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light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.-Counsel is mine”-yes, blessed Redeemer, every wrong step we have taken through life has been occasioned by our disregarding thy instructions. To thee may we henceforth bring all the difficulties we feel with regard to doctrine and duty, experience and practice, condition and circumstances. And daily and hourly we may ask, Lord, what wilt thou have us to do ?
III. His name shall be called, the Mighty God, and he would not be called so, unless he were so. Unless he were so, the attributes which are essential to deity would not be the properties of his nature, and we should never have read of him in the scriptures of truth as knowing all things, as omnipotent, as everywhere present, as eternal. Unless he were so, the works which are peculiar to deity, could never have been performed by him, nor the worship which is pecnliar to deity, be claimed for him, and rendered to him.- We do not here consider this doctrine controversially: it stands in a situation which shows its importance, and the connexion it has with the believer's experience and hope. Thus he is mighty to save : no case, however desperate, with regard to ourselves and others, can be too hard for him. This principle enters into all his offices ; gives infinite value to his righteousness, and efficacy to his death; and renders all he does for us and in
IV. He is the Everlasting Father, or, as it is better rendered, the Father of the everlasting age. So the gospel dispensation is described, as being final with regard to this world, and in distinction from the temporary economy of the Jews. It is
the meaning of the apostle, when he says, " and this word, yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.” And hence he adds, we who embrace the gospel, we receive a kingdom which cannot be moved.” And hence the angel which John saw flying in the midst of heaven, had the “ everlasting gospel to preach," unto them that dwell upon the earth. Of this dispensation he is the Author, the Founder. It is derived entirely from him ; and therefore, in the language of a Jew, he is the Father of it. Hence, the real Christians are considered as his children : “ Behold I and the children which God hath given me :" and, again ; “he shall see his seed.” They derive their new and holy being from his word and Spirit; and they resemble him. They " are changed into the same image, from glory to glory." And, as he is the Father of the everlasting age, so he is “the Everlasting Father;" the relation subsisting between him and his family can never be dissolved; and therefore his offspring can never be orphans.
Finally. He is the Prince of Peace. And of all kinds of peace. Peace above us—by reconciling us to God. Peace around us-by reconciling us to our fellow-creatures ; destroying our pride and envy, and inspiring us with humility and benevolence. And peace within us—by reconciling us to ourselves : not to our sins, you may be sure—but to our remedy and dependence; to our duty and condition. When this takes place, the troubled conscience is calmed; the tumultuous passions cease from their raging; tormenting fears and distracting anxieties give way-we are ful for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication we make known our requests unto God; and the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, keeps our hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."
It was thus that he addressed his sorrowing disciples, when he was departing from them: “These things have I spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you.” And remember that there is no peace worth having but his. The ungodly and the people of the world may be insensible of their danger, they may banish reflection from their minds; they may live in what they call pleasure, and say to their soul, “ take thine ease-but there is NO PEACE, saith my God, unto the wicked.” But Jesus procures, reveals, produces a peace the most valuable. “ He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.” Ye weary and heavy laden, let your burdens be what they may, o go to him; he will give you rest: and his rest shall be GLORIOUS.
Such is the Saviour, whose arrival in our world we this day celebrate. And what think you of him ?-I know what some think of him. There are some who have this morning by faith embraced the new-born Messiah, with a rapture expressive of this language : “lo, this is our God, we have waited for him, he will save.us: this is the Lord ; we have waited for him ; we will be glad, and rejoice in his salvation.” They no longer feel a void within; they no longer rove, asking, who will show us any good? They have found the Pearl of great price. His character and his claims have fixed and filled their minds. The manger, the cross, and the throne—these are their attractions; here they feel obligations the most solemn and pleasing ;
here they find consolation the most refreshing and pure : it is here they can live, it is here they can die; and here it is they can say with David, thou art fairer than the children of men; with the church, yea, he is altogether lovely: with the apostle, yea, doubtless, and I count all things but loss
for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord!
But what do you think of him? Has he " form nor comeliness ; no beauty that you should desire him?" Do
feel no love to his name? Do you never pray—Lord, save me, or I perish ? What then are we to think of you? we to think of the blindness of your understandings, and of the depravity of your affections? Indifferent to him !- What are we to think of your regard to your own safety and happiness? Can you find salvation in any other?
What will you do without himn when you come to die? How will you appear before him, when he is seated on his great white throne ?
For—" once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself; and, to them that look for him, will he appear the second time without sin unto salvation." See the Babe of Bethlehem, the Judge of all! “ Behold, he cometh with clouds, and every eye shall see him. But who inay abide the day of his coming, and who shall stand when he appeareth ?" Happy those who have loved and followed him in the regeneration! He will “ ceive him to himself, that where he is, there they may be also.”
But where shall the ungodly and the sinner
THE DESIGN OF OUR SAVIOUR'S COMING:
(CHRISTMAS.) It is a wonderful event which we have this day been called to commemorate. The fulness of time is arrived: prophecies are accomplished: promises are fulfilled : the expectations of the church are realized : the desire of all nations is come and we have been with the shepherds to Bethlehem, and have seen “ the Babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, and lying in a manger.' For what purpose has the Son of God assumed our nature, and in circumstances of the deepest humiliation entered our world ? A new star has graced his birth: wise men have travelled from the East to do him homage ; " and a multitude of the heavenly host” have praised God, and said, “glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will towards men.' Thus heaven and earth have borne witness to the importance of this event.But wherein does the importance of it appear? By what title answerable to his character shall we acknowledge him? Wherein lies our concern with him ? And why are we so interested in his birth, as to make it the subject of our greatest joy?
Let us call to mind the address of the angel to Joseph, when he announced his conception of the Virgin Mary
And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his
name JESUS ; for he shall save his people from their sins.—Matt. i. 21,