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follows a most sublime description of his person and attributes ; for, his name shall be called signifies, according to the Hebrew idiom, he shall be, as the recital of one or two passages will fully evince. The first is a preceding prediction of this prophet, c. vii. 14, relative, likewise, 10 this great personage ; and thou shalt call his name Immanuel, i. e. he shall be Immanuel, or God with us.* The other is as remarkable a prophesy of Jeremiah, c. xxiii. 6, referring to the same person, this is his name whereby he shall be called, the Lord our Righteousness," which affords us an opportunity of correcting a manifest, and not improbably a wilful, corruption of the corresponding passage in c. xxxiii. . 16, where undoubtedly we should read, he shall be called, and not she shall be called, the Lord our Righteousness. For the absurdity of supposing the church of Jerusalem to be the Lord our Righteousness is apparent at first sight. +
But, says the cavelling sceptic, these august titles can never be reconciled with the mean birth, obscure life, and ignominious death, of him who was born in a manger, lived as a vagabond, and died as a malefac
The prophet could never design by this pompous and lofty strain to usher the son of a carpenter into the world. These objections may, to inattentive minds, seem more than plausible: but, by giving ourselves the
* Supy. “Periphrasis Christi, qui vere erat Deus incarnatus, et habitans in nobis. Ita notatur simul ratio personæ et officium.” Glassius, Kennic. &c.
+ Though many commentators (see Poole) have taken great pains to make out the sense of the present reading, as relating to the Church of Jerusaleni, yet there can be no doubt that we should read, with one M$. and Syr. 5 instead of os, and supply the word vow, shemo, his name, as in c. xxiii. 6. For, as Calovius very properly observes, “ Non Hierosolymæ, sed Messiæ, hoc nomen hîc tribui, multis indiciis constat. 1o. Ipse Socinus et Crellius id adstruunt adversus Enjedinum, hoc argumento, llierosolyma comprehenditur sub eorum numero quorum Justitia est Jehova ; non ergo notatur ipso nomine Jehora, qui est Justitia nostra. 2o. Ex contextu, Christus, non Ecclesia, hic describitur. Messias hoc loco ita dicitur, ut simul ratio nominis reddatur, quod ipse erit autor Justitiæ nostræ, et faciet judicium et justitiam in terra. 3°. Quod Messias ita solet nominibus conjunctis appellari, ut Gen, iv. 1, Vir Jehovah ; 2 Sam. vii. 19, Homo, Dominus Deus, which Osiander renders thus, " Et hæc est lex hominis, Dei Domini, sive Jehova; i.e. intelligo te de tali Messiæ locutum, cujus rationes exigent, ut sit simul terus homo et æternus Deus.” And Peters follows this interpretation. 4o. Ę locis parallelis, Esa. xlv. 23, 24, Omnis lingua confitebitur, utique in Jeko. vah justitia nostra. Vide Rom. xiv. II. Phil. ii, 10.
trouble of a very slight examination, we shall readily discern that every feature in this prophetic picture perfectly agrees with the person of Christ, and that the resemblance between them is so remarkably striking, that we must instantly confess, with the centurion at the cross, truly this man is the Son of God.
Let us, then, in the first place, see with what propriety the blessed Jesus may be said to be wonderful. Was not the birth of the Son of God of a virgin truly miraculous ? “ Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel :" and that God should send his own Son, in the likeness of sinful flesh, to condemn sin in the flesh, and that we might be made the righteousness of God in hin, such knowledge is too wonderful for us, we cannot attain unto it. This is a prodigy which baffles the wisdom of the philosopher and exceeds the penetration of the most sagacious. The Son of God, born of a virgin, calls for our admiration; the Son of God, lying in a manger, is an object worthy our highest adoration !*
Thus wonderful was Christ in his birth, and his life was but one continued series of miracles. Let us view him walking on the raging sea, and speaking the boisterous waves into the most serene calm : let us hear the answer sent to John by Christ himself: “ The blind receive their sight and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up and the poor have the Gospel preached to them;' and we need not ask what manner of man is this, for no man could have done those things which he did, except God were with him.†
* “ Admirabilis Christus dicitur, ratione, 1oPersonæ, in quâ duæ naturæ hypostaticè uniuntur. 20. Officii triplicis, in quo potentia, sapientia, et bonitas, admiranda elucescit. 3o. Statūs, tum exanitionis, tum exultationis, eorumque actuum," &c. Calovius. “ Alii, tum Hebræi, tum nostri, has voces admirabilem et consiliarium conjungunt. To se videtur esse adjectivum nominis consiliarii, ut sit, consiliarius admirabilis. Vel so est substantivum; ita ad verbum est, miraculum consiliarii; ut dicere solemus, miraculum, vel monstrum, hominis, pro homine monstroso, vel mira. culoso.” Gataker, &c. in Poole. But this opinion greatly diminishes this beautiful climax, and deprives Christ of a distinguishing characteristic.
+ " Sed cur non asserte respondet, se Christum esse? Resp. homines incredulos non verbis conyincere voluit, sed factis; quod certius erat testimonium, et calumniæ minus obnoxium," Mal. don, ex Chrisost. B 2
Bụt as he lived, even so he died, a miracle. The author and giver of life expires on the cross; and, at the very instant of expiration, he discovered that he had power to lay down his life and power to take it again, and his last words on the cross liad something so wonderful in them as to convert the centurion himself;* for, when he saw that he so cried out, and gave up the ghost, he said, “truly this man was the Son of God.” And this august title he'amply confirmed the truth of in raising himself from the dead; for he only, who had the keys of death and hell, could have delivered himself from them.. “ Behold, then, ye despisers, and wonder, lest you perish; for this is he of whom Moses, in the Law and the Prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, , the son of Josephi.”
Let us, in the next place, shew how this same Jesus merits the name of Counsellor ;t and let us only go to the mount and hear his divine sermon, and we must say that never man spake like this man.
All o. ther systems of divinity and morality have been either imperfect or erroneous, and have directed us to a wrong end or misguided us by indirect means; but this is an exact and perfect rule of condućt, proposing heaven as our ultimate aim and righteousness as the path to it. Other moralists and divines have dealt rather in refined speculations than in practical duties; but the evangelical precepts are such as all should know and so plain that all may understand them : “ For the poor bare the Gospel preached to them.//” If to be warned against the greatest
“ Hoc ipsum pro miraculo accessit centurio, quod sic clamans expiravit: nam verbis ejus res ipsa statim respondens ostendebat vere animam ejus a Deo suscipi. Accelerata quippe mors erat divino consilio, antequam vires ejus naturales defecissent.” Grotius, &c.
+ “ Dicitur Chri:tus Consiliarius, 1o. Propter sapientissimum salutis recuperandæ consilium, et decretum quod in Christo Jesu ante tempora sæcularia dispositum fuit, 2 Tim. i. 9. 2o. Propter mirabile justitiæ et misericordiæ divinæ temperamentum,” &c. Glassius. I “ Matt
. vjl. 33. Regnum Dei, ut metam; justitiam, ut viam, quâ ad regnum perveniatur.” Grotius, &c.
Il “ Præcipue videtur Christus hoc vaticinio (Isai. Isi. 1) uti, ut ostendat quantum sua dicendi ratio distet a moribus doctorupi sui seculi. Nam vix quenquam nisi magno pretio docebant, contemnebant plebem, quam vocabant populum terræ; imo proverbium repererant et stultum et superbum, spiritum nor requiescere nisi super divitem. Grotius, &c.
dangers, to be directed to the greatest good, and to be animated and exhorted to the pursuit of it by the most powerful persuasives and motives, deserves the name of counsel, this appellation is peculiarly characteristic of him who is “the way, and the truth, and the life.” And, perhaps, this title of Counsellor was given to the Messiah in contra-distinction to that old Serpent, the Devil and Satan, who seduced our first parents and deceiveth the whole world; whose cunning, artifices, and malicious devices, this divine instructor hath counteracted and defeated, as he himself declares: “ I beheld Satan, as lightning, fall from heaven.” We must all, therefore, if we have our real interest and happiness at heart, say, with St Peter, “ Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.”
Let us now inquire how he acquits himself under the title of mighty God.* And what farther proof or evidence can be wanting that this divine Word was God, after the assurance St John has given us, that “ all things were made by him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.” But that he created the earth, and all that therein is, is incontestably evident from that unlimited authority he exercised over it during his abode on it: he, who could change water into wine, could as certainly create either.+ He, who could multiply five loaves, so as to feed five thousand, might as easily have produced them out of nothing; and he, who could raise the dead, even himself;|| was undoubtedły able to make the living. But I cannot forbear thinking, that this expression of mighty God was originally intended to point out the union of the divine and human natures in the
* “ Nomen bn, Deus, hic Messiæ tribui agnoscunt ipsi Sociniani, Crellius, Volhel, &c. Et omnia Dei nomina Christo in S. S. attribuuntur; Adonai, Elohim, Jehota; et nisi Deus esset Christus, nefas esset in eo gloriari et confidere.”. Calovius, &c. in Poole. Where also may be seen Calovius's ample confutation of Grotius's absurd interpretation of these words, who, connecting them with what precedes, gives them this detestable sense, consultator Dei fortis. + aqua vinum faciens, ostendit se et hujus et istius creaturæ Dominum.” Grotius.
“ Plus hoc est quam aut Moses in manna impetraverat, aut in farina Elias.” Grotius. | See Joh. x. 18. “ Potestatim habeo iterum sumendi. Nempe autcxqatogixhiu, et Deo propriam.” Beza.
the Messiah. For the word translated mighty, (7731, gibbor,) may as properly be rendered man, as will appear from 2 Sam. xxii. 26, where it occurs in the very same form, and must be thus translated, “ with the perfect man thou wilt be perfect.”* And this conjecture is corroborated by two important considerations, the first of which is the improbability that so decisive and pointed a mark of Christ would have been omitted in this exact description of him; the other is, that he is expressly described by the prophets under each of these distinguishing characters; by implication under both, but precisely under that of God in that eminent prophecy in a preceding chapter; " Behold a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel," i. e. he shall be Immanuel, or God with us; for the word here rendered God, (viz. 5x,) the very same with that of the text, is never ascribed to any other, as some commentators remark, but the true Jehovah; and by that of man, in that famous prediction of Jeremiah, xxxi. 22, universally understood by Christians, and even acknowledged, by one Jew, to relate to the Messiah; “ The Lord hath created a new thing in the earth, a woman shall compass a man.”+ Is it not therefore justifiable to presume that the prophet intended to describe the two opposite natures of Christ in this emphatical expression, God-man? I
* And, though it may be objected that, in the parallel passage, Ps. xviii. 26, it is written without the:1, yet there is MS. authority for that reading.
+ “Ad Messiam mystice hæc aptat etiam Moses Hadarsan, ad Gen. xli.” Grotius. “ Virgo Maria Christum complectitur et circumdabit utero suo. Nocus hic erat homo, simul et Deus; nova mater, simul et virgo; nora generatio, sine semine virili.” Tirinus, &c.
See a note from Calovius, in a former page, pointing out several passages in confirmation of this great mystery, the divinity and humanity of the Christian Saviour. “ For,” according to the express declaration of one of our creeds, “as the reasonable soul and flesh is one man, so God and man is one Christ.” And, in support of this conjectural version, it may not be improper to produce a remark of the authors of the Universal History on that difficult passage, Prov. xxx. 19, which in our version runs thus, “ And the way of a man with a maid." “Which," say they, " bears no analogy with that of an eagle in the air, or a ship in the sea; but, if we understand it of the conception of a man in a virgin, as the words seem plainly to imply, then both the analogy and climax. will be very natural, and the conception of the man, or, as the word 932, gebir, imports, the mighty man in a virgin continuing still such, will appear most fitly compared to the flight of an