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stay behind. It was this Principle of Generosity, which kept up Virtue among the Heathens; it is this which gave Rise and Increase to Arts and Sciences, and which now maintaineth Valour. Our Lord hath improved the Use of it, and directed it to a yet more noble End; proposing the Excellency and the Rewards of Obedience; hold. ing out the Crown of Victory, and encouraging us to strive for the Mastery.

He hath in this Precept concerning Exemplariness, given to us a yer further Scope for the Exercise of Generosity; not only proposing Rewards to the Conquerors, to those of a more elevated Virtue, but also to such, who, excited by their illustrious Example should follow them, although at a Distance; making them thereby the Instru. ments of saving others, and that possibly in great Numbers. At least, there is scarce any one of us so inconsiderable, who may not have so much Influence and Authority upon

some one or other, as to move and direct him by his Example; which if he doth, he will for ever enjoy this Satisfaction, that he hath been the Occasion of infinite Happiness to another: which to a good and a generous Mind, is a strong Argument of the Pursuit and Practice of those Virtues and Perfections, which may, make him Examplary, that so he may promote the Reformation of the World, and the eternal Happiness of other Men.

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seem indeed past Hope, that in this degenerate Age, when so few endeavour to obtain their own Salvation, or are good for their own fake, any should attempt it for the sake of other Men. Yet I do not despair, that there are yet such generous Minds left in the World, who esteem it no small Felicity to themselves to promote the Good of other Men; and acting upon this Persuasion, fludy to be Good and Excellent, that by their Example others may be drawn to the fame Practice, and thereby secure to themselves a State of Happiness.

To fuch exemplary Persons, frequent Praise is given, and eminent Rewards promised. More particularly in Daniel xii. They that be wise Jhall shine as the brightness of the Firmament; and they that turn many to Righteousness, as the Stars for ever and ever.

The Lustre of our Lord's Example is compared to the Brightness of the Sun; the Example of wise and holy Men to the fixed Stars, which however far inferior to the Glory of the Sun, yet are seated in Heaven, and communicate to the Earth a Light ne. ver to be extinguished, and that at a great Distance. The nearer we approach to these luminous Bodies, the greater Light we shall receive from them.

The Examples of holy Men while alive are so many thining and burning Lights in their several Generations; and even after their Deaths will derive exceeding Influence to succeeding Ages, so long as the Memory of their eminent Piety and good Works shall be continued. Those excellent Graces, wherewith they were endued, those noble Testimonies of Virtue and Holiness, which they gave, tended no less to the Benefit of the whole Church, and the Ipstruction of other Christians, than to their own Salvation; and if they be not equally beneficial to us at this Distance of Time, it is because we either take no Care to obtain the knowledge of them, or suffer the Remembrance of thein to slip out of our Minds.

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their

It is undeniable indeed, that in this present Age, and among us especially, the Memory of these things is almost lost, which is not the least Caule of the prevailing Wickedness of the Age; and present Examples of equal Lustre are very rare,

or indeed scarce any; yet for all that, those holy Perfons cease not to retain their glorious Seat in Heaven, and there, as the Prophet faith, to shine as the brightness of the Firmament; as the fixed Stars always maintain their Stations, and preserve their Light, although at any time not seen by us.

To this glorious Station in Heaven our Lord hath

promised to advance all those, who by extraordinary Piety and the eminent Exercise of good Works ihall endeavour not only to save their own Souls, but also to profit the

Church

Church in general, and to promote the Salvation of any other in particular.

May the Hope of this glorious Reward excite every one of you to the Performance of this Duty of Exemplariness; And may God of his infinite Mercy accept and crown your Endeavours, for the Sake and Merits of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ: To whom, &c.

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SER

SERMON XXI.

Preach'd on December 25. 1690.

at Lambeth Chapel.

LU KE Il. 14.

Glory to God in the Highest, and on Earth

Peace, Good-will towards Men.

W

HAT the Patriarchs saw afar off

and desired, what the Prophets foretold, and just Men in all preceeding Ages did assuredly expect, the Manifestation of God in the Flesh, and the Salvation of Mankind to be wrought thereby, did this Day receive its final Accomplishment by the Birth of our Lord and Saviour; the Commemoration of which is the Occasion of this present Solemnity.

Nor can we more fitly commemorate it, than by this admirable Hymn, which the Angels and heavenly Hoft upon this Occa. sion sang before us; and the Church hath

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