Imatges de pÓgina

can befall them, but he is perfectly apprised of it. There is no surprising of the keeper of Israel, who neither slumbers nor sleeps; and he sees all with his own eyes, which no prince on earth can pretend to.

(4.) He is most tender of his subjects, and of all their interests, his government being exactly calculated for making them truly happy; Rom. viii. 28, "All things work together for good to them that love God." There is such a close connection of their duty and interest, that it is impossible for them to neglect their duty; but as far as they do neglect it, they prove false to their interest. He governs them as a father, with the tender affection that one does his own family, Is. xl. 11, "He shall feed his flock like a shepherd; he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young."

MOTIVE 2. While ye are not under his government, ye are under the government of Satan, Acts xxvi. 18. While this prince governs you not, the prince of darkness doth. And his government, as it is most imperious, so it is most unjust, and destructive of the true interest of souls. He is a cruel lord, and delights in and seeks the misery and ruin of his subjects. We may frame a true notion of his governmeut from his managing of those among whom his power is absolute. What a wretched way does he manage the poor Pagans, the possessed, and those who are in express compact with him? So does he with others, though in a spiritual and covered


MOTIVE 3. Jesus Christ is your rightful prince and governor. Satan is an usurper, the throne belongs to Jesus of right. He is so by the irreversible constitution of heaven; Psalm ii. 6, "I have set my king upon my holy hill of Zion." He was born a king. Ye were devoted to him in baptism, and as members of his church, ye profess yourselves his subjects, Luke vi. 46.

MOTIVE 3. Lastly, If ye submit not to him, he will treat you as rebels, who have broken your faith and allegiance to him, and cast off the yoke of his government. He is presented to you as your lawful prince born; it will be dangerous to refuse him. The day is coming wherein he will judge the world, and behold the end of the rebels against his government; Luke xix. 27, "But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me."

Wherefore consider how other lords have had the dominion over you; the necessity of taking him for your lord and governor; if he be your Saviour, he must be your king, Hos. xiii 9, 10, "O Israel, thou hast destroyed thyself, but in me is thine help. I will be thy king." Solemnly give up yourselves to him.


ISAIAH ix. 6,

And his name shall be called Wonderful, Counseller, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.

HERE is held out the incomparable excellency of this Prince and Governor presented to us. "His name is called," so the original carries it. "One hath called his name," i.e. "His name is called, Wonderful," &c. The connection is, "Unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given, on whose shoulder the government is laid, and whose name is called, Wonderful," &c.; so that the scope of this latter part of the text is, to commend the Prince presented to us from his " name," which is here unfolded, to be " a name above every name."

DOCTRINE. The name of Christ by which he is called, is a name above every name, fit to commend him to the souls of poor sinners.

The name is that which follows in several parts here, viz. : "Wonderful, Counsellor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace. Many glorious names are used by the princes of the earth; but there is no name among them all like this. None so high and honourable, none so sweet and lovely, none so adapted to make the subjects happy. Consider here,

I. Who calls him by this name.

II. What his being called by it imports.

III. Lastly, Apply.

I. Who calls him by this name? And,

1. His Father has called him by this name, Phil. ii. 9, " God hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name." His Father best knows what he is, to give him a name expressive of his nature. And he has, by his spirit in the prophet, given him this glorious one. In effect he proclaimed it; Matt. xvii. 5, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."

2. All his people call him by this name, flying to him in their first believing as such a one, and depending on him all along their course of life as such a one.

II. What does his being called by this name import?

1. That he really is what this name bears. God gives no empty titles, nor will empty titles answer the necessities of believers. As his name, so is his nature; the name truly expresses what he is.

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2. He manifests himself to be what the name bears. What he is called, he is found to be in the experience of saints.

USE. Study the name of Christ, as represented in the word, so as your souls may be enamoured of him.


ISAIAH ix. 6,
His name shall be called Wonderful.

HERE begins the name of him whom the Father presents and gives to us for our prince. The first syllable of it is "Wonderful."

The word signifies "miracle," a work past reach of the creature's power and skill, or knowledge, and so competent to God alone; Exod. XV. 11, "Who is like unto thee, O Lord, amongst the Gods? who is like unto thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders?" Psalm lxxvii. 14, "Thou art the God that dost wonders." Every miracle is wonderful, but every wonderful thing is not a miracle. Our Lord Christ is not only a wonderful one, but a miracle, a miraculous one, one most wonderful. He is beyond the creature's comprehension. So that this is fitly made the first syllable of his name, that men may know, that whatever they know of his excellencies, there is still more behind; and though they may apprehend, they cannot comprehend what he is.

DOCTRINE. Jesus Christ, who is presented and given to us of the Father for our prince, is and appears to be a miraculous one, a most wonderful personage.

In prosecuting this doctrine, I shall enquire,

I. Under what notion Christ is held forth as a miracle, a miraculous person.

II. What is the import of Christ as God-man his being and appearing to be a miraculous one.

III. In what respects he is so.

IV. Lastly, Apply the doctrine.

I. I shall enquire, Under what notion Christ is held forth as a miracle, a miraculous person. Ye have heard already, a miracle is a divine work, and competent to God alone, beyond the reach of any creature. Now, Christ is and appears a miracle. Hence it follows, that he is not so called,

1. In respect of his being a miracle-worker. For it is himself, and not his work, that is here called a miracle. Moreover, the prophets and apostles were miracle-workers, John xiv. 12. Yet this name is above every name, not competent to them, but to him alone.

2. Nor in respect of his divine nature simply, and his eternal generation of the Father. This part of his name does not point him out to us simply as God For besides that that is, by itself, another syllable of his name, "The Mighty God," the scripture, for all that I can discern, doth not warrant us to call him the work of his Father in that respect. And the Father works miracles through the Son by the Spirit; Luke xi. 20, compared with Matt. xii. 28. But the eternal generation of the Son is proper to the Father alone.

3. Nor in respect of his human nature simply. This part of his name does not point him out simply as man neither. For though man is indeed a divine work, yet he is not a work competent to God alone; for the scripture owns man himself to be the father of man's flesh; Heb. xii. 9. But,

4. Christ is held forth as a miracle, a miraculous personage, as God-man in one person. This part of his name points him out to us precisely as our incarnate Redeemer, and is given him precisely in respect of his incarnation. Behold him, God-man, the Word made flesh; and ye behold the miracle, the miraculous person. So the text, "A child, a son, his name Wonderful."

Thus he is a work done or made; John i. 14, "The word was made flesh;" a divine work: Heb. x. 5, " When he cometh into the world, he saith,-A body hast thou prepared me; competent to God alone, as a work of creating power; Jer. xxxi. 22, "The Lord hath created a new thing in the earth, a woman shall compass a man." The Son of God in our nature is a miracle indeed, a work beyond the reach of the creature's capacity. Many miracles had been wrought before the Son of God was incarnate, The sea had been divided, the dead raised, a world created out of nothing, which was more; but a greater miracle than any of these, was the incarnation of the Son of God; after all these had been done, this was the creating of a new thing, never any of the kind before.

Wherefore this is the name of our incarnate Redeemer; and when we hear it named, it must represent to us the Son of God in man's nature.

USE 1. O the love of God to poor sinners of mankind! John iii. 16, "God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him, should not perish, but have ever

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lasting life." The greatest work that ever God did, was for their salvation. He made the world for man, and gave it him, Psalm cxv. 16; and the visible heaveus too, Gen. i. 17; (Heb.) yea the highest heavens also he made for them, and gives to them in his Son, Matt xxv. 34. But a greater work than all these he did for them, when he did this miracle of the incarnation of his own Son for them, and gave him, an incarnate Redeemer, to them. O how can we escape the most fearful doom, if we neglect this great salvation! How worthy are they to perish, that will not be saved, when God has wrought this greatest miracle to save them?

2. What unaccountable stupidity is it in men, not to consider, admire, and be swallowed up in contemplation of this miracle; and not to be in deepest love with this miraculous personage given to them? Ah! have we not all been careless, unmoved spectators of this miracle? How many have never spent a few minutes in the consideration and admiration of him? Have ye not gazed on and wondered at some trifle, more than at this greatest of the works of God? Have ye not been more deeply in love with some person or thing for its shadowy excellencies, than with this miraculous person? Cease to wonder at the Jews' obstinacy, in not being moved to believe by all his miracles; for a greater than them all is here, to wit, his miraculous self; and yet we are unmoved.

II. What is the import of Christ as God-man, his being and appearing to be a miraculous, most wonderful one? Considering this as the name of Christ, to commend him to sinners; it imports,

1. The excellency of his person as God-man. He is an excellent, glorious, and lovely one; Heb. i. 3, "Being the brightness of his Father's glory, and the express image of his person." Though the blind world perceive not his excellency, saying as Isa. liii. 2, "He hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him ;" it is not but through their own default, by reason of their blindness; for his glory shines forth, to be perceived by those whose eyes are opened; John i. 14, "We beheld his glory," &c. But the glory of the sun is not seen by the blind man, nor the glory of Christ by unbelievers.

2. The fulness of excellencies in him, our incarnate Redeemer. His name is Miracle, a collective word. There is a confluence of excellencies in him; lɔɔk to him in every part, and all is excellent in him; Cant. v. 16, "He is altogether lovely." Some excel in one thing, some in another; as Moses in meekness, Samson in strength, Solomon in wisdom: but none but Christ in all. Moses, we would say, was a miracle of meekness, Samson of strength, and Solomon of wisdom. But Christ is miracle all over: meekness, strength,



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