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thren of worms (in Job's style); we exiles of paradise, s ER M. we heirs of death and misery ; we, that by our nature are the lowest of all intelligent creatures, that by our merits were debased benenih the beats that pe- Pirl. xlix. rijh, that we are aflumed to luch relations, that we 12. are ennobled to such a pitch, that onr nature hath mounted so high above all creatures, with what enlargement of heart should we entertain a difpenfation so wonderful ! how welcome should that day be, which doth introduce it p!

6. Finally, if we survey all principal causes of joy, and special exultation, we shall find them all concurring in this event.

is a messenger of good news embraced with joy? Behold the great Evangelist is come, with his mouth full of news, most admirable, most acceptable : he, who doth acquaint us, that God is well pleated, that man is restored, that the Adversary is cast dowi, that Apoc. xii. paradise is let open, and immortality retrieved ; that join xiv. iruth and righteoutness, peace and joy, salvation and 3o happinets are descended, and come to dwell on carth; he of whom the prophet tok, How beautiful upon the Ifa. lii. 7. mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidinos; Rom. x. 15. that pulli/beth peace, that bringeth good tidings of good, ibat publisherh salvatiol, that saith wito Zion, by God reignetb; he who doth himleif thus declare the drift and purport of his meilage; The spirit of the Lord !sa. Ixi. 1, God is 74pcil me, to preach good tidings into the week ; Luke is.18, be haib int me 10 bind 14,9 the broken hearted; to pro.19. chuim liberty 10 the captites, and opeiling of the prisoil 10 thein th:t are bolad; 10 proclaim the acceptable rear of the Lord, to confort all that niouril.

Is the birth of a prince by honest subjects to be commemorated with joyous festivity? Behold a lla. xi. 2. Prince born to all the world! a Prince undertaking to rule mankind with tweetest clemency and exact

Luke x. 28.

Pial. xlv. &
Ixxii.

p Hic infirmitatis noftræ fufcipiens conditionem, propter quos ad interna defcendit eosdem in cæleftibus collocavit. Liv de Nat. 5.

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justice;

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Ifa. ix. 3.

Luke xi.

SER M.justice; a Prince bringing with him all peace and

prosperity; in whose days fudah Mall be saved, and

Israel Jhull dwell safely; who shall protect us in afJer.xxiii. 6. (ured rest and safety ; thall secure us from all dan

ger and mischief; shall atchieve most gallant and glorious exploits in our behalf; Thall vanquish all the enemies of our welfare ; shall rescue us from the

worst flaverics and mischiefs; shall fettle us in a idike i. 71, most free and happy fate : he who bringeth salvation Ito 75. from our enemies, and from the hands of all that hate is,

that, being delivered from the hands of our enemies, we might serve him without fear, in holiness and righteousness

before him, all the days of our life. Now therefore it Apoc. xix. is seasonable to cry out, Allelujah, for the Lord God 6, 7. xi. 15. omnipcient reigneth; let us be glad and rejoice, and give

bonour to him.

May victory worthily beget exultation ? See the

invincible Warrior doth ifľue forth into the field, Apoc. vi. 2. conquering and to conquer : he that shall baffle and rifle

the siroing oile, our formidable adversary ; that shall Col. ii. 15. rout all the forces of hell, and triumph over the

powers of darkness; that utterly shall defeat fin, and ilay death itself; that ihall subdue the world, and lay all things proftrate at his feet; behold the Captain of our salvation, arrayed with glorious huinility, and arıned with a mighty patience ; see, the great

blow is struck, at which the infernal powers do ftag1 John iii. ger; the Devil's pride and envy are abased, all the Rom. xvi. enemies are amazed, are daunted, are confounded at

his presence ; they cannot stand, they break, they scatter, they flee before him.

Is a proclamation of peace, after rueful wars, to Eph. ii. 17. be foleninized with alacrity? Behold then everlast

ing peace between heaven and earth, a general peace anong men, a sound peace between each good man and himself are fettled and published; the illustrious

herald, the noble hostage of them is arrived ; the Ifa. vii. 2: Prince of peace himself doth bring all peace unto us. Is fatisfaction of desire, and hope very plealant?

Behold

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(John vi, 33.)

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Atts x. 36. lia, ix. 6.

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Behold the desire of all nations, the expectation of Israel, s E R M. he for whom the whole creation groaned, is come.

Is recovery of liberty delectable to poor Naves and captives? Behold, the Redeemer is come out of Sion; the precious ransom, sufficient to purchase the freedom of many worlds, is laid down ; unblemished innocence, purity, and perfection appearing in human nature, have procured a releatement for us; have unlocked the prison of fin detaining us, have (Gal. iii. knocked off the shackles of guilt forely pinching and 22.) galling our consciences; have wrested us from the hands of those proud masters, who claimed a right, who exerciled a most tyrannous power over us ?; he is come, that proclaimerh liberty to the captives, and Luke ir. 18. opening of the prison to them thai are bound, the time is come, of which the prophet foretold ; The ranfomed Ifa. xxxv. of the Lord shall return, and come 10 Sion with longs, and everlasting joy upon their heads; they shall obtain joy and gladness ; and Jorrow and sighing shall flee away.

Is an overture of health acceptable to fick and languithing persons ? Behold the great Physician, luke x. 33. endued with admirable skill, and furnished with infallible remedies, is come, to cure us of our maladies, and case us of our pains; to bind up our wounds, and to pour in balm (the most sovereign balm of his 1 Pet. ii. 24. own blood) into them; to free us, not only from all mortiferous diseases, but from mortality itself: he, who was sent 10 bind up and heal the broken hearted; he, who himself took our infirmities, and bare our fick- 1a. liii. t nefjës; he, of whom the prophet (in relation to cor- Matt. viii. poral, and much more to spiritual infirmities) did ifa xxxv. foretel ;-God will come and save yoll; then the eyes of $; 5. the blind Jhall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall Luke v. 1 3. be unstopped; then shall the lame man leap as a bart,

Matt, ix. 12.

Luke iv. 18.

? Nam superbia hostis antiqui non immerito fibi in omnes homines jos tyrannicum vindicabat, nec indebito dominatu preniebat, quos a mandato Dei fpontaneos in obsequium five voluntatis allexerat. Leo de Nat. Serm. 2.

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(Ezek. xxvi. 26.

SE R M.and the tongue of the dumb shall sing ; he, whose art no

discale can reht, who is able to cure our most der

perate, our most inveterate distempers; to heal the (John xii. corruption and impotency of our nature, to avoid Aets 1. 38. the ignorances and errors of our understanding, to I.uke x. 34-) correct the stupidity of our hearts, the perverleness

of our wills, the disorder of our affections, to initiEph.li. 10., gate our anguish of conscience, and cleanié our fores

of guilt; by various efficacious medicines, by the wholclone instructions of his doctrine, by the powerful inspirations of his grace, by the refreshing comforts of his fpirit, by the falutary virtue of his merits and sufferings.

Is mirth seasonable on the day of marriage ? Behold the greatest wedding that ever was is this day folemnized : heaven and earth are contracted; divinity is espoused to humanity ; a facred, an indis

foluble knot is tied between God and man; The Joel ii. 16. Bridegroom is come forth out of his chamber, (verbum

Dei de utero virginali) clad in his nuptial garment

of flesh, and ready to wed the Church his beloved A poc. xix. Spouse"; Let us therefore be glad and rejoice ; for the

marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made kerself ready.

Is the access of a good friend to be received with cheerful gratulation? Behold the dearest and best friend of all mankind (most able, most willing, most ready to perform all good offices, to impart wholefome advice, needful aid, sweet converte, and seasonable confolation) is arrived to visit us, to sojourn with us, to dwell with us for ever.

Is opportune relief grateful to persons in a forlorn condition, pinched with extreme want, or plunged

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r In natali Domini quasi in nuptiis fpiritualibus sponsæ fuæ Eccletiæ Chriftus adjunétus eft--tunc proceffit sponsus de thalamo suo, hoc eft, verbum Dei de utero virginali. Aug. de temp. Sarm. 2. "Η πασας έν ή ο λόγο ενυμφεύσατο την σάρκα, Ρrocl. in Εph. p. 1.

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37.

xliv. 3.

Matt. xi.

in any hard distress ? Behold, a merciful, a bounti-S ER M. ful, a mighty Saviour and succourer, undertaking 10 comfort all ihat mourn, inviting all such to receive froin him a plentiful supply for their needs, a conifortable ease in their preilures, a happy riddance from their calainities; who crieth aloud, If any orieExçats. thirfieth, let him come to me and drink; Come to me allJohn vii. ve ihat labour and are beavy laden, and I will give you ita. Iv. 1. rejt.

Is the sun-rising comfortable, after a tedious, 28. darksome, and cold night? See, ihe Sun of righteous- Mal. iv. 2. ness is rifer with healing in his wings, dispensing all about his pleasant rays and kindly influences : TheLuke i. 98. dav-spring from or high hath visited us; diffusing an universal light upon the souls of men, whereby the night of ignorance is dispeiled, the spectres of error are vanished, the mists of doubt are scattered ; whereby we clearly and assuredly discern all truths of importance to us, and worthy of our knowledge ; concerning the nature and attributes, the works and providence, the will and pleasure of God; concerning ourselves, our nature and original, our duty and interest, our future state, and final doom : Our light Ifa. Ix. 1. is come, and the glory of the Lord is rifeil al poil us ; the light of the world, the true light, enlightening every man, i. by whose lustre all flesh may see the salvation of God, i. 79. and which guideth our feet in the way of peace, doth visibly shine forth upon us.

Never indeed did heaven with so fair and serene a countenance smile upon earth, as then it did, when this (asing napapos xai op Jpovès,) bright and morn-Apoc. xxii. ing-fiar did spring up above our horizon, bringing this 16. goodly day; and with it shedding life and chcer among us.

From this auspicious day did commence the revocation of that fatal curse, by which we were expelled from paradise, adjudged to death, and committed to hell; from thence we becam, reinstated

in

Prin viii. 12. ix. 5.

Luke iii. 6.

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