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Sfrm. none of the smallest instances of its WisX".dom.

Upon the whole; the Patriarchs and the Jews were a standing Theocracy, and perpetual Testimony against Idolatry > as a Light of true Religion, upon a Hill, held forth unto all Nations. And the Wisdom of that Jcwish Institution appeared particularly in This, that by a number of rites in the worship of the true God, they were preserved from running after false Gods served by their neighbouring nations; and those rites were at the fame time, both emblems of moral Purity, and Types of Christ: By whose coming at last in the fulness of Time, the Wisdom of God most of all conspicuously manifested itself, in bringing Life and Immortality to Light, and discovering plainly how all the various Scenes and Dispenfations of Providence through the course of all Ages in this World, should at the final Judgment terminate in a just retribution of reward and punishment to every single person according to his desert. But this belongs more properly to the next Head, viz. the manifestation of the Wisdom of God in his Lavs.


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Col. ii. 3.

In whom are hid all the Treasures of Wisdom.

|N a former Discourse uponShrm. these Words I have {hown, X*111st in general, That God must of Necessity be infinitely Wife; and lldly, I proposed to consider, more distinctly and in particular, the different Manifestations of this divine Wisdom, in the Works of God, in his Government, and in his Laws. The Two former of these considerations, viz. the Works of God, and his Government of the World by Providence, I have already gone through: The

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Serm. J</ and M, Which is the ManifeftaXI11, tion of the Wisdom of God in his Laws,

^'^^will be the Subject of the present Discourse. Now the primary and original Law of God, is the Law of Nature ; That eternal and unchangeable Law of Morality, which neceflarily arises from the Nature of Creatures, and from their Relation to God and to each other. And the Wisdom of This Law, is the very lame as the W isdom of God's Creation itself; being nothing else, than the universal Benefit and Happiness of all reasonable Creatures, arising from their acting according to that Nature which God has given them, and according to the respective Relations wherein they are placed thereby.

The next Law of God given to Men, was the Mosaick Institution: ( For the several Appearances of God to she Patriarchs, were but so many revealed confirmations of the Law of Nature :-) And the Wisdom of That Institution given to the "Jews by Moses, appeared by its being fitted, by a number of Rites and Ceremonies used in the Service of the True God, to preserve them from the numerous Temp# taticns of that idolatrous worship paid to


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False Gods, wherewith all the Nations Se R M. were overspread around them. Which XIII. Rites were also at the lame time, both apt W^>S' Emblems of moral Purity, and Types of what was after to be accomplished by Christ. Upon which account, St Paul elegantly describes the Use of the Law, that it was their School-master to brim them unto Christ, that they might be justified by Faith, Gal. iii. 24. by Faith, that is, not by bare Belief in opposition to Obedience, but by the obedience of that Christian Religion which was by way of eminence called by the name of Faith, as the Jewish Religion had been stiled the Law. But These things I do but just mention, as preparatory to what follows.

The Last and Great Manifestation of the Wisdom of God in his Laws, is the Gospel itself; that plenary and final Revelation of the Will of God by Christ, upon account of which, Christ is stiled the Wisdom of God, 1 Cor. i. 24: And the words of the Text itself, tho' they be indeed of such ambiguous construction, that they may possibly enough be understood of the Wisdom of God the Father, as one of the divine Attributes, in general•„ or of


S E R M.tbe Wisdom of Christ, in general, as being that divine Person in whom dwelt the fulness of the Godhead bodily; yet, considering the occasion and manner upon which they are introduced, it seems to be their most natural meaning and intent to affirm, with regard only to the Gospel in particular, that in Chrisl are hid all the Treasures of Wisdom. For the Apostle having in the foregoing verse, been speaking concerning the acknowledgment of the Mystery, of God the Father and of Christ; by which mystery he plainly means the Gospel; must reasonably be understood, when he adds immediately these next words, all the Treasures of Wisdom, to intend still to express thereby the fame mystery. The Gospel therefore is here stiled by the Apostle, Col. ii. 3, all the Treasures of Wisdom; that is, all the treasures of That Wisdom, which God intended to make known to the World by Christ. And because it is That particular instance of the divine Wisdom, in which, of all others, we are most concerned; 'tis therefore fit we mould more distinctly inlarge upon it. Now in order to set forth more clearly, the Wisdom of God in this


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