understood nega­tively, not as affirming him to be the cause of his own existence, but as excluding all other causes, and asserting him to be a being of such [Page 15] a nature, as necessarily and eternally to exist without any cause at all, by the meer preroga­tive of his own infinite essence, in a manner to us, and all finite intelligences inconceivable; for when we arrive at infinite, (in searching out a first cause) as by the impulse of our own rea­son we must at last, whatever course of argu­ment we pursue, there all reasoning and dispute must cease, and give way to admiration.

WE say then upon principles of natural reason, it is an undoubted conclusion, there is an all-glorious God, the creator and first cause of all things, being himself uncaused, eternally exist­ing, independent, a necessary being, self-suffi­cient, having all fulness of being and perfection conceivable or possible in himself, absolutely supream in all perfection, in knowledge, wisdom, holiness, power, justice, goodness, and love, every where present, conversant with his reaso­nable creatures, observant of their behaviour, sustaining the relation of a father, governor, and judge to them. For there is this principle of natural light further to be added, which dictates our duty towards God, viz. the belief of a divine providence, which inspects and governs all the affairs of the world, and of mankind especially. And as man is constituted a subject of moral government, and therefore accountable to his maker, 'tis rational, therefore, to expect, that he will call him to an account for his behaviour, and reward or punish him as his deeds require. But these great articles of natural religion, be­ing [Page 16] with equal evidence deducible from the perfections of God, I shall not further insist upon them.

NOW what does reason teach us to be our duty towards God, in consequence of these principles, but that we should acknowledge and adore him? that we should love him superla­tively, and reverence him in tho't, word and deed; that we should admire and praise him, and worship him with all the capacities of our spirits and bodies; that we should give thanks for the innumerable benefits we receive from him, and live in dependence on him; and have recourse to him by prayer in all our wants, straits and dangers; and that we should in all things obey his will, notified to us by our natural sentiments of the distinction between moral good and evil, between right and wrong, truth and falsehood, between what is pleasing and what is displeasing to our maker; that we should place our chief felicity in his favour, and have the greatest dread of his displeasure; that we should be humble and contented with all his wise distri­butions, patient and submissive to the orders of his providence, in all the chastisements he lays us under—These, and such like, are the internal acts of religion founded in the relation every reasonable being stands in to his maker, con­sidered singly, and apart.

BUT besides these, there are duties of piety owing to God from societies of men, on the grounds of natural reason. God is the author [Page 17] and founder, the patron and benefactor of hu­man societies; and has, in the formation of our natures, furnished us with faculties and organs suited to social converse, and given us an inclination to unite in society for that pur­pose; therefore social worship is a dictate of nature. That it is not good for man to be alone, is the voice of nature, as well as revelation. God has therefore made us members one of another, so as to have need of and dependance on one anothers help for our subsistance; inso­much that our natural powers would fail of one end of their creation, unless we were thus united in society; and it is a rational dictate that God is to be glorified by all the capacities he has given us. Therefore the joining toge­ther to worship God by prayer and thanksgiv­ing in families, and public assemblies, is a duty founded on the law of nature, as well as the directions of holy scripture. But let this serve for a brief specimen of the duties of reli­gion we owe to God discoverable by natural light.

(2.) THERE are principles of justice and cha­rity, proper to man's natural reason, that go to make up the law of nature, as it regulates our carriage towards our neighbour, which are such as these, viz. the joint relation we all stand in to God, as fellow-servants of the same Lord, as chil­dren of the same father, who carries an impartial hand over them all: Which relation requires an upright, just, and inoffensive deportment to­wards [Page 18] all our fellow men. And the forementi­oned principle of piety, has place here as a principle of justice, viz. that mankind is made with capacities for society, and for mutual con­verse and assistance, and that as members of so­cieties we have all some sort of dependence one on another, which is the foundation of all friend­ly offices, and of all equitable and obliging be­haviour towards our fellow members. To this let me add that rational maxim, adopted by our Saviour into his evangelical law, of doing to others what we would they should do to us in like circumstances, both the law, and the pro­phets, natural and revealed religion, conspire to recommend and enforce this maxim, being foun­ded on reason and nature. This requires that we should wrong no man in tho't, word, or deed.—Not in tho't by wishing him ill, coveting what is his, or bearing envy or malice against him;—not in word by defamation, reproaches, or bearing false witness;— not in deed by do­ing any thing injurious to the person, life, estate, or reputation of our neighbour, for no man could be willing to be thus dealt with by others. On the contrary, it teaches us to deal justly with all, to be upright and honest in our commerce, giving to every one his due, to be peaceable, and useful, as members of societies, just and [...]ithful in the duties of our several relations, which are founded on natural right.

MOREOVER, All the offices of charity, kind­ness, gratitude, and universal benevolence branch [Page 19] out from these rational principles; that all man­kind are equal by nature, as the descendants of one common progenitor, and so we bear a re­lation to all men as brethren; and that others have the same feelings of humane nature with ourselves; and that there is implanted in our breasts a natural sympathy and affection towards those of our own species, that prompts us to acts of mercy and kindness to them in their in­digence and misery; that we have need one of another, and that we are obliged to do to others, as we would they should do to us, which may be applied as a principle of charity, as well as of justice: Hereby we are taught to bear good will to our brethren, and neighbours, to be communicative to their necessities, to be friend­ly, loving and sociable; for man is naturally dis­posed and made for this purpose. In a word, God has so plainly interwoven this disposition to acts of charity, and gratitude to our benefactor, into our nature, that we commonly call it hu­manity, as if it was the distinguishing property of human nature, and the contrary dispositions and actions we as commonly brand with the note of inhumanity, as being sordid and base.

Let me add,

(3.) THERE are also in our reasonable nature principles that lead to sobriety and temperance in the right government of ourselves. These are, that as subjects and servants of our great Creator, and Lord, we ought to preserve the powers and faculties both of our bodies and [Page 20] souls in a right temper, as fit instruments of his service, that as vessels unto honour, we might be always meet for the masters use; which prin­ciple is violated by all acts of intemperance. Again, it is a rational principle, agreeable to the primitive order, and constitution of nature (ac­cording to which reason and understanding were made to lead and rule, and the will and inferior faculties to obey and follow) that we should keep up the dominion of reason over brutal appetites and passions, to check and con­troul them, and not suffer them at any time to get the ascendant in the soul, which is as great a disorder in nature, as that in the state, which Solo­mon complains of, that of servants riding on horse back, and princes walking as servants on the earth. * All intemperance proceeds from the unruliness of the bodily appetites and affections, their transgressing the bounds of reason and mode­ration, and 'tis the office of temperance, to re­strain them within those bounds, and to establish the authority of reason, which it hath by divine right in the soul of man, and to strengthen it against the usurpation of sense and appetite. This document of nature (the bringing the body into subjection, and not suffering it to usurp the dominion) was observ'd by the heathen moralist, ‘I was born to greater things, (saith Seneca ) than to become a slave to my body.’ Further, [Page 21] there are divers maxims of reason, by which men ordinarily govern themselves in their civil affairs, which may be applied to the law of temperance. To mention one or two. 'Tis ac­counted a maxim of wisdom, to forego a less good, in order to obtain a greater, or to deny ones self in a small matter of pleasure, or profit, when one has the prospect of a very great ad­vantage in so doing; and for the same reason, ought we not to quit the pleasures of sense, in order to the more sublime, manly pleasure of wisdom and virtue? Another, that bears some affinity to this is, that we ought to submit to a lesser evil to avoid a greater, or of two evils to chuse the less, and does not this teach us, it is our wisdom to submit to the pains of self-denial in laying restraints on the sensual appetite, and mortifying a lust, rather than by an unbounded gratification, to incur the loss of health, estate, reputation, and to become expos'd to the stings and reproaches of an injured conscience, which will follow such gratifications: To say nothing of a future vengeance. Our blessed Saviour has founded many of his wise cautions, and admoni­tions upon such rational maxims: Particularly, that of mortifying a beloved lust; it is better for thee, saith he, that one of thy members perish, than that thy whole body should be cast into hell. * By such easy and obvious rules, natural reason might lead men to discern their whole duty, relating to self-government. The principles that have been [Page 22] laid down carry their own evidence with them, and need not a train of reasoning and discourse to beget assent, but may be reckoned among the first and radical principles of the natural law. And hence we see our duty with respect to God, our neighbour, and ourselves, discoverable by the clear light of reason. Wherefore I proceed now to say—

2dly. GOD has given reason to man to have the force of a law to bind his duty upon him. The light whereby reason discovers man's duty to him, infers an obligation upon him to the practice of it. This will more plainly appear, if we consider what things are requisite to give force to a law. There are these three things es­pecially. (1.) It must be an act of lawful au­thority in giving commands. (2.) It must have a sanction of just rewards and penalties annexed to those commands, to guard them against trans­gressions. (3.) There must be a righteous judge to take an account of the observance of them, to acquit or condemn as men shall be found on their trial. These are all the requisites to the binding force of any law, and they all concur in the law of man's reasonable nature. For,

(1.) ITS authority is of divine right. God, who is our rightful lord and lawgiver, has gi­ven it this authority, which needs no other proof than his being the author of the law of nature, which is therefore said to be written in the heart of man. But by whom should it be written [Page 23] there, but by God alone, in the very constitution of the nature of man, as endued with reason, to be the means or instrument of his moral govern­ment over him? So that the dictates of reason and conscience, which discover and determine what is sin, and what is duty, are to be regar­ded as divine laws. Hence the understanding reasonable sprit of man, is called by Solomon the can­dle of the Lord. * It is a candle lighted up in every man's soul by the author of nature, whose inspiration giveth him understanding, to enable him to discern between right and wrong, good and evil. This light of nature, therefore, is a divine light, and the authority of its dictates di­vine. Therefore to obey reason is to obey God, who hath dictated his will to us concerning our moral actions, by that reason and understanding he hath given us, as really as by his written word.

(2.) THESE natural dictates of reason have also a sanction.—Those hopes and fears of men's hearts, resulting from their moral conduct, may be regarded as a natural sanction to the law of reason; as they have a sense of joy or pain that follows on the doing good, or evil; men are na­turally conscious to themselves of the good or evil consequences of either acting up to the prin­ciples of natural light, or deviating from them. The apostle observes, that the Gentiles had a conscience that excused, or accused on the doing good or evil. And the natural presages and [Page 24] fears of a vengeance that pursues unrighteous practices, and certain forebodings of a future state of rewards and punishments, together with the present feelings of conscience, its comfort and satisfaction on well doing, its reproaches, stings and remorses on the commission of evil, serve instead of more positive declarations, to guard the law of nature.

THERE is another passion of human nature very painful and disquieting, consequent on vice, which may be, and often is, a restraint upon men from vicious actions, and that is shame. After the commission of any vile, or wicked act, men are affected not only with fear in a sense of guilt, but with shame in a sense of the turpitude, dishonesty, and vileness of their behaviour, their having acted an unreasonable part, unbecoming themselves, and unsuitably to the dignity and prerogative of their reasonable nature, which exposes them to the severe reproaches of their own hearts, and self-upbraidings for their folly and baseness, having no rational plea for their justification. The nature of man was a stranger to this irksome disquieting passion till sin enter'd, by which it was debas'd and despoiled of its dig­nity. And this adds force to the obligation men are under to act becoming the honour of their nature, by a strict conformity to the dic­tates of right reason.

[Page 25](3.) THE binding force of these principles and dictates of nature do plainly suppose and require a judge, to whom belongs the execu­tion of the law which is necessary to enforce the whole, to whom all men must hold themselves accountable. And the same natural light that manifests a God that made and rules the world, doth also beget a persuasion of his being the righteous judge of his reasonable creatures. There is naturally in all men's hearts an indelible persuasion of a governing justice, that takes cog­nizance of the moral actions and behaviour of men, and measures out suitable punishments to men's crimes. One plain evidence of this is the use of oaths, so frequent and common among all nations, at least among all civilized nations, who discover any sense of a God. And in all such oaths there is, in the very nature of them, a so­lemn appeal to an invisible judge, with an ac­knowledgment and belief of his taking cogni­zance of all that passes among men, and of his being the patron of truth and innocence, and the righteous avenger of all injustice and perjury. And the apostle Paul testifies of those, who were left only to the light of nature, that they knew the judgment of God, condemning them to death for sins against that light.* And since there ap­pears no equal distribution of rewards and pu­nishments in this life, worthy of the righteous governor of the world, reason suggests that it must be expected in a future state. And the [Page 26] sentiments and premonitions of conscience (as an inferior judge) relative hereunto, do confirm this persuasion. Nothing more, I think, need be added to evince the binding force of the prin­ciples of man's reasonable nature. So I pass to speak in a few words to the second observation,

II. THAT men do generally fail in those duties which their own reason duly attended to would lead them to the observance of.

IF we speak of reason in its pure uncorrupt state, in this regard, the proposition might run in universal terms,—There is none, (to use the lan­guage of the text) that do seriously, suitably, and sufficiently enquire, Where is God my maker? All men universally are more or less defective in their practical compliance with the directions of right reason, in respect both of their religious and moral conduct, chiefly the former; and if the most circumspect and blameless liver, would examine himself by this test, he would find that in many things he has swerved from this rule of conduct. To this the royal preacher bears wit­ness, in observing, there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good and sinneth not. But even in this present state of frailty, under all the clouds and darkness, and the mists of ignorance and er­ror, that have overspread and obscured the hu­man faculties, God still imparts to men much more light and knowledge than the generality of mankind ever reduce into practice. This [Page 27] candle of the Lord (though it shines more dimly than when it was first lighted up in the soul of man, yet) still affords men a great deal of light for regulating their moral and religious conduct, more than they care generally to improve, for men love darkness rather than light.

THE fact is notorious and undeniable, it is attested by the observation and experience of mankind in all ages, that men do not always go­vern themselves by reason; but, for the most part, live in the transgression of its laws. And the inspired writer tells us of the heathen world in general, that they held the truth (the know­ledge of the truth perceivable by the light of na­ture, relating to the being and perfections of God, his worship and service) in unrighteousness. * They hold the truth a prisoner, being suppress'd and restrained from exerting its influence by overbearing corrupt passions, and unrighteous practices; and further adds, that when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, &c.

NOW if we enquire into the reason, whence is this? To what cause is this so great and ge­neral defect owing?—In the first place, may we not, must we not, impute it to the universal de­generacy of the human nature from its primitive rectitude? This, be sure, is the prime doctrine of sacred writ (fundamental to the whole system of scripture revelation) which testifies, in the language of the Psalmist, that when the Lord looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to [Page 28] see if there were any that did understand, and seek God, "the unpleasing prospect" that presented itself to his eye was, that all are gone aside— there is none that doeth good. *—The great apostle alledging this passage in proof of this universal defection, interprets it in the words of Elihu, in the text; there is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. And does not nature and experience bear witness hereunto? for whence is it that reason, which is quick-sighted, and penetrating enough in matters which lye within its sphere, is so dull and stupid in the things of God and religion? Whence is it, that the great masters of wisdom, who flourished a­bout the age of the apostles, who were so well skilled in matters of humane science, in philoso­phy, oratory, poetry, and history, that they are set forth as patterns to following ages, even to this day, should be so strangely bewildered in their notions concerning God, and his worship, that the great doctor of the Gentiles scruples not to censure them as fools, (and he had, we doubt not, good evidence to support his censure) say­ing, that professing themselves to be wise, they be­came fools; and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, &c. and worshipped, and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Whence is this, I say? An horrid aversion and alienation of mind and heart from God, is assigned as the cause, They did not like to retain God in their knowledge. [Page 29] Which alienation from God, the fountain of life and being, of light and of all blessedness, is ex­pressive of the wretchedness and misery, as well as of the sinfulness, of the condition of apostate man.

I WOULD only add, that the present disorder'd state of the human nature, speaks a defection from it primitive state; for no rational man who has just ideas of the divine perfections, can sup­pose, that such an inconsistent piece of work­manship, as man now appears to be, could be the immediate product of an infinitely wise, and good creator, made up, (as it were) of contradictions, the passions, and faculties of his soul continually justling and jarring against each other. Reason induces us to believe what divine revelation assures us of, that God made man upright, * body and soul in a state of per­fection, every faculty in its right place and or­der, with an harmonious surbordination of the inferior to the superior leading faculties, the understanding and conscience; but that it is far otherwise now with the generality of mankind, is a plain mark of degeneracy from their ori­ginal integrity.

SECONDLY, 'TIS owing to mens inattenti­on, and inconsideration: The not attending to right reason, as a rule of conduct, in preference to interest and passion, is the true cause of all or most of the errors and failures in the duties of common life, and it is much more so in [Page 30] matters of religion. Idolaters, particularly, are taxed with this stupidity, They consider not in their hearts, (what one would think impossible for a being capable of thought and reflection, not to consider) that none of the gods of which they themselves were makers, could be God their maker. All irreligion and ungodliness hath its rise from the same source, the neglect of calling up reason into exercise, and impartially attend­ing its dictates. I shall only add,

THIRDLY, IT may be said to proceed from the insufficiency of natural light and reason, in the present degenerate state of men, to recover them to a right conduct. If it be said, tho' men have generally failed of their duty, and have gone out of the way, yet it is not fair to argue fact, and thence conclude the insuffi­ciency of the religion of nature or reason to set them right. I answer. Tho' there be other ways of proving the insufficiency of natural re­ligion to man degenerate, yet the solution of the case before us, as a question of fact, will fairly infer the conclusion; for if it be true, if it may be fairly gathered from all the observations of mankind, that men have universally degenera­ted into impiety and vice, then they are fallen from the law of nature, and are condemned by it, and fallen under a moral disorder; in this case natural religion can bring no remedy. This must come from another quarter: In many re­spects the insufficiency of the religion of nature, [Page 31] to recover mankind from their degeneracy, and bring them back to God as their supream felicity might appear. I shall fix on one instance to our present purpose, that is, the duty of repen­tance. Both natural and revealed religion agree in requiring this duty of sinners, it is certainly the duty of a meer heathen, who has no other light than that of nature, to repent of his sins. The conviction he has done amiss, and the re­morse he feels in his conscience thereupon, teach him without any other monitor, he ought to repent, but here natural religion is defective, as it cannot furnish a sinner with sufficient aids and inducements to repentance. The aids and assistances it may be supposed to administer, must be from nature itself, but the distempered nature of a sinner cannot heal itself by any power it is possessed of, the cure must be derived from a supernatural influence. The light and power of reason is too much darkned and debilitated (especially being bribed by corrupt passions) to be able to throw off vicious customs, and also to root out evil inclinations and reform the heart, which is the work of true repentance: The on­ly effectual relief and help in this case, is that which the gospel of Christ propounds and offers, which is the ministration of the Spirit. If such super-natural influences be supposed to reach the minds of any bred up in heathenism, who never heard of the gospel of Christ, it must be in an extraordinary method of vouchsafement quite unknown to us, and therefore unsafe to be asserted by us.

[Page 32]AND then, natural religion affords no suffici­ent inducements to repentance, as it gives a sinner no certain hope of pardon, if he does repent. The whole doctrine of redemption, and particu­larly that of atonement and satisfaction for sin, in order to settle the conscience of a sinner in peace and security, against the fears of avenging justice, and the declarations and promises of for­giveness to the penitent, consequent thereon, lie entirely out of its view, being the peculiar sub­ject of the gospel revelation. And though there are general intimations of mercy to mankind in the course of providence, yet the hopes of for­giveness founded thereon, are too weak and ge­neral to bear down strong prejudices, and to break the force of inveterate customs of sin and vice; and the important enquiry will still recur to the inquisitive mind, and anxious conscience of a sinner, wherewith shall I come before the Lord? —What shall I do to appease offended justice? so that the mercies of God, in the course of com­mon providence, are no argument of forgive­ness; for he bears with much long-suffering the vessels of wrath.

NOW will a sinner ever be induced to repent who has no certain hope or persuasion, that God will thereupon forgive him? It is not rational to suppose this; we might almost as reasonably suppose our first parents to have repented in their despairing condition, immediately after their first transgression, before any hopes were given them by the promise of the seed of the woman, as that [Page 33] a sinner might be expected to repent before, and without all hope of pardon, yet having once of­fended his maker, it is impossible, had he the understanding of a seraphim, that he should know without a revelation, that he would pardon the offence upon any terms whatsoever. This is one of the things of God, which no man know­eth or can know, but the Spirit of God, who hath revealed it to us in the gospel of his Son.

THUS we see in this instance, the deficiency of the religion of nature and reason, as a guide to man's duty and happiness in his fallen state. This is not meant to throw the least disparage­ment on natural religion, the excellencies where­of have been in part reported; but to shew the necessity of revealed, that the former might more effectually reach its end. There is an agreeable harmony between both natural and revealed re­ligion, they both befriend and support each other, and receive light and confirmation from each other. Without the principles of natural religi­on being laid as the foundation, we are uncapa­ble of receiving any revelation from God; but these being laid, are of excellent use and advan­tage, in our pursuit of the ends of revelation.

I shall close with a few inferences.

1. HENCE see our obligation to bless God for the gift of reason, which is some participa­tion of the image of our maker, whereby we are made capable of high and glorious purposes; not only exalted to a rank in the creation of God superior to beasts, but little inferior to an­gels, [Page 34] and by means of our intelligent nature, are capable of fellowship with them, in the know­ledge and contemplation of the perfections of our Creator, and in glorifying him by active service and homage. Hereby we are also capa­citated to be useful to our generation, and to at­tain happiness for ourselves, and to use the means requisite thereunto, under the advantages of re­velation. In giving us reason and understand­ing God has given us the richest talent, of more value than all external advantages; and in con­tinuing to us the free and unclouded exercise of this faculty, even when deprived of other in­terests, he may be said to give songs in the night, matter of solace to ourselves, and of thanksgi­ving and praise to our Creator, in the lowest and darkest outward condition: If this candle of the Lord shine clear and bright within, it will open to us an inward spring of refreshment and joy, for which we shall be obliged to be thankful to God.

2. WE hence learn what great evil and guilt is contracted by counteracting our reason, or neglecting its dictates, by debasing or abusing it to serve the vile purposes of the flesh, and by suffering sense and appetite to get the dominion over it: This is to degrade ourselves from our own species, unto a level with the beasts that perish, yea, we become worse than they; they are irrational by nature, we by choice, and so abolish as far as in us lies the difference nature has put between man and beast. This highly [Page 35] dishonors God, and provokes his wrath. When the apostle Paul had declared, the wrath of God was revealed from heaven against all the ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, he plainly intimates what was the most provoking thing to the wrath of God, in their ungodliness and unrighteousness, by immediately subjoining, — who hold the truth in unrighteousness. They smother'd and coun­ter-acted the truths and precepts of the law of reason, which would have controul'd their vi­cious inclinations. This acting in defiance of reason is plain rebellion against God; as it is a trampling on the ensigns of his authority, which he has planted in the soul of map.

3. LET us hence see what cause we have to be peculiarly thankful for that divine revelation we enjoy. 'Tis owing to the improvements of revelation that our natural reason is so valuable a talent; its dimness brighten'd, its weakness strengthen'd, its deficiencies abundantly and ad­mirably supplied; without which, however use­ful on other accounts, yet with respect to life and happiness, the main end of all religion would have left us to wander in the region and shadow of death. This is a privilege by which we are distinguish'd from the rest of mankind; for as we are made to differ from brutes, and exalted above them, by reason, so we are made to differ from, and priviledg'd above the brutish people of the earth, (as the ignorant and idolatrous hea­then are justly stiled) by revelation. Let us then be thankful for the light of reason, and peculi­arly [Page 36] so for the assistances afforded by the addi­tional light of revelation; and forever adore, and thankfully improve, the discriminating grace of God towards us therein. Moreover,

SETTING aside supernatural discoveries, re­velation is of vast advantage to the bulk of man­kind, with respect to moral duties, which it en­joins in the plainest manner—suited to the capa­cities of the vulgar, and in the fullest extent; which moral duties, most men by far (I might say it of all men in some degree) for want of ability, leisure, or patience, would never be able to collect for themselves out of the principles of natural reason, though deducible from them by the pains and studies of philosophers, and learned men. This merits our most grateful acknow­ledgment of the condescension of God, to the infirmities of mankind, in giving them such a revelation.

4. LET us hence learn the obligations we are under as rational creatures, to make a due im­provement of our reason for the right conduct of our lives. Men readily apprehend the neces­sity and usefulness of their reason in all the affairs of civil life: But let us improve it to higher and nobler purposes, and be govern'd by its dictates in all duties of morality, in the several relations we sustain among men, yea, and in matters of religion too, which is the highest and best im­provement of our reason, and yet is not a thing that transcends reason; for God requires no more of us, than that we shew ourselves men, * by [Page 37] acting up to the dignity of our reasonable nature, and preserving its dominion over corrupt affec­tions, and passions; which if we do, especially under the improvements of the christian revela­tion, we cannot fail of being truly religious.

BUT of what use is reason in matters of pure revelation, which is supernatural, and transcends reason?

I SHALL answer in a few Words:

(1.) CONSIDERING the insufficiency of the light and law of nature to guide mankind in this their fallen state, to their great end, they being yet evidently in a state of trial, under divine go­vernment; reason teaches, it is a thing worthy of God, and becoming his rectoral perfections, to give them a more perfect rule for that pur­pose, and to supply the defects of the natural law by revealing his mind and will to them, as a rule of government.

(2.) 'TIS the office of reason to examine the proofs and evidences both internal and external, which are offered to authenticate the revelation, as coming from God to us.

(3.) REASON is of great use in searching into, and helping us to understand the sense and mea­ning of the revelation itself. And so a meer dis­ciplinary knowledge may be sufficient to give a right explanation of the words of the revelation, both the language and sense, though the things contained therein may need the illumination of the Spirit, in order to a right perception of them.

[Page 38](4.) BEING satisfied in the sufficiency, clear­ness and conclusiveness of the proofs and evi­dences of this revelation, reason teaches, we ought to receive it, to believe it, and submit to it, as of divine authority, with as perfect ac­quiescence of mind, as in the clearest dictates of natural light; tho' it contains things beyond the grasp of our reason, things seemingly incredible, and incomprehensible to our frail intellects, yet being assured of the authenticness of the revela­tion, as coming from God, there is nothing in the world more rational than that we should receive them as divine truths; or that reason should submit to faith, resting on the authority and veracity of the divine revealer. He that contradicts this must be led to say, I will not believe what God speaks to be true, because I cannot comprehend it; which would be a bold affront to a mortal man: In this case, frail de­praved reason is no competent judge of divine mysteries; both the principle and the object are super-natural; the object, the things of the Spirit, or the things revealed by the Spirit; and the principle, a spiritual discerning; for want of which the meer natural man in his best improve­ments, is uncapable of a true perception of the things of the Spirit. *

5. WE see hence how vainly it is pretended, that christianity is nothing else, but natural reli­gion revived, with a few positive institutions annexed. 'Tis readily granted that christianity [Page 39] contains the natural law restored to its greatest purity; but to say, this is the whole of christia­nity, is only to give a christian name to deism, and to deny an atoning Mediator to be a doctrine of christianity. The christian religion in the strict and proper notion of it, may be considered as a scheme of divine dispensations, designed to reduce apostate man to the practice of natural religion, and to furnish him with right princi­ples for that purpose; as this latter is understood to import a system of all the virtues requisite and conducive to the perfection and happiness of man's reasonable nature: And in this strict accep­tation, christianity is plainly distinct from natu­ral religion. If indeed we had been a race of innocent beings, natural religion might have served our turn, we had needed nothing more for securing our final happiness, than our conti­nuing obedient to the precepts of it: But a sin­ner needs a religion to teach him how to get re­conciled to an offended God, before he can en­tertain the least hope of happiness. The religion of nature teaches him nothing of this: If you say, it is an article of natural religion, that we ought to repent of our sins, and thereby recon­cile ourselves to God, after having offended him: This indeed, I know is said; but upon what warrant? Perhaps, this is one of the refinements christianity has made upon the religion of na­ture. But it is certain, the original law of nature knows nothing of a sinner's repentance, but constantly supposes the perfect innocence of it's [Page 40] subject; nor speaks a word of the method of a sinner's reconciliation to an offended God.— (This I say of the original law of nature, allowing at the same time, that this natural law, as it hath place in the christian scheme, tho' it re­quires perfect obedience, yet does not suppose the perfect innocence of its subject, because it admits atonement for sin, upon repentance, and faith in a redeemer.) Wherefore, let those just men who need no repentance, sit down conten­ted with their natural religion, or their refine­ments upon it; every true christian, who is con­scious to himself of his being a sinner, will es­teem the revealed doctrine of a proper redempti­on, and of the perfect righteousness and atone­ment of the redeemer, and of the remission of sins, and justification thro' faith in his blood, the very heart of christianity, and will find the life of his soul in these things.

6. WE hence also infer, that God expects duty and service from men, in proportion to the degrees of knowledge and understanding he has given them. The inferior creatures have only sense and instinct to guide them; and are not capable of a moral command: But men whom God hath taught more than the beasts of the earth, being endued with rational capacities, from them he expects the service of reasonable creatures, in obedience to a moral law; and a­mong men God has greater expectations of duty from christians, in proportion to their greater privilege in having the light of revelation super­added [Page 41] to that of nature, than from unenlightned Pagans: And among christians God expects more duty and service from those who are more peculiarly privileged with means of instruction; ministers, scholars, and persons of higher rank, who are favoured with singular advantages and opportunities for acquiring useful knowledge, than from the illiterate vulgar; and accordingly must their account be, agreable to that equita­ble maxim of our Saviour —To whomsoever much is given, of them shall much be required.

AND here, if I might be permitted to address a word, agreable to the subject discoursed, to the students of this academy; (and surely it will not be deemed impertinent to the design of the pious founder of this lecture;) I would on­ly say, as you have great advantages for culti­vating and polishing your reasonable powers by the liberal arts and sciences, which may be of manifold use in all the affairs of life, especially in matters of religion and morality; so it is to be hoped your improvements will be proportio­nable. And it may deserve a serious thought, that your improvement or neglect of the special opportunities you enjoy in your learning age, for enriching your minds with the various kinds of useful literature, may furnish matter of either comfortable or sorrowful reflection to you, all your remaining days. Happy youths, under your present advantages, if you knew your own happiness!

[Page 42]TAKE care not only to store your understand­ings with principles of truth for speculation, but let them be reduced to practice, by influencing your affections and active powers, that your tempers and conversations may be governed by principles of truth and reason. This will be the best commendation of your learning. If you would be instructed in the art of pleasing, or know how to behave, so as to be accepted of God, and approved of men, the best advice that can be given in general is, shew yourselves men, behave as reasonable creatures ought to do, both towards God, and towards men. Study the precepts of right reason, and aim at, and endeavour after a rational conduct in all your relations, towards your superiors, equals, and inferiors: Such a rational conduct, (as it will yield abundant satisfaction and pleasure to your­selves in reflection) will appear highly decorous, amiable, pleasing, yea charming to all the sons of wisdom and virtue; and you will be furnish­ed for acceptable service to your generation, whether in church or common-wealth.

AS to those of you who may have a view to the sacred ministry, let me recommend an im­partial regard to truth, especially to religious truth, in your studies and disquisitions. Let no­thing be admitted for truth, but what a rational judgment shall pronounce such, upon solid con­vincing evidence. Guard against prejudices and prepossessions of every kind; against preju­dices arising from education, interest or any [Page 43] corrupt passion. Let no opinion be embraced as true and sound, merely because it is received by tradition from the fathers, without impartial examination. To prove all things, and hold fast that which is good and true, is the counsel of in­spired scripture.* However, there may be, I confess, no small danger of carrying this caution too far. Young men taught by precepts, but not sufficiently by experience, thro' the vivacity of their temper, affectation of novelty, or an over-weaning conceit of their abilities, as superior to those of their predecessors, or through a vain curiosity, or an humorous singularity, or the alurement of some plausible, tho' false reasonings in a favourite author, are many times prone too rashly to throw off the principles of their education. Their sprightly wits account it a dull business, and too tedious to hold on in the same old path, because it is old, tho' it be the good and right way; and are apt to strike out into some untried and untrodden path, till by a more grave and mature judgment, and sounder experience, they be convinced of their error. Extremes are therefore to be avoided: Examine old principles as strictly as possible; this we ex­hort, and urge you to, without all fear of the consequences; being well assured, that the more deeply and thoroughly and impartially they are studied and searched into, the more you will be confirmed in them; but cast them not off, till it plainly appears they will not stand [Page 44] the test of reason or scripture; and whatever opinions will not abide this test, tho' men of learning and renown have been the abettors of them, reason warrants their abdication.—Magis amica veritas. As truth is always uniform and consonant to itself, so errors are various and of­ten opposite to each other, as well as to the truth; there is therefore this further caution to be observed, that upon the discovery of the error of any particular opinion, you be not car­ried away thro' a spirit of opposition, into the other extreme, no less disagreeable to truth, which is no uncommon thing among men; and so thro' aversion to error fall into error: And therefore a careful and dispassionate examination of principles is requisite to your being steadily fixed in the golden medium of truth. — Guard in like manner against prejudices arising from interest, and worldly advantages, whereby you may be in danger of being tempted to forsake the old paths, wherein your pious progenitors have walked. But having by due enquiry found out the truth, to the satisfaction of your own minds, stand stedfast and inflexible to all tempta­tions.—Buy the truth (says Solomon ) buy it at any rate, whatever pains or study it cost you; and sell it not, part not with it upon any terms, because no exchange, no equivalent can be gi­ven for it: All secular interests, honours, pre­ferments, power, or reputation, are of no weight in counter-ballance to truth; therefore "hold fast the form of sound words."

[Page 45]NOW tho' human instruction and discipline are a most valuable advantage, in order to form and prepare the mind for religion and virtue, ‘yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.’ Rest not in meer human teaching, though the best of the kind; but submit your souls, with the meekness and humility of Jesus Christ, to the teaching of the Spirit of God. "Who teacheth like him?" especially in those doctrines and truths which are of his inspiration, whose office it is to lead you into, and confirm you in the truth, and establish you against error. Beg this gift, therefore, of the Father of lights, that he would irradiate and warm your hearts with the heavenly light of his Spirit, that with a better re­lish, and a better hope of success, you may apply your minds to search into, and understand divine mysteries, and receive the impressions of them on your own souls: In his light we shall see light; so that as you are the hopes of the present, you may, thro' divine grace, be the blessings of the next generation: that as the Jews were wont to call the sons of their priests, who should one day succeed them in the priestly office, Pirchéi che­hunnah, * the flowers of the priesthood; so we look upon our studious and pious youths, the sons of the prophets, as the flowers of the mi­nistry: May God grant you to blossom and flou­rish in all divine and human literature, and in all virtuous and religious endowments, and in [Page 46] due time to bring forth ripe fruit in the service and edification of the church of Christ.

FINALLY (to add no more): Let us hence see the equity, the easiness and pleasantness of the religion of Jesus Christ; which, as to the practical part, is founded in the reason and na­ture of man, and so may in some sense be said to be natural, as being adapted to the principles of light and truth in his rational nature, tho' not to the inclinations and dispositions of his carnal nature; and what is natural must be easy and pleasant:—And why should not the service of Christ be as pleasant to its votaries, having their rational nature on its side, though it has corrupt passion and appetite against it, as the service of sin is to its votaries, having their carnal nature on its side, tho' it has reason and conscience against it; and much more so, as the manly pleasures of religion and virtue vastly transcend the sordid pleasures of brutal appetite? With good reason, therefore, has our blessed Saviour left us this recommendation of his religion, my yoke is easy and my burden is light. And from the whole we see the folly, the unreasonableness and brutishness of sin and vice; its disagreableness to the nature of man as a rational creature, and its certain tendency to his ruin. And on the other hand, we see also the wisdom of being tru­ly religious, which is nothing else but giving free scope to reason and conscience to exert them­selves, [Page 47] under the directions of revelation, in the right government of our tempers and lives. And this is the true wisdom of man, according to the ancient oracle, which ever has been, and ever will be, found of immutable verity, as long as man is man, to the end of the world. In Job 28. ult. Unto man he said, behold the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, and to depart from evil is understand­ing.


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