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is peculiarly King in Zion. He is “a Prince" | awful task has the tutor of youth! What a as well as "a Saviour” to his people. They weighty undertaking has the pastor of a canthat know his name not only trust in him, but gregation ! But think of the affairs of a king. submit themselves to him. And their sub- dom!! Ask the rulers of this world, whether mission is natural and cheerful, because he government be an easy and an enviable conputs his laws into their minds, and writes cern. How distracted is the head that wears them in their hearts. While they obey his a crown! “I am not able,” says Solou on, commands, they also acquiesce in his dispen-" to go in and out before so great a people." sations. To him they refer all their temporal | "I am not able," says Moses, “to bear all this concerns, and are willing that he should people;" hence he had assistants provided choose their inheritance for them. Thus he him. The weight of government is too much has a kingdom within a kingdom; a kingdom for one person, and therefore it is divided of grace within a kingdom of his providence among many. A king has his council, his
-and the one is subservient to the other. ministers, his officers. Ile cannot be all eve. “ He is head over all things unto the Church, I all ear, all hand; he therefore avails himself of which is his body.” He has every thing ne the eyes, the ears, and hands of others. But the cessary for the defence of his people and the King of saints stands in nced of no help: infisuccess of his cause. Therefore this “ king nite as his empire is, he manages the anazing shall reign and prosper. He shall have do-whole without fatigue, and without perplexity. minion also from sea to sea, and from the III. LET US REVIEW HIS NAMES. Names river unto the ends of the earth. Yea, all are designed to distinguish, to describe, and kings shall fall down before him; all nations to honour. In common, a single name is sur shall serve him. His name shall endure for | ficient for a single individual. Human excelever: his name shall be continued as long as | lences and accomplishments are rare and solithe sun; and men shall be blessed in him ; tary. One man attends to the stars, and we all nations shall call him blessed."
call him an astronomer; a second is skilled in Much has been said on the subject of go-the species of plants, and we call him a bon vernment, and volumes have been written to tanist; a third speaks well, and we call him ascertain the prerogative of princes, and the an orator. The name generally sums up all duties of subjects. While men are depraved claims of each. But what a number, and beings, absolute power lodged in the hands what a variety of sublime titles are employed of an individual would be dangerous. Au- to show forth the praises of our Lord and thority must therefore be limited; one part Saviour !—“His name shall be called Wonof government must be a balance to another; derful, Counsellor, the mighty God, the and laws must be placed above men. But everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace :"> could a governor be found perfect in wisdom First. He is Wonderful. He is so prinand goodness, who in all cases knew what cipally in the constitution of his person. was proper to be done, and would be always Here we see combined deity and humanity; inclined to do it, his power could not be too finite and infinite; all-sufficiency and omniabsolute, nor his authority too uncontrolled. potence; weariness and want. This is the Such a being is the Lord Jesus and there great mystery of godliness” which will for fore he is “the blessed and only Potentate; ever employ the admiration of the redeemed and has all power given unto him in heaven "God was manifest in the flesh. In the and in earth.”
beginning was the Word, and the Word was But where does this government, thus all with God, and the Word was God. And the his own, rest? “Upon his shoulder.” This Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, may appear to some a coarse image. Ancient (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the poetry, however, has beautified it by repre-only begotten of the Father,) full of grace senting a man bearing upon his shoulders the and truth.” Indeed his whole history appears pillars of the universe. But what was this to be unparalleled. His manner of life; his fabled Atlas ? The world with all its con- mode of teaching; his death; his resurreccerns really depends on the Redeemer- tion; his dealings with his people in provihe “upholdeth all things by the word of dence and grace are all marvellous. his power." And government upon the shoul- Secondly. He is Counsellor. He appears der is significant: it implies burden; diffi- for us in court. He is “our advocate with culty. It cannot be admninistered without the Father.” And while he pleads our cause much labour and care. And this is one rea- above, he guides our affairs below. In “him son among others why we are commanded are hid all the treasures of wisdom and know“ to pray for kings, and for all that are in ledge.” He is the source of all spiritual authority!" Who can need our prayers so knowledge. “I am come,” said he, "a light much!-- What a charge devolves upon a pa- into the world, that whosoever believeth on rent when Providence puts into his hands a me should not abide in darkness. Counsel is living mercy, and says, " Take this child and mine!" Yes, blessed Redeemer, every wrong nurse it for me: I constitute thee its governor, step we have taken through life, has been ocand at thy hands will I require it," What an I casioned by our disregarding thy instructions,
To thee may we henceforth bring all the dif- destroying our pride and envy, and inspiring ficulties we feel with regard to doctrine and us with humility and benevolence. · Peace duty, experience and practice, our condi- within us—by reconciling us to ourselves : tion and our circumstances; and daily and not to our sins—but to our remedy, our dehourly may we ask, “ Lord, what wilt thou pendence, our duty, and condition. When have me to do?"
this takes place, the troubled conscience is Thirdly. His name shall be called “ The calmed; the tumultuous passions cease from mighty God." And he would not be called their raging ; tormenting fears and distracting 80 unless he were so. Unless he were so, the anxieties give way; we are careful for noattributes which are essential to deity would thing, but in every thing by prayer and supnot be the properties of his nature, and we plication we make known our requests unto should never have read of him in the Scrip- God, and “the peace of God which passeth tures of truth, as knowing all things, as om- all understanding keeps our hearts and minds nipotent, as everywhere present, as eternal. | through Christ Jesus.” Unless he were so, the works which are pe | It was thus that he addressed his sorrow. culiar to deity could never have been per- ing disciples when he was departing from formed by him, nor the worship which is pe-them: “These things have I spoken unto euliar to deity be claimed for him and render- you, that in me ye might have peace. Peace ed to him. We do not here consider this doc- I leave with you, my peace I give unto you." trine controversially: it stands in a situation And remember that there is no peace worth which shows its importance, and the con- having but his. The ungodly and the people nexion it has with the experience and hope of the world may be insensible of their danof believers. Thus he is mighty to save; no ger; they may banish reflection from their case, however desperate, with regard to our | minds; they may live in what they call pleaselves and creatures, can be too hard for him. sure, and say to their soul, take thine easeThis principle enters into all his offices. It but " There is no peace, saith my God, unto gives infinite value to his righteousness, and the wicked.” But Jesus procures, reveals, efficacy to his death. It renders all he does produces a peace the most valuable. “He for us and in us, divine.
| healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up Fourthly. He is “ The everlasting Fa- all their wounds." Ye weary and heavy ther,” or, as it is better rendered, “the Fa- laden-let your burdens be what they may ther of the everlasting age.” So the gospel -go to him—he will “ give you rest; and dispensation is described, as being final with his rest shall be glorious." regard to this world, and in distinction from Such is the Saviour, whose arrival in our the temporary economy of the Jews. It is world we this day celebrate. And what the meaning of the Apostle, when he says, think you of him? I know what some think “ And this word, Yet once more, signifieth of him. There are some who have this the removing of those things that are shaken, morning by faith embraced the new-born as of things that are made, that those things Messiah, with a rapture expressive of this which cannot be shaken may remain." And language; “ Lo, this is our God; we have hence he adds, “ We,” who embrace the waited for him, and he will save us: this is gospel, “ we receive a kingdom which can- the Lord; we have waited for him, we not be moved.” And hence the angel which will be glad and rejoice in his salvation." John saw flying in the midst of heaven, had | They no longer feel a void within: they the “ everlasting gospel to preach" unto them no longer rove, asking, “Who will show that dwell upon the earth. Of this dispensa- us any good ?” They have found the pearl tion he is the author, the founder. It is de- of great price. His character and his claims rived entirely from him; and therefore, in have fixed and filled their minds. The manthe language of a Jew, he is the “ Father", ger, the cross, and the throne--these are their of it. Hence, real Christians are considered attractions. Here they feel obligations the as his children Behold, I and the children most solemn and pleasing; here they find which God hath given me.” And again, “ he consolation the most refreshing and pure. It shall see his seed." They derive their new is here they can live, it is here they can die. and holy being from his word and Spirit; and Here it is that they can say, with David, they resemble him: they are “changed into “Thou art fairer than the children of men;" the same image from glory to glory.” And with the Church, “Yea, he is altogether as he is the Father of the everlasting age, so lovely;"—with the Apostle, “ Yea, doubtless, he is “the everlasting Father:" the relation and I count all things but loss, for the excelsubsisting between him and his family can lency of the knowledge.of Christ Jesus my never be dissolved; his offspring can never | Lord !" be orphans.
! But what do you think of him? Has he Finally. He is “ The Prince of Peace.” “no form nor comeliness; no beauty that you And of all kinds of peace. Peace above us, should desire him ?” Do you feel no love to by reconciling us to God. Peace around us his name? Do you never pray, “ Lord, save, -by reconciling us to our fellow-creatures, I or I perish ?"_What then are we to think of you? What are we to think of the blindness | JESUS: for he shall save his people from of your understandings, and of the depravity their sins." of your affections? Indifferent to him? Here is a "name above every name:" a What are we to think of your regard to your name which " is as ointment poured forth"own safety and happiness? Can you find it is JESUS. This name was not only given salvation in any other? What will you do by the order of God, but explained by the without him when you come to die? How same order, Jesus signifies Saviour. But will you appear before him when he is seated this name was not peculiar to him-others on his great white throne ?
had worn it. The Hebrew name which anFor-once in the end of the world hath he swers to Jesus is Joshua ; and two persons appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of had this name expressly given them under himself, and “ to them that look for him will the Old Testament: the commander who he appear a second time, without sin unto succeeded Moses; and the high priest consalvation." See the Babe of Bethlehem, the cerned in the building of the second temple. Judge of all!“ Behold, he cometh with The Levites also in the days of Nehemiah clouds, and every eye shall see him. But confess to God; “ According to thy manifold who may abide the day of his coming, and mercies thou gavest thein saviours, who saved who shall stand when he appeareth! Happy them out of the hand of their enemies." Such those who have loved and followed him “in a saviour was Gideon and Samson, with many the regeneration !" He will receive them to others. himself, “ that where he is there they may The name then is common; but not the be also."
reason of the imposition—"For he shall save “ But where shall the ungodly and the his people from their sins.” As if he had sinner appear ?"
said—“Others have been called saviours because they have rescued the body; they were
temporal deliverers; they saved the Jews from DISCOURSE XXIII.
the Egyptians, the Philistines, the Midianites. But this child is called a Saviour for a
nobler reason-he rescues the soul-he is an THE DESIGN OF OUR SAVIOUR'S
eternal Deliverer. He saves his people COMING.
from their sins.'" (CHRISTMAS.)
By this explanation, the angel not only
distinguishes Jesus from eyery other saviour, And she shall bring forth a gon, and thou shalt
but opposes the favourite prejudices of the call his name JESUS: for he shall save his
nation to which he belonged. The Jews expeople from their sins.—Matt. i. 21.
pected a Messiah who should be called a It is a wonderful event which we have this Saviour; but by this name they understood day been called to commemorate. The ful- a hero, a conqueror who should break the Dess of time is arrived: the prophecies are civil yoke, free them from the tyranny of Accomplished: the promises are fulfilled: the Rome, and if not lead them to universal emExpectations of the Church are realized : “the pire, at least restore them to all their original desire of all nations is come and we have dignity in their own land. “ But, Ő ye been with the shepherds at Bethlehem, and Jews,” says the Angel, “the Saviour is corne have seen “the babe wrapped in swaddling- to restore you, not to an earthly Canaan, but clothes, and lying in a manger."
a better, even a heavenly country. He is For what purpose has the son of God as come to deliver you, not from civil bondage, sumed our nature, and in circumstances of the but from spiritual slavery: not from Cæsar, deepest humiliation entered our world? A but Satan. He is come to save you from new star has graced his birth: “wise men” your greatest enemies; and these are not have traveled from the East to do him the Romans—but your sins." homage; " and a multitude of the heavenly Let us not pass over this. Jesus came, host have praised God and said, Glory to God not to suggest improvements in agriculture in the highest, and on earth peace, good will plans of commerce; theories of civil policy. towards men !" Thus heaven and earth have He left the governments of the world as he borne witness to the importance of this event. found them: these are things which fall But wherein does the importance of it ap-within the reach of our wisdom to devise, and pear? By what title answerable to his cha- our power to accomplish.—But who could racter shall we acknowledge him? Wherein save a soul from sin? lies our concern with him? And why are Let us, I. CONSIDER SIN AS AN ENEMY. we so interested in his birth, as to make it And, II. SEE IN WHAT MANNER THE SAVIOUR the subject of our greatest joy?
DELIVERS US FROM IT. Let us call to mind the address of the angel We talk of enemies. What should we to Joseph, when he announced his conception think of an adversary, who, filled with malice, of the Virgin Mary—“And she shall bring and armed with power, should invade our forth a son, and thou shalt call his namel country, rayage our fields, destroy our cot
tages and mansions, our palaces and tem-him. This is that which renders man, though ples; who should despoil us of our goods, the work of his hands, filthy and abominatear us from our families, deprive us of our ble; and constrains even the God of love, the liberty, and lead us away in irons, to termi- Father of mercies, to say, concerning him, nate a wretched existence in a dungeon or a “The wicked shall not stand in my sight, I mine! And oh! were a deliverer to arise to hate all the workers of iniquity." crush the foe, and to save the captives—how Behold sin in its names. For what term should we prize him! If he had suffered in is there, expressive of reproach or misery; the struggle, his wounds would be deemed what image is there, that can produce averscars of honour. When the ear heard him, sion or fear; that is not employed by the it would bless him; and when the eye saw Scriptures to represent sin? Sin! it is disohim, it would give witness to him. Our very bedience: it is rebellion: it is treason: it is children, made fainiliar with the story, would murder: “it is the work of the devil.” Sin! never see him pass along without exclaiming, it is ignorance: it is folly: it is madness. “ Hosannah, blessed is he that cometh in the Sin! it is blindness: it is deafness: it is name of the Lord!" But this enemy would dumbness: it is sickness: it is poison : it is be a friend, compared with sin: and such a slavery: it is plague: it is death : it is hell! deliverer, therefore, would be nothing, com- Now, as it is said of Nabal, “ as the name is, pared with the Saviour of sinners. How is so is the man;" the same may be observed it then that we feel so much indifference to- of sin : as the name is, so is the thing. Sin wards him; that we are not continually ut- is not libelled by any of these dreadful repretering the memory of his great goodness!sentations; they are all given us by One who that we are not daily praying “Let the i perfectly understands sin, and they fall infiwhole earth be filled with his glory!" It nitely short of the subject. For if we comis because—we do not believe the enemy to pare sin with other evils, it will be found be so dreadful. The reason is—that we en- substantially to contain them all, and to be tertain slight notions of sin. To judge of the the cause of all. This is the fountain which importance of a remedy, it is necessary to has imbittered all our streams, and the seed know the malignity of the disease: to ascer- which has so thickly sown the world with tain the claims of a benefactor to our grati- wretchedness. tude and love, it is necessary for us to know Behold therefore again the effects of sin. the evils from which he delivers us.
How different is man from what he was oriEvery thing turns upon this. If sin be our ginally !-But sin has made this change. Sin worst enemy, it is easy to prove that he who has stripped him of his glory, and taken the saves us from it is our best friend. Let us crown from his head : “wo unto us that we then look at sin, and take three or four views have sinned!" of its evil and malignity.
Observe the soul of man-it is sin that has Behold sin with regard to God. That debased it, defiled it, robbed it of the image, must be the greatest evil, which is most op and banished it from the presence of God-it posite to the greatest good. In forming our is this that has filled it with confusion and estimate of sin, we are not to judge of it so regrets—it is this that has produced unruly much by the relation it bears to us, or to our passions, tormenting anxieties,' a terrified fellow-creatures, as by its relation to God; conscience, a wounded spirit. for against Him it is committed; and every Take the body of man. This was once all sin strikes at God as much as if no other be- immortal, without a defect, a disease, a daning was affected by it; and notwithstanding ger. But “by sin death entered into the its fatal effects with regard to mankind, we world," and was crowned “king of terrors." may say to God, of every transgression, And now “man that is born of a woman is “ Against thee, thee only have I sinned, and of few days, and full of trouble.” At his birth done this evil in thy sight." Sin is enmity he enters a labyrinth of thorns and briers, and against God; against his attribates; against cannot move without “piercing himself his government. God never yet revealed a through with many sorrows." Even every design which sin hath not withstood ; nor comfort has its cross, and every blessing its gave a command which sin has not trampled curse. And how little of the misery of the under foot. Sin deposes God from his sove-world comes under our observation ! Oh! reignty, abuses his goodness, abhors his holi- could we witness all the pains of the diseased ness, vilifies his wisdom, insults and denies at this moment: could we behold all the efhis omniscience, his justice, and his power. fects of war, pestilence, and famine! Could And hence nothing is so offensive to God. It we see the bones of all the human race, from is called the “abominable thing which he the death of Abel to this very hour piled into hates." And we read that he is “of purer one immense heap-oh! what could we eyes than to behold iniquity.” It is a meta- think of an enemy capable of producing such phor, taken from a person who has such a mischief as this ! perfect abhorrence of a thing, that he cannot Behold Adam and Eve, expelled from Parabear the sight; the very thought of it shocks dise. Behold the Deluge, sweeping away
" the world of the ungodly." Behold Sodom | ment !-How is it possible for us to think top and Gomorrah, “set forth as an example, suf-highly of its guilt!! fering the vengeance of eternal fire." See There is yet another way of judging of the the plagues of Egypt, the destruction of the evil of sin- and it is by considering the former inhabitants of Canaan, the dispersion means employed to remove it. Now there and misery of the Jews, a people once dear was only one Being in the universe equal to to God-in all these instances, the evil of sin this work—the Lord of life and glory. By do is brought down to a level with our senses. other hand could this enemy fall; a thousand And it is sin also that has reduced the mate-attempts had been made-but the victory was rial creation to vanity, and doomed it to a reserved for him. general conflagration. As, under the law, the And there are two things here worthy our very house of the leper was to be pulled down, remark. so it is with regard to this world. You say, The first is, that he derives from this work Can trees, and valleys, and hills, and skies, his highest title. His name is the memorial be criminal? No; but they have been the of this achievement; he will henceforth be unconscious instruments of the sinner's guilt, known through all worlds as the conqueror they have been contaminated by his use of of sin! And therefore we find, that though be them, and the day of God cometh, wherein is a Creator and Preserver, yet he is adored “the heavens shall pass away with a great under the character of a Saviour, by all the noise, and the elements shall melt with fer- saints on earth, and by all the angels in heavent heat, the earth also, and all the works ven. “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to that are therein, shall be burned up." receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and
Thus far we have traced the effects of sin strength, and honour, and glory, and bless down through the history of this world. But ing." "Unto him that loved us, and washed there is another world that has been running us from our sins in his own blood, and hath parallel with this, and which will continue made us kings and priests unto God, be glory when this is no more. And here the conse- and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. quences of sin most tremendously appear. And the second is, That even in this glori
Enter it and see. The first thing that ous Personage, who alone was adequate to strikes you, is the fall of an innumerable mul- the undertaking, it required something pecutitude of superior beings, hurled down from liar and extraordinary to accomplish it. He heaven-What roused the vengeance which does not deliver a sinner as he performed his pursues them with such severity? What is it other works. In order to save-he must be that, in a moment, could transform angels humbled and exalted—he must descend from into devils! A little of that envy, that pride, heaven to earth--and ascend from earth to that independence of spirit which you think heaven. nothing of_"he spared not the angels that Let us enter into this, and, II. Consider IN sinned, but cast them down to hell, and de-WHAT MANNER HE SAVES HIS PEOPLE FROM livered them into chains of darkness, to be THEIR SINS. Now he accomplishes their dereserved unto judgment.”—And what place liverance by price—and thus he redeems: is that, “the smoke of whose torment ascend- and by power and thus he renews: in other eth up for ever and ever?" Sin built hell; words, by his cross, and by his grace. sin produced " the worm that never dies;" sin To save us, he must suffer: by the shedkindled “the fire that never shall be quench- ding of his blood we are ransomed, and by his ed.” Oh! could you lay down your ear, and death we live. The case is this. Where the hear sin spoken of in its proper dialect, by the command of the law is broken, the curse of old sons of perdition! What do you suppose the law enters. Sin renders man obnoxious Judas now says of betraying his master for to punishment; and this punishment is as thirty pieces of silver; Saul of persecuting certain as the justice and the truth of God can David; Cain of killing his brother Abel! But make it. Now we had sinned, and therefore all this regards the present degrees of their must have suffered-had not the Saviour bemisery, not its future continuance.
come our surety, and our substitute. But he, Hence, you must contemplate sin in the standing in our place, became answerable for threatenings of the Scripture. Oh! read and us; "he has redeemed us from the curse of tremble. Read of “everlasting destruction the law, being made a curse for us." Thus it from the presence of the Lord and the glory is said, the Lord “laid on him the iniquity of of his power"-read of a doom which I hope / us all.” And how was it laid upon him-but you will never hear—" Depart, ye cursed, by way of expiation? And for what purpose into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil was it laid upon him ?--but that we might be and his angels.” Now I reason thus, and a released from a load which would have sunk child can understand me—if God can right- us to the lowest hell. Hence it is said, “Beeously threaten all this misery, he can also hold the Lamb of God that taketh away the righteously inflict it; and if he can righteous- sin of the world. Once in the end of the world ly inflict such misery, sin must deserve it- hath he appeared, to put away sin by the saand if sin deserves it deserves such punish-Icrifice of himself." In this sense he is so often