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Right Rev. the Bishop of Landaff
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His Grace the Archbishop of York, South
Rev. Dr Zouch, prebendary of Durham
XATIVITY AND PERSONAL CHARACIER
ISAIAH ix. 6. Unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given, and the government shall
be upon his shoulder; and his name shall be called, IVonderful, Counsellor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.
THE Evangelical Prophet in these words secs, as it were, the Son of God born of the Virgin, and the blessed Jesus laid in a manger; and, in a prophetic ecstasy, rather declares than foretells the birth of the Messialı: “ Unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given. *" Then
“Singularis est Imphasis in voce, nobis; significat id, quod omnes sentiunt, nostro bono et commodo natum esse hunc Puerum Imperatorem. Vide Vitringa, in locum.
Impudenter Judæi hæc ad Ezechiam torquent. Nam, 1o. Hic natus est ante hoc Vaticinium. Vide 2 Reg. xvi. 2; xviii. 2. 2o. Nullum h. I. Ezechiæ vestigium, nec verbum hactenus de eo probatum. 3o. Nativitas hujus Pueri lætitiam et liberationem attulit: non sic nativitas Ezechiæ. 4o. De ejus nativitate agitur, qui lucem attulit ambulantibus in tenebris Galilæis et Judæis : id quod nemo Ezechiæ adscripserit. 5o. Sequentia nomina et cpitheta nulli mortali conveniunt.” Calon vius. “ Christus hic dicitur puer, quoad humanam naturam, Matt. ii. U. Puer; ergo homo est: et filius, idque sine adjectione, et sæt' foxnu, ut a reliquis hominibus discernatur, et constet alium a Dei filio non posse hic intelligi: nec dubium est oraculum illud hic respici. 2 Sam. vij. 14, ipse erit mihi filius." Calvin, &c. Which last passage is emphatically ascribed to Christ by the author of the Hebrews, c. i. 5.
follows a most sublime description of his person and attributes; for, his name shall be called signisies, 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, to 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,
6 and 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 rugabond, and died as a malefuc
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 mattentive minds, scem more than plausible: but, by giving ourselves the
* 4x139p. “Periphrasis Christi, qui vere erat Deus incirnatus, et hal, tans in nobis. Ita notatur simul ratic personæ et officium." Glassius, Kennic. &c.
+ Though many cominentators (see Poole) have taken great pains to make out the sense of the present reading, as relating to the Church of Jerusalem, yet there can be no doubt that we should Riti, with one MS. and Syr. 75 instead of 5, and supply the word ow, shemo, his namt, as in C. xxiii. 6.
For, as Cilovius very properly observes, “Non Hierosolymo, sed Messie, hoc nomen hic treui, iniltis indiuis constat. 19. Ipse Sucinus et Crollius id ad truant adversus Es.jedinum. hoc argumento, Hierosolyma conprehenditur sib rorum numero quorum Justi'iu est Jekora; non ergo n tutur 1950 1.**.ine Joburn, qui est lesteia nostra, 20. Ex contextu, Christus, non Ecclesia, bic describitur. Mesias hoc loco ita dicitur, ut simal ratio nominis reddatur, quod ipse erit autor Justitiæ nutræ, tlficiei judicium et justitian in terru. 39. Quod Messias ita solet nominibus conjunctis appellari, ut Gen. iv. l, li Jtlocu't ; 2 Sam. vii. 19, Homi, Dominus Deus, which (siarcler It'I (15 tu, “ Ft hec est lex luminis, Dei Duniini, sive Jehov.z; i.e. intelligo te de tali Mesiæ locutur, cujus rationes exigent, ut sit simul veris homo et æternus Deus." And Peters follows this interpretation 10. E locis paralldis, Esa. sh. 23, 25, Omnis lingua confitebitur, uique in Jeho a justitia riusta. Vide Rom. xiv. ll. !.il. 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 conccive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel :” and that God should send his own Son, in the likeness of sinful fleshi, to condemn sin in the flesh, and that we might be made the righteousness of God in him, 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 onc 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, 19. Personæ, in quà dux nature hypostatic è uniuntur. 20. Offcii triplicis, in quo potentia, sapientia, et bonitas, admiranda elucescit. 3°. Statùs, tum exanitionis, tum exultationis, eorumque actuum," &c. Calovius. * Alii, tum Hebræi, tum nostri, has voces admirabilem et consiliarium conjungunt. Top videtur esse adjectivum nominis consilivrii, ut sit, consiliarius admirabilis. Velme est substantivum; ita ad verbum est, miraculum consiliari; ut dicere solemus, miraculum, vel monstrum, hominis, pro homine monstroso, vel miraculoso.” 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 ess? Resp. homires incredulos fion verbis Onvincere voluit, sed factis; quod certius erat testimoniuna, et calum vix minus obnoxium,” Vialdon, ex Chrisost. B 2