Isaiah 9:6
For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the government will be upon His shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Sermons
A Christmas QuestionCharles Haddon Spurgeon Isaiah 9:6
Characters and Names of MessiahJohn Newton Isaiah 9:6
Chief Counsels of ChristW. Clarkson Isaiah 9:6
Christ in Relation to TimeW. Clarkson Isaiah 9:6
Christian PeaceW. Clarkson Isaiah 9:6
His Name -- the CounsellorCharles Haddon Spurgeon Isaiah 9:6
His Name -- the Mighty GodCharles Haddon Spurgeon Isaiah 9:6
His Name -- Wonderful!Charles Haddon Spurgeon Isaiah 9:6
Spiritual EmpireW. Clarkson Isaiah 9:6
The Fatherhood of God Revealed in MessiahR. Tuck Isaiah 9:6
The NativityAlexander MaclarenIsaiah 9:6
The Wonderful LordW. Clarkson Isaiah 9:6
Clearest Promises of Christ in Darkest TimesIsaiah 9:1-7
Fulness of ChristW. Bridge, M. A.Isaiah 9:1-7
Good Things in the Days of the Great MessiahE. Erskine.Isaiah 9:1-7
Immanuel the Light of LifeIsaiah 9:1-7
Light Out of DarknessG. F. Pentecost, D. D.Isaiah 9:1-7
Lux in TenebrisIsaiah 9:1-7
NeverthelessD. Davies.Isaiah 9:1-7
Phases of Divine PurposeJ. Parker, D. D.Isaiah 9:1-7
The Nativity of Our LordClergyman's MagazineIsaiah 9:1-7
The Prophecy ExplainedBishop Perowne.Isaiah 9:1-7
The Remedy of the World's MiseryR. Watson.Isaiah 9:1-7
Vision of Future GloryE. Johnson Isaiah 9:1-7
A Christmas Day SketchB. Preece.Isaiah 9:6-7
A Christmas QuestionIsaiah 9:6-7
A Prediction of an Ideal KingB. Blake, B. D.Isaiah 9:6-7
A Prophecy of ChristW. Gregory.Isaiah 9:6-7
A Son and a BrotherF. B. Meyer, B. A.Isaiah 9:6-7
Ah! That's the NameGates of ImageryIsaiah 9:6-7
All Creation At War with the SinnerW. Anderson, LL. D.Isaiah 9:6-7
An Infant's Birth a Great EventW. Jay.Isaiah 9:6-7
Apparent ContradictionsB. W. Noel, M. A.Isaiah 9:6-7
Christ Our Life's RulerF. B. Meyer, B. A.Isaiah 9:6-7
Christ Presented to Mankind SinnersT. Boston.Isaiah 9:6-7
Christ the Best CounsellorT. Boston.Isaiah 9:6-7
Christ the CounsellorT. Boston.Isaiah 9:6-7
Christ the CounsellorW. Reading, M. A.Isaiah 9:6-7
Christ the Everlasting FatherT. Boston.Isaiah 9:6-7
Christ the Kinsman of the RaceJ. B. Brown, B. A.Isaiah 9:6-7
Christ the Mighty GodT. Boston.Isaiah 9:6-7
Christ the New Life of HumanityJ. B. Brown, B. A.Isaiah 9:6-7
Christ the Prince of PeaceT. Boston.Isaiah 9:6-7
Christ the Prince of PeaceW. Reading, M. A.Isaiah 9:6-7
Christ the Prince of PeaceThe EvangelistIsaiah 9:6-7
Christ the Revealer of GodJ. B. Brown, B. A.Isaiah 9:6-7
Christ the Revealer of God and the Asserter of ManA. Maclennan, M. A.Isaiah 9:6-7
Christ the Universal GovernorE. Phillips.Isaiah 9:6-7
Christ Wonderful in His VictoriesT. De W. Talmage, D. D.Isaiah 9:6-7
Christ Wonderful in the Magnetism of His PersonT. De W. Talmage, D. D.Isaiah 9:6-7
Christ, the Son of God, Gifted to SinnersT. Boston.Isaiah 9:6-7
Christians Bear Christ's ImageT. Boston.Isaiah 9:6-7
Christmas Celebrates a PersonalityW. H. Murray.Isaiah 9:6-7
Christ's BirthdayA. Littleton, D. D.Isaiah 9:6-7
Christ's Name Above Every NameT. Boston.Isaiah 9:6-7
Christ's Name WonderfulIsaiah 9:6-7
God's NamingsMrs. H. W. Smith.Isaiah 9:6-7
His Name -- the Almighty GodIsaiah 9:6-7
His Name -- the CounsellorIsaiah 9:6-7
His Name -- the Everlasting FatherIsaiah 9:6-7
His Name -- WonderfulIsaiah 9:6-7
Human Redemption by the Divine ManNovalis.Isaiah 9:6-7
Important BirthsW. H. Murray.Isaiah 9:6-7
Jesus Christ the King of All CreationEvan Lewis, B. A.Isaiah 9:6-7
Jesus Had Universal ConnectionsW. H. Murray.Isaiah 9:6-7
Jesus Meets Universal WantsW. H. Murray.Isaiah 9:6-7
Jesus the Everlasting FatherJ. H. Evans, M. A.Isaiah 9:6-7
Jesus the Mighty GodJ. H. Evans, M. A.Isaiah 9:6-7
Jesus the Mighty GodJ. Parker, D. D.Isaiah 9:6-7
Messiah the CounsellorB. W. Noel, M. A.Isaiah 9:6-7
Messiah, the Prince of PeaceB. W. Noel, M. A.Isaiah 9:6-7
Messiah's NameSir E. Strachey, Bart.Isaiah 9:6-7
No Extravagance in ChristJ. Leckie, D. D.Isaiah 9:6-7
Redemption from Within HumanityJ. B. Brown, B. A.Isaiah 9:6-7
The Advent of Jesus Joy ProducingFaithful Witness.Isaiah 9:6-7
The Birth of ChristJ. Saurin.Isaiah 9:6-7
The Birth of the WonderfulB. P. Grenoble.Isaiah 9:6-7
The Child Born: the Son GivenJ. Bannerman, D. D.Isaiah 9:6-7
The Child DivineW. Birch.Isaiah 9:6-7
The Child Hezekiah -- Yet Someone ElseSir E. Strachey, Bart.Isaiah 9:6-7
The Child JesusW. Jay.Isaiah 9:6-7
The Everlasting FatherF. Delitzsch.Isaiah 9:6-7
The Everlasting FatherB. Blake, B. D.Isaiah 9:6-7
The Everlasting FatherJ. Edmond, D. D.Isaiah 9:6-7
The Good Time ComingP. B. Meyer, B. A.Isaiah 9:6-7
The Government on Christ's ShoulderT. Boston.Isaiah 9:6-7
The Government on Christ's ShoulderIsaiah 9:6-7
The Government Upon Christ's ShoulderE. Erskine.Isaiah 9:6-7
The Great DelivererJ. Parker, D. D.Isaiah 9:6-7
The Great DelivererG. Innes.Isaiah 9:6-7
The Hope of IsraelD. Davies.Isaiah 9:6-7
The IncarnationG. E. Watkins.Isaiah 9:6-7
The Joyful QuarterSunday MagazineIsaiah 9:6-7
The Message of HopeCanon H. Scott-Holland.Isaiah 9:6-7
The Messianic ProphesiesA. T. Pierson, D. D.Isaiah 9:6-7
The NativityA. Littleton, D. D.Isaiah 9:6-7
The Nativity of ChristD. Wilson, M. A.Isaiah 9:6-7
The Need for the IncarnationBishop Beveridge.Isaiah 9:6-7
The Nurses and Titles of the MessiahJ. Ross, D. D.Isaiah 9:6-7
The Predicted Names of ChristJ. Bannerman, D. D.Isaiah 9:6-7
The Preparation of the World for ChristJ. B. Brown, B. A.Isaiah 9:6-7
The Prince of PeaceW. Anderson, LL. D.Isaiah 9:6-7
The Prince of PeaceC. Bradley, M. A.Isaiah 9:6-7
The Prince of PeaceJosiah Mee.Isaiah 9:6-7
The Prince of Peace not Responsible for Strife and ViolenceB. W. Noel, M. A.Isaiah 9:6-7
The Prince of the Four NamesProf. G. A. Smith, D. D.Isaiah 9:6-7
The Prophet's Supernatural PrevisionJ. Parker, D. D.Isaiah 9:6-7
The Son GivenIsaiah 9:6-7
The Way that Led to ChristSunday School ChronicleIsaiah 9:6-7
The Wonderful NameT. Kelly.Isaiah 9:6-7
The World into Which Christ was BornJ. B. Brown, B. A.Isaiah 9:6-7
Titles of ChristE. Payson, D. D.Isaiah 9:6-7
Unto UsA. Maclennan, M. A.Isaiah 9:6-7
Who was Jesus ChristF. W. Aveling, M. A. , B. Sc.Isaiah 9:6-7
And the government shall be upon his shoulder.

I. THE ACHIEVEMENT WHICH LAY OUTSIDE THE PURPOSE or THE SON OF GOD. For what end was that wondrous Child born, that holy Son given? He came not to restore a fallen human dynasty. The most ardent and eager hopes of his countrymen were directed to the overthrow of the Roman power and to the re-establishment of the kingdom of David in all, and more than all, its pristine glory. Jesus Christ distinctly disavowed any such purpose as this. His kingdom, he said, was not "of this world."

II. THE SPIRITUAL EMPIRE WHICH HE CAME TO ESTABLISH. We shall see what and how truly great this was if we consider:

1. In what condition Christ found the world when he came. He found it

(1) with its mind full of fatal error - the favored people having sunk into a dreary, withering formalism, and the whole Gentile world into idolatry or unbelief;

(2) with its heart full of pride, selfishness, and hatred;

(3) with its life full of unrighteousness and impurity.

2. What he came to accomplish in regard to it. He came to undo all this; to expel this blighting error; to uproot this pride, cruelty, and selfishness; to abolish this iniquity and enormity; to plant and nourish in the mind and heart and life of man the beautiful and admirable opposites of all this - truth, humility, love, righteousness; and so to exercise a beneficent and transcendent power, and so to take the government of the world upon his shoulder.

3. The only way by which he could gain his end. Christ knew that the one way to exert this renovating power, to wield this victorious influence, was by winning the world's devotion to himself through his own dying love. Therefore he deliberately entered and determinately pursued the path which led to Gethsemane and to Calvary. Lifted up before the eyes of a wondering and believing world, he would draw all men unto himself, and thus to truth, to holiness, to God.

4. The extent to which he has succeeded. In spite of the miserable corruptions which have dishonored and enfeebled his Church, and in spite of the languor and inactivity by which large periods of its history have been marked, we find that

(1) error is dying and truth reviving under every sky; the heathen temple is being closed; the hoary systems of misbelief, pierced and penetrated by modern science and assailed by Christian truth, are shaking to their fall;

(2) pride is being humbled;

(3) philanthropy - a pitiful, generous, self-sacrificing regard for the unfortunate and the abandoned - is taking the place of hard-hearted indifference;

(4) the Prince of Peace is being honored where the god of war was once worshipped.

(5) Righteousness and purity are returning to human life. Slavery, lust, drunkenness, profanity, are not yet dead, but their death-warrant has been signed and they are doomed to die. The thought of Jesus Christ is taking possession of the human mind; his principles are reaching and regulating human life; his Spirit is changing the human world; the government is being laid upon his shoulder.

(1) Let us rejoice in the growing power of that Son that was born to our race. The empire of the Caesars, of the Pharaohs, of the Napoleons, is nothing but a memory, a history; the rule of Jesus Christ is a benign, a mighty, a growing power, an abiding, and extending influence. That is a fruitless, sapless stump; this is a tree of life, bearing all manner of fruits, "and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations."

(2) Let us take care that we are among the subjects of his spiritual realm. His is the future of the world; to be separated from him is to lose the heritage, to forfeit the citizenship which will soon be the one thing worth possessing.

(3) Let us recognize the true wisdom; not to strive after outward grandeur In this attempt we may fall and be bruised or even broken, or we may succeed and be satiated and thirst again. The true wisdom is found in shedding a sweet and sanctifying influence over all whom we can reach and bless. - C.







For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given.
I am unable to form any distinct notion of Isaiah as a man and a Hebrew, and as a prophet of Jehovah in contrast with those muttering wizards he denounces, without supposing that, at this period of his life and ministry, he must have connected the thought of "the child" with Hezekiah, on whom the name of the Mighty God had been actually named ("Hezekiah" means "Jehovah strengthens"), and who (being now a boy nine or ten years old) may already have given promise of the piety which afterwards distinguished him: and that he would not, at this time, have considered that his prediction would be quite inadequately realised if the youthful prince should, on his accession to the throne of David and Solomon, renew the glories of their reigns, in which peace and justice were established at home and abroad, through trust in Jehovah and His covenant: — reigns of which the historical facts must be studied in the light which the Book of Psalms and such passages as 2 Chronicles 9:1-8 throw on them. I say at this time, because we shall have occasion to inquire what was the effect on Isaiah's mind when he did see a restoration under Hezekiah of such a reign of righteousness and prosperity; and whether his expectation of the Messiah did not eventually assume a very different form from what could have been possible to him at the time we now speak of. There is a method through this whole Book of Isaiah's prophecies which reflects a corresponding progress in the prophet's own mind; and this method offers us a clue through difficulties which are otherwise impassable, if we will only hold it fast and follow its guidance fairly.

(Sir E. Strachey, Bart.)

Such language speaks of an ideal king, even a Divine ruler, and only in a very poor degree found its fulfilment in Hezekiah or any Jewish king.

(B. Blake, B. D.)

Sunday School Chronicle.
In the crooked alleys of Venice, there is a thin thread of red stone inlaid in the pavement or wail, which guides through all the devious turnings to the Piazza in the centre, where the great church stands. So in reading the Old Testament we see in the life of many a personage, illustrious or obscure, and in many a far off event, the red line of promise and prophecy which stretches on unbroken until the Son of Man came.

(Sunday School Chronicle.)

Dr. Gordon, of Boston, had a large dissected "puzzle map," which he gave to his children, saying, "Don't press the parts into their places; you will soon know when they fit." Coming again into the room, very soon after, he was surprised to find the map complete. He felt like saying, as Isaac to Jacob, when the latter returned with the venison, "How is it that thou hast found it so quickly, my son?" "Why, father," was the reply, "there was a man printed on the back; we saw where the feet, the eyes, the arms, and the rest of the body came, and so it was easy to watch it and fit all in." So, if we know the Bible, we see "the Man on the back"; we put together the prophecies of the Old Testament by "the Man Christ Jesus."

(A. T. Pierson, D. D.)

It is not necessary to suppose that the prophet knew the literal meaning of his own words. He is but a poor preacher who knows all that he has said in his sermon. Had the prophet done so, he would be no longer the contemporary of his own epoch. It is the glory of prophecy to feel after. It is the glory of science to say long before the planet is discovered — there is another world there: no telescope has seen it, no message of light has been received from it consciously, but keep your telescope in that direction, there must be a starry pulse just there. The botanist knows that if he finds a certain plant in a given locality there will be another plant of another name not a mile away. He judges from one plant to another; he submits himself to inferential logic: he has not seen that other plant, but he tells you in the morning that because yesternight he found this leaf growing not far from the house in which he resides no will find another leaf of a similar pattern, or a diverse pattern, not far away; and at night he comes home, radiant as the evening star, and says, Behold, I told you this morning what would be the case, and there it is. So with the larger astronomy, and the larger botany: there is another planet somewhere yonder; when it is discovered call it the Morning Star, and inasmuch as there is triacle, treacle, in Gilead — a balm there — there shall be found another plant not far away; when you find it call it by some sweet name, such as the Rose of Sharon, or the Lily of the valley. It is the glory of the prophet to see signs which have infinite meanings — to see the harvest in the seed, the noonday in the faintest tint of dawn, the mighty man in the helpless infant, the Socrates in the embryo. This prevision made the prophets seemingly mad. Their knowledge was to them but a prison, so small, so dark, yet now and again almost alive with a glory all but revealed. The horizon was loaded with gloom, yet here and there a rent showed that heaven was immediately behind, and might at any moment make the dark cold earth bright and warm with eternal summer.

(J. Parker, D. D.)

Look at the Deliverer as seen by the prophet — "For 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 —." Now, the English punctuation seems to fritter away the dignity of the appellation The compound name really falls into this classification: first, Wonderful-Counsellor, as one word, as if, indeed, it were but one syllable; second, God-the-Mighty-One, not four words, but hyphened together; third, Father-of-Eternity, also hyphened and consolidated; fourth, Prince-of-Peace, that likewise an instance of the words run into one another, and in this four-fold classification we have the mysterious name of the Deliverer. This is no evidence that Isaiah saw the birth of Christ as we understand that term, but what he did see was that the only deliverer who could accomplish the necessary work must fill out the whole measure of these terms; if he failed to fill out that outline, he was not the predicted Messiah. Let us see.

1. He must fill the imagination — "Wonderful." Imagination cannot be safely left out of any religion; it is that wondrous faculty that flies to great heights, and is not afraid of infinite breadths; the faculty, so to say, that lies at the back of all other faculties, sums them up, and then adds an element of its own, using the consolidated mind for the highest purposes of vision and understanding. Is this name given for the first time? Where do we find the word "Wonderful" in the Scriptures? We may not, perhaps, find it in the English tongue, but it is really to be found in Judges 13:18: The angel of the Lord said unto Manoah, "Why askest thou thus after my name, seeing, it is secret?" — the same Hebrew word that is rendered in the text "Wonderful"; so we might read, "The angel of the Lord said unto him, Why askest thou thus after My name, seeing it is Wonderful?"

2. He must satisfy the judgment. His name, therefore, is not only Wonderful, but "Counsellor," the fountain of wisdom and understanding, the mind that rules over all things with perfectness of mastery, that attests everything by the eternal meridian, and that looks for righteousness.

3. He must also satisfy the religious instinct, so He is called "The Mighty God." It is not enough to describe God without epithetic terms. Sometimes we say, Why utter such words as, Thou infinite, eternal, ever-blessed God? Because we are so constituted in this infantile state of being that we need a ladder of adjectives to get up to our little conception of that which is inconceivable.

4. Not only so, there must be in this man a sense of brotherhood, so He is called "The-Prince-of-Peace." He will bring man to man, nation to nation; He will arbitrate amongst the empires of the earth and rule by the Sabbatic spirit. Christianity is peace.

5. He is to be more still. He is to be "The Everlasting Father," otherwise translated, The Father of Eternity; otherwise, and better translated, The Father of the age to come. Therein we have misinterpreted Christianity. We have been too anxious to understand the past. The pulpit has had a backward aspect — most careful about what happened in the second century, dying to know what thought and what did. Christ is the Father of the age to come. If He lived now He would handle the question of poverty; He would discuss the great uses of Parliament; He would address Himself to every church, chapel, and sanctuary in the kingdom; He would come into our various sanctuaries and turn us out to a man. Christianity is the prophetic religion. It deals with the science that is to be, with the politics yet to be developed, with the commerce that is yet to be the bread-producing action of civilised life.

(J. Parker, D. D.)

I. LET US EXPLAIN THE PREDICTION. The grandeur of the titles sufficiently determines the meaning of the prophet; for to whom, except to the Messiah, can these appellations belong This natural sense of the text is supported by the authority of an inspired writer, and what is, if not of any great weight in point of argument, at least very singular as a historical fact, it is supported by the authority of an angel (Matthew 4:12, etc.; Luke 1:31, etc.). To remove the present fears of the Jews, God reminds them of the wonders of His love, which He had promised to display in favour of His Church in ages to come: and commands His prophet to say to them: Ye trembling leaves of the wood, shaken with every wind, peace be to you! Ye timorous Jews, cease your fears! let not the greatness of this temporal deliverance, which I now promise you, excite your doubts! God hath favours incomparably greater in store for you, they shall be your guarantees for those which ye are afraid to expect. Ye are in covenant with God. Ye have a right to expect those displays of His love in your favour, which are least credible. Remember the blessed seed, which He promised to your ancestors (Genesis 22:18). "Behold! a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and call His name Immanuel" (Isaiah 7:14). The spirit of prophecy that animates me, enables me to penetrate through all the ages that separate the present moment from that in which the promise shall be fulfilled. I dare speak of a miracle, which will be wrought eight hundred years hence, as if it had been wrought today, "Unto us a Child is born," etc.

II. LET US SHOW ITS ACCOMPLISHMENT. Who is a king? What is a throne? Why have we masters! Why is sovereign power lodged in a few hands? And what determines mankind to lay aside their independence, and to lose their beloved liberty? The whole implies some mortifying truths. We have not knowledge sufficient to guide ourselves, and we need minds wiser than our own to inspect and to direct our conduct. We are indigent, and superior beings must supply our wants. We have enemies, and we must have guardians to protect us. Miserable men! how have you been deceived in your expectations? what disorders could anarchy have produced greater than those which have sometimes proceeded from sovereign authority? You sought guides to direct you: but you have sometimes fallen under the tuition of men who, far from being able to conduct a whole people, knew not how to guide themselves. You sought nursing fathers, to succour you in your indigence: but you have fallen sometimes into the hands of men, who had no other designs than to impoverish their people, to enrich themselves with the substance, and to fatten themselves with the blood of their subjects. You sought guardians to protect you from your enemies: but you have sometimes found executioners, who have used you with greater barbarity than your most bloody enemies would have done. Show me a king who will conduct me to the felicity to which I aspire; such a king! long to obey. Such a king is the King Messiah. You want knowledge: He is the Counsellor. You want reconciliation with God: He is the Prince of Peace. You need support under the calamities of this life: He is the Mighty God. You have need of one to comfort you under the fears of death, by opening the gates of eternal felicity to you: He is the Father of Eternity.

(J. Saurin.)

I. THE NAMES AND TITLES OF THIS WONDERFUL CHILD.

II. FOR WHOM HE WAS BORN.

III. THE PREROGATIVE, WHICH IS PREDICTED IN OUR TEXT RESPECTING THIS CHILD, namely, that the government shall be upon His shoulder.

1. In the Revelation the Church is figuratively represented under the similitude of a woman, and this woman is represented as bringing forth a man-child, who should rule all nations with a rod of from The same may be said of the Child whose birth is foretold in our text. All power is committed to Him in heaven and on earth; and God's language respecting Him is, I have set My King on My holy hill of Zion. This kingdom, which is usually styled Christ's mediatorial kingdom, includes all beings in heaven and hell, who will all, either willingly or by constraint, finally submit to Christ; for God has sworn by Himself that to Christ every knee shall bow, of things in heaven and things in the earth and things under the earth; and that every tongue shall confess Him Lord. He must reign until He has put all enemies under His feet. Agreeably, our text informs us, that of the increase of His government there will be no end. He will go on conquering and to conquer.

2. But in addition to this mediatorial kingdom of Christ, which is set up in the world, He has another kingdom, the kingdom of His grace, which is set up in the hearts of His people. This kingdom consists in righteousness and peace and holy joy, and of the increase of this kingdom also and of the peace which accompanies it, there shall be no end. This kingdom is compared to leaven hid in meal till the whole be leavened. Even in heaven there shall be no end to the increase of His people's happiness. Thus of the increase of His government and peace, there shall be no end.

(E. Payson, D. D.)

It is "to us," the sons and daughters of Adam; we are His poor relations; and to us as His poor relations on earth, sons of Adam's family, whereof He is the top branch, this Child is presented born, for our comfort in our low state.

I. WHAT IS PRESUPPOSED IN THIS PRESENTING OF CHRIST AS A BORN CHILD.

1. His birth was expected and looked for.

2. Christ is now born. He was really born; a little Child, though the Mighty God; an Infant, not one day old, though the Everlasting Father.

3. Some have been employed to present this Child to the friends and relations; and they are still about the work.

(1)The Holy Spirit.

(2)Ministers.

4. This Child is actually presented to us on His birth.

II. TO WHOM IS CHRIST PRESENTED?

1. Not to the fallen angels.

2. To mankind sinners, those of the house of His father Adam.

(1)Embrace Him, with old Simeon, in the arms of faith.

(2)Kiss the Son, receiving Him as your Lord and King and God.

III. HOW IS CHRIST PRESENTED?

1. In the preaching of the Gospel.

2. In the administration of the sacraments.

3. In the internal work of saving illumination.

IV. WHAT IS THE IMPORT OF HIS BEING PRESENTED TO US?

1. Our special concern in His birth — as the birth of a Saviour to us.

2. Our relation to Him. Sinners of mankind have a common relation to Christ.

(1)In respect of the nature He assumed. "We are members of His body, of His flesh, and of His bones" (Ephesians 5:30).

(2)In respect of His office — the Saviour of the world.

3. An owning of our relation to Him. "He is not ashamed to call them brethren" (Hebrews 2:11).

4. The comfortableness of His birth to us. Children are presented on their birth to their relations, for their comfort; and so is Christ to sinners of mankind.

V. WHEREFORE IS CHRIST PRESENTED TO US ON HIS BIRTH?

1. That we may see the faithfulness of God in the fulfilling of His promise.

2. That we may rejoice in Him.

3. That we may look on Him, see His glory, and be taken with Him (John 1:14).

4. That we may acknowledge Him in the character in which He appears as the Saviour of the world and our Saviour.

(T. Boston.)

I. WE SHALL VIEW THESE PROPHETIC APPELLATIONS, IN THEIR APPLICATION TO THE LORD JESUS CHRIST, AS EXPOUNDING TO US HIS NATURE AND WORK, AND RECEIVING THEIR FULLEST REALISATION IN HIM. They are not mere empty names, assumed for the purposes of pomp and impression, but appropriate descriptions of living realities. When it is said, "His name shall be called," the meaning is that He shall be such, for in the Hebrew language "to be called" and "to be" frequently mean the same thing. Every name He bears is the Divine exponent of a corresponding attribute, or office, or work, and so it is here.

1. He is the Wonderful. The proper idea conveyed by this appellation is something miraculous, and it means that the great Personage to whom it is here applied, in His nature and works, would be distinguished by supernatural qualities and deeds, would be raised above the ordinary course and laws of nature, and would stand out before angels and men as a unique and splendid miracle. In this sense, it applies with great force and accuracy to the Redeemer, and to Him alone.

2. He is the Counsellor.(1) This appellation points to Christ, not as a Counsellor among others, but as Counsellor, Counsellor in the abstract, the great Counsellor of the vast universe, one of the glorious persons in the Godhead, who was concerned in all the acts and counsels of past eternity. Hence the Septuagint translates it, "the Angel of the mighty counsel"; and the Chaldee, "the God of the wonderful counsel."(2) As "the Counsellor," He directs and instructs His people in all their temporal, spiritual, and eternal concerns; if He did not do so, they would soon be involved in disorder and ruin.(3) And He is "the Counsellor," inasmuch as He is the Advocate of His people, and has carried their cause into the high court of heaven

3. He is "the Mighty God"; an appellation impressively sublime, which no serious mind can approach without feeling the most profound reverence and awe. It naturally and obviously denotes a person possessing a Divine nature.

4. He is "the Everlasting Father," or, "the Father of Eternity." The emphasis of this appellation is not on the word "father," but on the word "eternity." It was customary among those who spoke and wrote the Hebrew language, to call a person who possessed a thing, the "father" of it: hence, a strong man was called "the father of strength"; a wise man, "the father of wisdom'"; a wealthy man, "the father of riches"; and so on. Now, the phrase, "the Father of Eternity," seems to be here applied to Christ in a similar way — He possessed eternity, and, therefore, He is called the Father of it. It is a Hebraism of great poetic strength and beauty, employed to express duration — the duration of His being — the essential eternity of His existence past and future — and, perhaps, there could not be a more emphatic declaration of His right to this wonderful attribute of the Deity, strict, proper, and independent eternity of being.

5. He is the "Prince of Peace." This appellation seems intended to teach us, that the Messiah would be invested with the prerogatives and honours of royalty, and that His kingdom, in its essential laws and principles, would differ from all the kingdoms of men, past, ,present, and future. While other kings were despots and warriors, He would be peaceable Prince. While other kingdoms were acquired by physical violence and force, and were cemented with human tears and blood, His would consist in righteousness, peace, and joy, and would win its way among men by the inherent power of its own excellence, would gradually terminate war and conflict, and restore love and order to the whole earth. But His reign was to achieve higher ends still, for it was to establish peace between man and his own conscience, between man and all good beings, between man and all the physical and moral laws of the universe, and between man and his insulted and offended Maker. Hence, prophecy foretold that, in His days there should be abundance of peace; that, in His reign, justice and mercy should meet together, righteousness and peace Should embrace each other; that the chastisement of our peace should be on Him; that He should be the peace; and that, of the increase of His peace there should be no end.

II. PRACTICAL LESSONS.

1. Hold fast the divinity of Christ.

2. How great is the sin and how fearful is the condition of those who reject the Saviour. He is "the Wonderful" — the admired of God, of angels, and of saints; and yet He has no attractions for you. He is "the Counsellor"; and yet you never "wait for His counsel," but follow your own vain imaginations. He is "the Mighty God"; and yet you trample on His authority, defy His power, and risk His awful displeasure. He is "the Father of Eternity"; and yet you seek no place in His heavenly family, and are in imminent danger of being forever banished from His presence, and the glory of His power. He is "the Prince of Peace"; and yet you voluntarily live in a state of hostility to Him and His kingdom, and refuse to be reconciled by the blood of His Cross.

3. How secure and happy is the state of believers.

(W. Gregory.)

I. The first description that is here given of the Redeemer is in these words — UNTO US A CHILD IS BORN. This may denote either the infancy of His state, when He appeared in our world, or the reality of His human nature.

1. With regard to the infancy of His state, the apostle says, it behoved Him to be made like unto His brethren.

2. With regard to the reality of His human nature, the Scripture assures us, that it was of the same kind with ours, consisting of a human body and a human soul.

II. The next description of our Redeemer is in these words — UNTO US A SON IS GIVEN. is spoken of His Divine nature. He is often called in Scripture the Son of God, His own Son, His only-begotten and well-beloved Son, and as such is said to be given to us. A son always means one, not of an inferior, but of the same nature as his father.

III. It is added, THE GOVERNMENT SHALL BE UPON HIS SHOULDER. Taken in its most extensive sense, the government of our Lord extends over all The whole universe is under His dominion. But what we are chiefly to understand here is the kingdom of grace, the administration of mercy, the government of which in a peculiar manner is intrusted to Him. The kingdom of God and the kingdom of heaven were phrases familiar to the Jews, by which they always understood the Messiah's kingdom. The immediate design of erecting this kingdom on earth is the salvation of believers, of the guilty race of men. All parts of the universe are concerned in this glorious design. The angels of heaven rejoice in it, and are ministering spirits to the heirs of salvation. The powers of darkness unite their force to disappoint the hopes of the heirs of this kingdom, but in vain; the King of Zion has bound them in chains of darkness, and will turn their malicious designs to their greater condemnation. All men do not indeed submit to the laws of this government, but all are nevertheless the lawful subjects of it. But the Redeemer has also many voluntary subjects. The right of Jesus to His mediatorial kingdom is founded upon promise, conquest, and purchase, even the price of His own precious blood; and we have the utmost assurances in His Word, which cannot fail, that He will one day take to Himself His great power and reign in a more illustrious and extensive manner than He has yet done.

IV. The next thing asserted of the Redeemer is, HIS NAME SHALL BE CALLED WONDERFUL. And the Redeemer is indeed Wonderful.

1. In the constitution of His person, as Immanuel, God in our nature.

2. The preparations for His birth, and the manner and circumstances of it, were also wonderful.

3. Jesus was also wonderful in His life.

4. And in His death.

5. And in His rising from the grave, and in His ascension to heaven.

V. The next title which the Redeemer has, is that of COUNSELLOR. He is fully instructed in the counsels of God the Father, for He lay in His bosom from eternity; and as the execution of the plans of the Divine administration is committed to Him, He cannot but be well acquainted with them. Besides, our Lord, by His office and appointment, is the great Counsellor or Prophet of the Church.

VI. He is also THE MIGHTY God. The same expression is used in chap. 10:21 concerning Jehovah, the God of Israel. All the perfections of the Mighty God are ascribed to the Redeemer in Scripture. And worship, which only belongs to the Mighty God, is given to Christ.

VII. The next thing asserted of our Redeemer is, that He is THE EVERLASTING FATHER. The LXX renders these words, the Father of the world to come, or final dispensation of mercy and grace, as the Gospel is often called. And Christ may be called so —

1. As He has chosen His people, in His eternal purpose, that they might be sharers in His bliss and glory.

2. Christ is the Father of all true believers, in a spiritual sense. They are all His spiritual seed. The great outlines of His features are drawn upon them, and when they arrive at heaven, they shall attain to the likeness of Jesus in an eminent degree.

VIII. The last thing asserted of the Redeemer is, that He is THE PRINCE OF PEACE. Melchisedec was an eminent type of the Son of God, in this respect. He was King of Salem, which is by interpretation, King of Peace. And peace is the disposition for which the Saviour was renowned; the blessing which He died to purchase, and lives to bestow. Conclusion:

1. What an honour did the great and mighty God, our Saviour, put upon our nature by taking it into a personal union with His own Divine nature!

2. We may see from hence, how well the Redeemer was qualified for His office. What arm so powerful to save as that of the Mighty God?

3. What a fund of consolation does this passage of Scripture exhibit!

4. This subject speaks terror to the wicked.

5. We ought to entertain adoring and admiring thoughts of the Son of God, the Saviour of the world.

(J. Ross, D. D.)

I. We are led to inquire, HOW OUR SAVIOUR BECAME INCARNATE AND TOOK OUR MORTAL NATURE UPON HIM. Before Christ could become incarnate, He would have to lay aside His glory — the glory, Christ took a human soul, took our humanity upon Him, together with our form, and was made in the likeness of man. Nevertheless, Christ is not, and was not, two persons, but one.

II. We have now to inquire WHY CHRIST BECAME INCARNATE. To say that Christ died to save sinners is true enough, but it is not the whole truth. The question we have to answer is this: Why Christ became a man? He came to nave, but why not in another form?

1. To take away the consequences of the fall, to raise man to a higher estate even than he originally possessed, to save him from eternal ruin, and vindicate the love and wisdom which made man originally righteous, but not immaculate or impeccable, it was necessary for the Son of God to become the Son of Man, and to acknowledge a human parent; to "bear our griefs and carry our sorrows" (Hebrews 2:9-18). For only as a man could He undo the evil which man had brought upon himself; only as one of those He came to save, could Christ perform what man had left undone.

2. Moreover, Christ came to fulfil God's law, and that for us, though not to supersede our obedience. That law was designed for man, and alone in the form of man could Christ obey it. And having fulfilled His own broken law on their behalf to whom He had given it, He is enabled to help them to observe and do it. By His perfect obedience He has become our Pattern, and has procured and purchased for us the strength to enable us to walk in the steps of His most holy life.

3. In the next place, by assuming our nature, Christ is enabled to sympathise with us.

4. Again, it was necessary for Christ to become man in order to reveal His Father to us. Men, untaught by the Spirit of God, are apt to think that God is altogether such as themselves. Such we find was the case with the heathen philosophers of ancient Greece and Rome; if they taught otherwise, they taught in vain.

5. Christ also became man to make us love God, for to know Him is to love Him.

6. Christ became man to unite man to God.

(G. E. Watkins.)

I. THE PROMISED SAVIOUR IS DESCRIBED IN HIS HUMAN NATURE. "Unto us a Child is born." Having respect to the connection of the passage, and to the object for which the announcement is made, we feel that it is impossible to look on at the birth of this Child that was predicted, without seeing that a greater than one born of woman is there.

1. Still the main object of the first clause of the verse is, undoubtedly, to show forth that human nature in which He was to be manifested in order that He might do the work of salvation for His people. To be born is as truly the evidence and characteristic of humanity as to die. Not less in the simple but impressive fact of His birth of a human mother, than in the fact of His dying a human death, do we recognise the proof of our oneness with the Son of God in the same nature.

2. And why was it necessary for the hope and consolation of those whom He came to redeem, that they should be taught by the prophet that the Redeemer must be one with them in their very nature; and that the Eternal Son of God should be born of a woman?(1) It was necessary that the Son of God should be made man, because otherwise He could not have stood in man's place and dealt with God on man's behalf, nor suffered and died, as it was needful to suffer and die, in order to offer a true atonement for human guilt.(2) It was necessary that the Son of God should become man in order that He might be qualified to enter into our human feelings and fears, and to furnish us with a pledge of His sympathy in all our infirmities and temptations.

II. We find the prophet in the second clause making reference to THE DIVINE NATURE OF CHRIST. "Unto us a Son is given." And this view of the Person of Christ, as the Son of God as well as the Son of man, is not less necessary than the truth of His proper humanity to furnish a ground of hope and consolation to the Church of God in coming to Hun as a suitable and all-sufficient Redeemer.

III. But passing from the description of Christ's Person, the prophet next proceeds to give an account of the OFFICE WHICH BELONGS TO HIM, and which He executes as the Saviour. "The government shall be upon His shoulder." Borrowing its language from ancient customs, it is quite plain that the statement of the prophet contains in substance a declaration that the predicted Deliverer, whose advent was to shed light and blessedness on those who sat in darkness and the shadow of death, was to exercise a supreme and unlimited authority, and to employ this authority for accomplishing the great purpose for which He was born as a Child and given as a Son.

1. In the case of believers — i.e., of those who are already subjects of Christ's kingdom — it is a blessed privilege for them to be assured that He reigns, alone and supreme, in the world and the Church.

2. On the other hand, in the case of mere nominal professors, such a truth, if in any degree realised, is fitted to fill them with anxiety and dispeace.

(J. Bannerman, D. D.)

In interpreting the peculiar language employed, it is impossible to enter into its true significance without remembering that in ancient times, and more especially in the practice of the Jews, names had oftentimes, when applied to individuals, a significance which they have not when given, as among ourselves, upon no principle except family custom or personal preference. Among the Jews especially, they were often selected and given on the ground of some peculiarity in the circumstances or character of the person named; so that they ceased to be empty and arbitrary signs of the parties thus designated, and became truly descriptive of something in their history or condition. It is in this way that the name of God Himself is used as a synonym for the character of God (Exodus 23:21; Exodus 34:5-7; Proverbs 18:10). And it is in this way, undoubtedly, that we are to understand the language of the prophet when he tells us, in refer. once to the coming Deliverer, that "His name shall be called, Wonderful," etc.

(J. Bannerman, D. D.)

I. THE DIGNITY OF CHRIST'S PERSON. He is the Wonderful, the Counsellor, the Mighty God.

II. THE DEPTH OF HIS LOVE. He is born unto us a Child — given unto us a Son.

III. THE SUCCESS OF HIS UNDERTAKING. He is become the Father of the everlasting age — the Prince of Peace.

IV. HIS TITLE TO OUR OBEDIENCE. The government is on His shoulder.

(G. Innes.)

I. THE ANNOUNCEMENT OF MESSIAH'S BIRTH by the prophet.

1. The Person announced.

2. The terms of the announcement. Not for angel, nor for archangel, was the mighty scheme devised; it is for the human race — for man though rebel of his God; for man ruined and desolated by sin.

3. The confidence with which this announcement is made, as immediately taking place. "To us a Child is born; to us a Son is given." Faith pierces the vista of time, and beholds events, anticipated hundreds of years before, the birth of that glorious Redeemer who was slain from the foundation of the world; which had been promised by the word and oath of Jehovah Himself; and who, therefore, in the fulness of time should assuredly be granted.

II. THE OFFICE AND THE TITLES WHICH THE SAVIOUR SHOULD ASSUME.

(D. Wilson, M. A.)

I. HIS INCARNATION.

II. HIS EMPIRE.

III. HIS NAMES.

(W. Jay.)

To us, as we begin to wonder whether the entire movement of human life is not by some evil inspiration gone after a false scent, taken some terrible misdirection, shut itself up in a blind path that arrives at no goal and has no out way; to us, so heavily laden and so entangled, so fondly hoping; to us, as we walk on still in darkness and seem entering the very shadow of death; to us this Child is born, to us a Son is given, — a Child who shall be the issue, the justification, the consummation of all the long and weary story; a Son who is Himself the goal of our pilgrimage, the fulfilment of our imperfections, the crown of our endurance, the honour of our service, the glory of our building. There, in this Son of God, is an offer made by God, by which He will justify all suffering, retrieve all failure, redeem all fault; He gives us, in Him, an end for which to live. Here is His mind; here is His plan for us — for us, not only in our simple individual troubles and worries, but for us in the mass, as a race, as a society, as a civilisation. God has a scheme, an issue prepared for which He worketh hitherto, and that issue is His Son. In Him all will be gathered in and fulfilled, and "the government shall be upon His shoulder," "of His kingdom there shall he no end, His name shall be called Wonderful, the Mighty Counsellor, the Prince of Peace." And in the power of this message we are told not to faint or fail.

(Canon H. Scott-Holland.)

The principal object is to bring out the force of those two little words, "unto us."

I. IS IT SO?

1. If this Child is born to you, then you are born again. "But," saith one, "how am I to know whether I am born again or not?"

(1)Has there been a change effected by Divine grace within you?

(2)Has there been a change in you in the exterior?

(3)The very root and principle of thy life must become totally new.

2. If this Child is born to you, you are a child; and the question arises, are you so? Man grows from childhood up to manhood naturally; in grace men grow from manhood down to childhood, and the nearer we come to true childhood, the nearer we come to the image of Christ.

3. If this Son is given to you, you are a son yourself.

4. If unto us a Son is given, then we are given to the Son. Are you given up to Christ?

II. IF IT IS SO, WHAT THEN? If it is so, why am I doubtful today? Why are we sad! Why are our hearts so cold?

III. IF IT IS NOT SO, WHAT THEN?

1. Confess thy sins.

2. Renounce thyself.

3. Go to the place where Jesus died in agony.

( C. H. Spurgeon.)

I. Christ took to Himself human flesh to furnish us with AN EXHIBITION OF THE MORAL CHARACTER OF GOD.

II. The incarnation of Jesus is also A STUPENDOUS DISCOVERY OF WHAT MAN IS IN HIS HEAVENLY IDEAL AND HIS MORAL DESTINY.

(A. Maclennan, M. A.)

As if Heaven would underline the words to catch the eye, as if it were the keynote of its love, and should be the keynote of our song of praise, the words are twice repeated — "Unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given."

(A. Maclennan, M. A.)

I. THE SUBJECT OR MATTER OF THE BLESSING. "A Child," "a Son."

II. THE MANNER OF ITS CONVEYANCE. "Born, given."

III. OUR INTEREST IN IT. "Unto us," in our behalf all this, and to our benefit and advantage.

(A. Littleton, D. D.)

This promise of a Deliverer has lit up the march of all human generations; it has been the fountain of the fairest gleams which have crossed the darkness of the heathen world. And it is out of the bosom of Humanity that the Redeemer must be born — the Christ must be the human Child. The essential point lies here — redemption is not a process wrought by the right hand of power, so to speak, from without; the act of a Being of almighty power, who, seeing man in desperate extremity through sin and frustrating utterly the purposes and preparations of Heaven, stooped to lay hold on him, to lift him out of the abyss in which he was sinking, sad to place him by a sovereign act on a foundation where he might rest in safety, and work and grow. It is from within the bosom of humanity that the redemption is to be wrought which is to save humanity. It is by the outward sad upward pressure of a life which is truly and fully human, which has buried its Divine force in the very heart's core of our nature, and is "bone of our bones, and flesh of our flesh," that man is to be lifted to the levels which are above the sphere of tears and death forever.

(J. B. Brown, B. A.)

has been a day through all ages so solemn and sacred, that , a father and saint of the second century, calls it ἡ βασίλισσα ἡμερα, the Queen day in the calendar. We do not owe this solemnity then to the rubric of the Roman Church.

(A. Littleton, D. D.)

Man can suffer, but he cannot satisfy; God can satisfy, but He cannot suffer; but Christ, being both God and man, can both suffer and satisfy too; and so is perfectly fit both to suffer for man and to make satisfaction unto God — to reconcile God to man, and man to God.

(Bishop Beveridge.)

The humanisation of God is the divinisation of man.

(Novalis.)

A few generations before the Advent the word would have been meaningless. Jew and Gentile, Greek and Barbarian, freeman and slave, were terms full of meaning; but "man," what could that mean? Even found it hard to discover a common term which would cover the life of the freeman and the slave. But as the hour of the Advent, "the fulness of the time," approached, through a very wonderful chain of agencies and influences, in the linking together of which the Hand which guided the culture of the Jewish people to the fulfilment of the primal promise is very palpably manifest, the idea of a common human nature, with common attributes, common sympathies, needs, and interests, and capable of a common life, the life of the universal human society, began to haunt the minds of men.

(J. B. Brown, B. A.)

Here are two very distinct features of human development during the ages which preceded the Advent of the Lord. Men were feeling after the ground and the conditions of a universal human society; and they were searching for the bask and the law of personal conduct, as beings endowed with moral and intellectual faculties which might be a rich blessing or a terrible curse to them and to man. kind. To this point humanity had progressed, moved from within, led from on High. Was the higher progress possible to heathen society! Was there power in heathenism to lift man into this sphere of universal brotherhood, and, to expound the mystery of his being and destiny! None, absolutely none. Heathen society, with all its brilliant civilisation, was utterly, hopelessly exhausted. The Lord was born into a world of wreck. But for Christ all must have perished. The world which the Lord came to save was groaning beneath the wrecks of most of the most hopeful political, philosophical, and religious efforts and achievements of mankind. And yet there had been splendid progress. Man's life was enlarged in every direction but the highest.

(J. B. Brown, B. A.)

"Seek fellowship with Zeus," cried Epictetus, in a last, eager, desperate appeal Alas! it was the Zeus that was wanting; and to find Him Epictetus must pass on his disciples to a higher school. There was a yearning for God, for personal fellowship with God, for personal likeness to God, unknown to the older ages; marking a grand advance in the aspiration and effort of the noblest and most far-seeing spirits. "But who is the Zeus, the god of whom you talk, that may believe on Him," was the cry which grew more hopeless and agonising generation by generation; to which tradition had no answer, to which philosophy had no answer, to which religion had no answer; to which no answer was possible until One stood on the earth and said, "No man hath seen God at any time; the only-begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, He hath declared Him," Then man began to look up and live.

(J. B. Brown, B. A.)

When that Child was born to humanity, when that Son took His place by its hearth fire, a new life entered into the world. That age of the Advent is very manifestly the age in which some transcendently stimulating, quickening influence penetrated the life of men, and began to make all things new; than the old civilisation decayed, the new power reorganised and restored.

(J. B. Brown, B. A.)

Now and then a birth occurs of such momentous portent to man, that men are constrained by the influences which proceed from it to fix it in memory, and give to its anniversary fitting commemoration. There are births which are like the introduction of new forces and energies into human society, which pour the current of their power down through the ages with ever-widening and deepening volume. When Confucius was born, half of the human race had a father and a teacher given them. When Moses was born, not only a few millions of slaves found a deliverer, but the great underlying, eternal principles of morality and piety found a spokesman. With Socrates, Greece had given to her the opportunity of goodness. With Caesar came into human history the embodiment of ambition. The birth of Wilberforce was the beginning of a philanthropic education to Christendom. Howard demonstrated that the extremest feelings of a kindly humanity were practical and serviceable to society. With Washington came to mankind the ideal of unselfish patriotism; while Lincoln embodied the first century of the American Republic. These were noted men, extraordinary beings; and the names of these are all memorable. Their names have passed into history, and remain as certainly fixed as the stars beaming in the sky; and, like the stars, their glory is abundant to attract unto them the observation of men. When the date of their birth, or the supposed date of their birth, is reached, as with the movement of time we swing round the circuit of the year, men instinctively pause; thought is quickened; the depths of gratitude are stirred with benign remembrance; and thanksgiving naturally ascends unto God, who has given unto men, unto them and theirs, such a beneficent gift.

(W. H. Murray.)

Wherever you find love, you find a personal being connected with it as its object, We do not love motherhood, we love mother. We do not love family government, we love the persons who compose the family. We do not love theology, we love God of whom it treats. We commemorate today, therefore — not the birth of a system, but the birth of a man. It is a sweet and innocent babe, and not a collection of doctrines, in praise of whom our songs are sung today, and unto whom our hearts are lifted in holy gladness.

(W. H. Murray.)

We celebrate the birth of a man with universal connections; you and I were born connected with but a few. A little group absorbed us, and a little spot bounded us within its limits. Other men, of larger mould than we, were born with larger connections. The chief is connected with his tribe at his birth; the king with his kingdom; the patriot and leader with his country or party; the priest with his Church. Around all these walls are builded, over which they never pass until death lifts them above the local, and multiplies their associations. But Christ was born with universal connections. His little family did not absorb Him. He was not the son of Mary and Joseph, He was the son of humanity; He was the Son of Man the world over.

(W. H. Murray.)

The reason that Christ had these universal connections was because He came to assist men in reference to those conditions of want that are universal. In Him the perfect constitution had organisation. In feeling, in thinking, in suffering and gladness, in mourning and joy, in every capacity which men have, in every condition in which men stand, He was akin to them. From every bosom a sympathetic chord ran up into His, and He could, therefore, sense the needs of every bosom. He sympathised with every phase of humanity, because His humanity was perfect enough in its sensitiveness to be intelligent with every phase.

(W. H. Murray.)

The birth of any infant is a far greater event than the production of the sun. The sun is only a lump of senseless matter: it sees not its own light; it feels not its own heat; and, with all its grandeur, it will cease to be: but that infant beginning only to breathe yesterday, is possessed of reason — claims a principle infinitely superior to all matter — and will live through the ages of eternity!

(W. Jay.)

I. GOD CAME TO US IN THAT CHILD. His parents were instructed to call Him "Immanuel" — "God with us." Such a fact is big with meaning; pregnant with vital, jubilant truth. Why did God come to us thus in a babe? He must have had some wise and loving purpose that He wished to secure thereby. What For ages men had been taught to fear God, their thoughts of Him filled them with dismay; hence the gods of the heathen nations. The large body of the Jewish nation was not much in advance of the heathen. This dread of God was universal. To correct all such ideas, and remove all such feelings from the minds and hearts of men forever, God came to us as a child. Are you afraid of a babe?

II. GOD CAN COME TO US IN THE SMALLEST THINGS. We generally look for God in the great, vast, mighty, terrible. We expect something to strike the eye, etc. Will you remember that God came to us in that quiet, loving, unpretending babe, that lay in that, manager and nestled in His mother's bosom? And so God comes to us in the little, simple, humble, noiseless, common things of life, if we only look for Him. Especially He comes to us in our children. They bring love with them, and "love is of God," etc. We might in a far higher sense than we think for call every child "Immanuel." In our child God comes to us, God is with us. Do we believe this? If so, should we not oftener look for and educate the God in them? We should do far better with them if from the beginning we sought to bring out, nourish, educate, develop the good, the God that is in them, instead of making it our chief concern to correct the wrong, to restrain the evil.

III. THE WHOLE OF LIFE IS SACRED AND SHOULD BE CONSECRATED TO GOD. God came to us in that Child. The whole of life is sacred, open for the operations, possession, enjoyment of God. God was in that Child notwithstanding all its infantile wants, weaknesses, complaints. And so God was in that boy, notwithstanding all His playfulness and vivacity. Indeed, that was the boyish, outward manifestation of God; the boyish way of declaring God's glory If God was in that Child, "God manifest in the flesh," His whole life, from His birth to His death, was God life.

IV. GREAT ENDINGS HAVE LITTLE BEGINNINGS. Who shall measure the magnitude, height, depth, length, breadth of the work which Christ accomplished as Saviour of the world? Yet it has all to be traced back to the birth of that Child. God's method is evolution from the small to the great.

(B. Preece.)

Pure Christianity owes its power to the fact that it comes to us as a little child, beautiful in innocence and simplicity. The pure spirit of Christianity is the essence of kindness. Christianity owes its power to its spirit of gentleness. Christianity is forgiving like a little child. Christianity, however, like a little child, is often misunderstood. Alas! that Christianity should be hated, by some people. Not only did Herod seek its life eighteen hundred years ago, but there are men today who, Herod-like, seek to strangle the infant Christ.

(W. Birch.)

Unto us a Son is given
I. THE GIFT ITSELF. Many precious gifts have come from heaven to earth, yea, all we have is Heaven's gift (James 1:17). But this is the great gift.

1. What this gift is.

(1)A Person. Persons are more excellent than things. A soul is more precious than a world. So this gift is more precious than the whole world.

(2)A Divine Person.

(3)The Lord Jesus Christ.

2. Wherein this gift appears and comes to us. Those who send precious gifts to others, wrap them up in something that is less precious. And a treasure sent in earthen vessels is the method of conveyance of the best gifts from heaven to earth. The Son of God, being the gift, was sent veiled and wrapped up in our nature. This veil laid over the gift sent to poor sinners was(1) less precious than the gift itself. The human nature of Christ was a crested thing, His Divine nature uncreated.(2) However, it was a cleanly thing. The human nature of Christ, though infinitely below the dignity of His Divine nature, yet was a holy thing (Luke 1:35). This gift appeared and was sent to us in the veil of the human nature —(a) that it might be capable of the treatment it behoved to undergo for our relief — to suffer and die;(b) that it might be suited to the weakness of the capacity of the receivers. The Son of God in His unveiled glory would have no more been an object for our eyes to have looked on, than the shining sun to the eyes of an owl. A few rays of His glory, breaking out from under me veil, made His enemies fall to the ground.

3. What a gift this is. Singular for(1) the worth of it. If it were laid in the balance with ten thousand worlds, they would be lighter than vanity in comparison of it; nay, balanced with the gift of created graces, and the created heavens, it would down weigh them; as the bridegroom's person is more worth than his jewels and palace.(2) The suitableness of it (Acts 4:12; Hebrews 7:25; 1 John 5:12).(3) The seasonableness of it.(4) The comprehensiveness of it (Romans 8:32; Colossians 2:9, 10; 1 John 5:11).(5) The unrestricted freeness of it. What is freer than a gift? The joint stock of the whole world could not have purchased this gift.(a) Beware of slighting this gift.(b) Take heed ye miss not to perceive this gift. Most men see no further into the mystery of Christ than the outward appearance it makes in the world, as administered in the Word, sacraments, etc.; and they despise it.(c) Admire the wisdom of God, and His infinite condescension, in the manner of the conveyance of this gift.(d) See here how you may be enriched for time and eternity.

II. THE GIVER.

1. Who is the Giver? God. And to exalt the Giver's free love and grace herein, observe from the Word three things there marked about it.(1) It was His own Son that He gave.(2) It was His beloved Son.(3) It was His only-begotten Son.

2. What has He given sinners, gifting His Son to them? The tongues of men and angels cannot fully express this.(1) He has given them Himself.(2) Eternal life. Here is legal life, moral life, a life of comfort; and all eternal.(3) All things (Romans 8:32; 1 Corinthians 3:21; Romans 8:17; Revelation 21:7).

III. THE PARTY TO WHOM HE IS GIVEN.

1. To whom He is given. To mankind sinners indefinitely.

2. In what respects Christ is given to them.(1) In respect of allowance to take Him.(2) In respect of legal destination (1 John 4:14). If ye had an act of parliament appointing a thing for you, ye would not question its being given you; here ye have more.(3) In respect of real offer.(4) In respect of the freeness of the offer.(5) In respect of exhibition. This gift is held forth as with the hand, God saying, He, sinners, here is My Son, take Him. And God doth not stay the exhibiting of His Son to sinners till they say they will take Him.

3. In what character Christ is given to sinners, A Saviour; a surety; a physician; a light; an atoning sacrifice; a crowned King, mighty to destroy the kingdom of Satan and to rescue mankind sinners, his captives and prisoners.

IV. APPLICATION.

1. Believe that to us poor sinners the Son of God in man's nature is given.

2. Receive the gift of Christ, at His Father's hand.(1) Consider ye have an absolute need of this gift.(2) Them are some who have as much need as you, to whom yet He is not given, namely, the fallen angels.(3) Ye must either receive or refuse.(4) Consider the worth of the gift(5) Consider the Hand it comes from.(6) Consider that others before you have received it, and have been made up by it forever.(7) Consider that this gift will not always be for the taking as it is now.(8) Your not receiving will be very heinously taken, as a deepest slight put upon both the Giver and the gift(9) It will set you at greater distance from God than ever.

(T. Boston.)

I. WHO IS THE SON GIVEN AND WHAT IS HIS PURPOSE? It is our Lord Jesus Christ. The verse begins with His humanity; and, mounting upwards, it rises to the height of His Divinity. The prophet conducts us to Bethlehem and its stable, to the desert and its hunger, to the well and its thirst, to the workshop and its daily toil, to the sea and its midnight storm, to Gethsemane and its bloody sweat, to Calvary and its ignominious death, and all along that thorny path that stretched from the manger to the Cross; for in announcing the birth and coming of this Son and Child, he included in that announcement the noble purposes for which He was horn — His work, His sufferings, His life, His death, all the grand ends for which the Son was given and the Child was born.

II. BY WHOM WAS THIS SON GIVEN? By His Father. Man has his remedies, but they are always behindhand. The disease antedates the cure. But before the occasion came God was ready. Redemption was planned in the councils of eternity, and Satan's defeat secured before his first victory was won. The Son gave Himself, but the Father gave Him; and there is no greater mistake than to regard God as looking on at redemption as a mere spectator, to approve the sacrifice and applaud the actor. God's love was the root, Christ's death the fruit.

III. TO WHOM WAS HE GIVEN? He was given "to us."

( T. Guthrie, D. D.)

A poor little street girl was taken sick one Christmas and carried to a hospital. While there she heard the story of Jesus' coming into the world to save us. It was all new to her, but very precious. She could appreciate such a wonderful Saviour, and the knowledge made her very happy as she lay upon her little cot. One day the nurse came around at the usual hour, and "Little Broomstick" (that was her street name) held her by the hand, and whispered: "I'm having real good times here — ever such good times! S'pose I shall have to go away from here just as soon as I get well; but I'll take the good time along — some of it, anyhow. Did you know 'bout Jesus bein' born!" "Yes," replied the nurse, "I know. Sh-sh-sh! Don't talk any more." "You did? I thought you looked as if you didn't and I was goin' to tell you." "Why, how did I look?" asked the nurse, forgetting her own orders in curiosity. "Oh, just like most o' folks — kind o' glum. I shouldn't think you'd ever look gloomy if you knowed 'bout Jesus bein' born."

(Faithful Witness.)

Sunday Magazine.
Part of the city of Florence was called "The Joyful Quarter." It was through a picture painted by Cimbrie of Jesus as a baby seated on His mother's knee. When finished, the grand old painter did not make a charge for people to see it, but had it carried into the poor quarters, and through the streets slowly, in the sight of all the people. Before this, they had thought of Jesus as far too grand for them to love. In this picture He looked so sweet and good that people broke into surprised thankfulness and joy.

(Sunday Magazine.)

A respectable family becomes very reduced in its circumstances; the mother finds it difficult to make the meagre provision suffice for her hungry little ones; their clothes get more ragged; the father's threadbare coat makes it less and less possible for him to obtain the situation which his qualifications deserve. But a child is born into that home, quite unlike the rest of the children — beautiful in feature, quick in intelligence, winsome, gifted, spirituelle. As he grows up, he manifests unusual powers; rapidly distances his compeers; passes from the elementary school to the college, and thence to the university. Presently tidings begin to come back of his success, his growing fame, his prizes, the assured certainty of his becoming a great man; and as they arrive in letter, and rumour, and newspaper, the mother's eye gets brighter; the father no longer evades the associates of earlier days; the home becomes better furnished and the table better spread; the other children are better clothed and educated and put forward in life; and the one glad explanation of it all is found in the words, "Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given." And as the years go on, whilst money pours in as a golden tide to the successful student, it will find its way increasingly to the family in the old home; and each member of it will reap the benefit of association with its child and son, all that is needed being to prove a distinct need, and to put in an appropriate claim. What a mine of wealth would be opened up in the counsel, strength, resources, influence, and position, of that beloved and trusted son and brother! This will illustrate the prophet's thought. As the oppressed Jews, groaning in their brick kilns, were glad for Moses, given to lead them forth from the house of bondage; as England, travailing under the cruel exactions of the Danes, was glad for our great Alfred; as the Netherlands were glad when William the Silent arose to arrest the bloodthirsty rule of Alva; as Italy was glad when her Victor Emmanuel overthrew the dark misrule of the Papacy — so may we be glad because God has given Himself to us in Jesus. Why should living men complain? Granted that Adam was our father, the second Adam is the Son of Man. If tears and toil and pain and death have come by one, glory and honour and immortality are ours by the other. If we are sons, and therefore younger brothers of the Son; if we have the right to call His Father our Father, we gain from our association with Him more than enough to compensate us for our association with the gardener who stole his Master's fruit in the garden of Paradise. Christian people do not enough appreciate this connection, or avail themselves of its benefits.

(F. B. Meyer, B. A.)

And the government shall be upon His shoulder.
I. JESUS CHRIST HAS THE GOVERNMENT OF HEAVEN. After He had triumphantly risen from the dead, and the time of His glorious ascension to heaven was at hand, He said unto His disciples, "All power is given unto Me in heaven," meaning, that to Him, as the gracious and glorious Mediator between us sinners and God our heavenly Sovereign, all power in heaven was given. And hence the following great and gracious truths —

1. Jesus Christ is the only person who, principally and above all others, has power with God for us. "There is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus."

2. He is the only person by whom we can hope to obtain an entrance into heaven.

3. He has power in heaven to exclude, as well as to admit, whom He will.

4. He has power in heaven to provide mansions for His friends.

5. He has power in heaven over all the angels; He is their Lord, whom they worship and obey; He is exalted above all principalities and powers: the angels are His ministering spirits, whom He sends forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation (Hebrews 1:6-14).

II. JESUS CHRIST HAS THE GOVERNMENT OF EARTH (Matthew 28:18).

1. He has power on earth to form and establish a Church to the glory and praise of God.

2. He has power on earth to keep His Church, through faith, unto final and full salvation.

3. He has power on earth over the wicked.

III. JESUS CHRIST HAS THE GOVERNMENT OF HELL. Satan, therefore, and the whole host of evil spirits, are under His command; and therefore their malice, their subtilty, and power, shall never prevail to the ruin of the weakest of His flock. Conclusion —

1. And first, we infer — What a glorious person is Jesus Christ! In defiance of all His enemies, He it is of whom the Father declares, "Yet have I set My King upon My holy hill of Zion" (Psalm 2:6).

2. How dignified, and secure, and happy, must they be who have Jesus Christ as their Governor, to whom they willingly yield themselves in all humble and affectionate submission and obedience.

3. The tremendous case of those who are strangers to Jesus Christ, and without God in the world.

(E. Phillips.)

As a people whose affairs are ruined have great need of an active and expert governor; so the government of such a people is a great burden Such a people are lost sinners, and with respect to them these words speak, two things —

1. The burden and weight of taking the management of their affairs.

2. Jesus Christ the person on whom this burden was laid. This is part of the glad tidings of the Gospel.

(T. Boston.)

I. THE OCCASION OF SETTING UP THIS PRINCE AND GOVERNOR. It was sinners' absolute need.

1. Their first prince was gone, to manage their affairs no more. Adam their natural head mismanaged the government quite.

2. They were left in confusion, in the hand of the enemy Satan.

3. Their affairs were desperate. When the whole earth could not afford one, heaven gave sinners a Prince, of shoulders sufficient for the burden.

II. THE IMPORT OF THIS PRINCIPALITY AND GOVERNMENT LAID ON JESUS CHRIST FOR THE BENEFIT OF MANKIND-SINNERS. It speaks —

1. His near relation to them.

2. His eminency among them.

3. His honourable office over them.

4. His sovereign power and authority over them.

5. The burden of the care and duty belonging to the office and station.

III. THE HONOUR, POWER, AND AUTHORITY BELONGING TO THIS PRINCIPALITY AND GOVERNMENT OF JESUS CHRIST.

1. The legislative power belongs to Him solely.

2. The supreme executive power is lodged with Him (John 5:22, 23).

3. The power of granting remissions, receiving into peace with Heaven, pardoning and indemnifying criminals and rebels (Acts 5:31).

4. A large and vast dominion, reaching to earth, heaven, and hell, and the passage between the two worlds, namely, death (Matthew 28:18; Revelation 1:18). In His hand is —

(1)The kingdom of grace. "And gave Him to be Head over all things to the Church."

(2)The kingdom of glory (Luke 22:29, 30).

(3)The kingdom of providence. "And hath put all things under His feet."

IV. THE BURDEN OF THIS PRINCIPALITY AND GOVERNMENT LAID ON CHRIST JESUS. It is seven fold.

1. The burden of the purchase of it.

2. The burden of a war with the devil for the recovering of it.

3. The burden of subduing sinners.

4. The burden of their reconciliation with Heave.

5. The burden of their defence and protection.

6. The burden of their provision in all things necessary for life and godliness.

7. The burden of the whole management and conduct of them through the wilderness, till they come to the heavenly Canaan.

V. IMPROVE THE DOCTRINE.

1. Information.

(1)Jesus Christ is the alone Head of His Church and supreme Governor thereof.

(2)The interests of the Church and of every particular believer will certainly be seen to.

(3)Believers have all reason to be quietly resigned to the Divine disposal and to live in confidence of a blessed issue, whatever be the difficulties they have to grapple with, either in respect of the case of the Church or of their own private ease.

2. Exhortation.(1) Receive Him as your Prince and Governor.

(a)Let His Spirit be your Guide and Leader.

(b)Let His Word be your rule.

(c)Let His will be the determining point to you.And receive Him as Governor —

(a)Of your hearts and spirits. Let the proud heart be made to stoop to Him, let the covetous heart be purged by Him, and the vain foolish heart be made to find the weight of His awful authority. While Christ has not the government of thy heart, thou hast not given Him the throne.

(b)Of your tongues.

(c)Of your practice.(2) Receive Him as the Prince and Governor of your lot and condition in the world, resigning the same to His disposal.

(a)Be content with the lot carved out for you.

(b)Never go out of God's way to mend your condition.

(c)In all changes of your lot, acknowledge Him for direction and guidance. Take Him for your only Governor; your absolute Governor; your perpetual Governor. Take Him without delay; take Him heartily and willingly.

3. Motives.(1) Consider what an excellent Prince and Governor He is. Perfectly just in His administration; infinitely wise; most vigilant and careful; most tender of His subjects and of all their interests.(2) While ye are not under His government, ye are under the government of Satan.(3) Jesus Christ is your rightful Prince and Governor.(4) 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.

(T. Boston.)

I. THE HOPE OF THE CHOSEN PEOPLE CONCERNING THEMSELVES AND THEIR RACE CENTERED IN A CHILD. As a general fact, how many of the world's hopes and expectations have in all ages focussed in cradles. The children represent the hope of all generations.

II. Now the paradox of Jewish faith consisted in this — THAT IT FOCUSSED AT ONCE IN A CRADLE AND A THRONE; a Child and a King. Hence the birth in which that ancient hope found fulfilment was the birth of a King. The question of the wise men was grandly expressive. It centred alike in a Child and a King. "Where is He that is born King?"

1. At the very centre of the Jewish religion was the belief in kingship — a Divine kingdom or a theocracy. This great spiritual fact was symbolised by "the outward visible sign" of human kingship. But all human symbols are imperfect. Their kings died like other men. But their true King did not die. They sought to make the outward symbol of government as complete as possible; hence they adopted hereditary kingship. The human, and. in this case, the Jewish heart is impatient of an interregnum. There is a feeling in man that the throne should at no period be empty. This feeling ever tends toward hereditary rule. The prophet points to a King to the increase of "whose government and peace there shall be no end." It is a kingdom which knows of no interregnum. In contrast to all other kings and royal personages, who soon die and pass away, He ever lives.

2. It is such a king that the Jewish people yearned and looked for. Hence, when the wise men came with the question, "Where is He that is born King of the Jews?" it not only moved Herod, but all Jerusalem with him. The Jews looked eagerly for a king who should bear upon his shoulder the burden of perpetual government. This yearning for a king is one of the deepest in the heart of nations.

3. Alas! that when He came men did not recognise Him in the humble garb He wore. They placed a Cross upon the shoulder that was to bear the ensign of rule, and a crown of thorns upon His royal brow. Yet, all was well, for what could be a better ensign of His kingship than the Cross, since His is "the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ," and He is a "Prince and a Saviour."

4. His sacred brow, too, bore the only crown which man could place there and He accept — a crown of thorns, symbol alike of our sin and misery and of His royalty who has overcome us by the might of His compassion, and become our King by the shedding of His blood. What becomes the brow of the Man of Sorrows and King of sorrowing humanity like crown of thorns? Our Lord exclaimed some time before His hour had come, "I have power to lay down My life, and I have power to take it again." He based His Kingly claim upon that two-fold power. It is from His Cross that He sways His sceptre over us.

5. The cradle predicts the Cross. Once God has condescended to touch the manger and the crib, we are prepared to see Him even touch the Cross and bearing it. There is no depth of condescension which He will not fathom, no height of self-sacrifice which He will not reach. The story of Divine love is harmonious throughout. We are not surprised that the great God who submitted himself to the humblest conditions of human birth should also, in the same spirit, endure the Cross, despising the shame.

6. This cradle, too, is prophetic of the Gospel, in which so much that is weak and human is linked to so much that is strong and Divine, namely, man's voice uttering God's message, earthly forms and ordinances conveying heavenly energies, human swaddling clothes enveloping a Divine life.

(D. Davies.)

I. I would offer a few thoughts concerning THE CHURCH OR KINGDOM OF CHRIST IN THE WORLD.

1. By the Church I understand that remnant of Adam's family who, being determined to break their covenant with hell, and their agreement with death, join themselves to Christ, as their Prophet, Priest, and King, either in reality, or by a visible and credible profession of their faith in Him.

2. The Church or kingdom of Christ, during the Old Testament dispensation, was peculiarly confined to the posterity of Abraham, to the nation of the Jews, excepting a few Gentile proselytes; but now, since the coming of Christ in the flesh and His resurrection from the dead, is extended also to the Gentile nations.

3. All the subjects of Christ's kingdom and government, are originally brought out of the territories of hell, being "children of wrath, even as others."

4. The great engine whereby Christ rears up a kingdom to Himself in the world, is the preaching of the everlasting Gospel, accompanied with the power and efficacy of His Spirit.

5. The Church and kingdom of Christ being founded and governed by Him, "in whom all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hid," cannot miss of being one of the best regulated societies in the world as under His management, whatever irregularities may be found in her through the corruptions of men intermingling with the concerns of the kingdom. Everything necessary to render any kingdom or society regular is to be found in the Church or kingdom of Christ.(1) A kingdom well constituted hath its laws and so hath the Church of Christ. And the laws given by her King are all "holy, just, and good"; and all the true subjects of the kingdom delight in the laws of their King, as being the transcript of infinite wisdom and equity.(2) A kingdom hath its offices under its king; and so hath the Church of Christ (Ephesians 4:11-13).(3) A kingdom hath its courts, where the subjects attend to receive the will of the king, and the benefits of his administration; and so hath the Church.(4) A kingdom hath its seal. So in the kingdom of Christ, He hath appended two public seals unto the charter of His covenant of grace, namely, baptism and the Lord's Supper.(5) A. kingdom commonly hath its enemies to grapple with, both foreign and intestine; and so hath the kingdom of Christ.(6) A kingdom hath its armies and auxiliaries; and so hath the Church of Christ, being in a confederacy with the Lord of hosts. The armies of heaven are ready to fight her quarrel.(7) A kingdom hath its fortifications and strongholds; and so hath the Church of Christ.

II. I would speak a little of THE GOVERNMENT AND ADMINISTRATION OF THE KINGDOM.

1. Christ Himself is the great and glorious Governor.

2. All things in heaven, earth, and hell are put under the power of Christ, for the more advantageous government of His Church (Ephesians 1:22, 23; Philippians 2:9-11).

3. Christ the King of Zion is wonderfully fitted by, His Father for the government and administration (Isaiah 11:2-4).

4. Christ's government and administration are very wonderful. The name of the Governor is Wonderful.

5. Christ's government and administration in and about His Church and people are exceeding wise. So much is imported in His being called the "Counsellor."

6. Also irresistible. The Governor is "The Mighty God," who will go through with His designs.

7. He is exceeding tender and compassionate; for His name is "The Everlasting Father" from whom compassions flow.

8. Christ's government and administration of His Church are very peaceable; for His name is "The Prince of Peace," and "of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end."

9. This government is everlasting.

III. Inquire HOW THE GOVERNMENT OF THE CHURCH IS COMMITTED TO CHRIST. The government is laid upon Christ's shoulder with a three-fold solemnity.

1. The solemnity of an unalterable decree (Psalm 2:6-8).

2. The solemnity of a covenant transacted betwixt Him and His Eternal Father, when the council of peace was between them both.

3. The solemnity of an oath, ratifying the determination of the council of peace in this matter (Psalm 89:3, 4, 35).

IV. GIVE THE REASONS OF THE DOCTRINE. Why is the government laid upon His shoulder?

1. Because His shoulder alone was able to bear the weight of the administration and government of the Church.

2. That He might be in better capacity for accomplishing the salvation of His people, and bringing many sons and daughters unto glory. Hence we find His kingdom and salvation frequently joined; "Thou art my King of old, working salvation in the midst of the earth"; and Zechariah 9:9.

3. That He may "still the enemy and the avenger," that He may resent His Father's quarrel against Satan, and entirely bruise his head, for his defacing and striking at His and His Father's image in our first parents, and disturbing His government, which He had established in innocence.

4. Because He hath a just title to it.(1) By birth.(2) By purchase.(3) By His Father's promise and charter, granted to Him upon the footing of His death and satisfaction (Isaiah 53:12).(4) By conquest.

V. APPLICATION.

1. Information.(1) The wonderful love of God which He bears to His Church in providing such a Ruler and Governor for them.(2) What a happy government and administration believers are under, namely, the government of the Child born, the Son given to us, whose, name is Wonderful, etc.(3) The misery of a wicked, unbelieving world who will not have Him to rule over them.(4) The nullity of all acts, laws, and constitutions that do not bear the stamp of Christ, and are not consistent with the laws and orders He has left for the government of His Church.(5) They run a very serious risk who do injury to His servants(6) They have a hard task to manage who attempt to jostle Him out of His government and take it upon, their own shoulders.(7) All odds will be even, and Christ will render tribulation to those that trouble, vex, and harass His poor people in their spiritual rights and privileges.

2. Consolation to the poor people of God; particularly to those who are spoiled of their liberties and privileges as Christians,(1) Your God does not stand as an unconcerned spectator.(2) God hath founded Zion.(3) He who hath the government upon His shoulder rules in the midst of His enemies, and has so much of the act of government that He both can and will bring good out of evil.(4) The most dark dispensations towards the Church and people of God are in the event found to have been pregnant with love and mercy.(5) He on whose shoulders the government is laid hath power to provide you with honest ministers.

(E. Erskine.)

The King must be the Son of Man. The real root of king and queen is "kin." The king is not the "able" man but the "kinsman" of the race. All our fundamental, social, and political ideas have their root in the patriarchal home, as the researches of Sir H. Maine and other able scholars have established; and in the king the whole "kindred" is represented "Unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given." The King who rules in righteousness, mighty to save, is the Son of Man, the Divine Kinsman of our race.

(J. B. Brown, B. A.)

I. CHRIST THE KING OF ALL THINGS GREAT. There is nothing so great as to be above the government of Jesus. Things great belong to each of the two great provinces into which the universe is divided, namely, the province of matter and the province of mind; yet, Christ is King of all.

1. Greatness in the physical creation. The earth is very great, as we count greatness. The sun is greater than the earth, and many a star which appears only as a glittering point of diamond, is greater than the sun: yet, Jesus makes the earth bring forth, commands the sun to shine, and moves the stars in silent harmony. Jesus can rule the sea. Its billows rise and fall according to His will; and when they leap along, then, amid the roar of tempest and the cries of men for aid, the gentle voice of Jesus speaks "Peace be still, and winds and waves obey Him, for there is a great calm. The government is upon His shoulder."

2. The greatness of death. Of all the forces of nature, none is feared more than death. Even death is in the hand of Jesus; it never comes without asking His permission, and in every case He could forbid its coming, and no doubt He would forbid it, if that were for the best, for He has the keys of death and of Hades.

3. Greatness in the spirit world. Material forces, however, form but an insignificant part of the forces of creation. There is a world of spirit within, as well as above and beyond the world of matter, and yet, of this nearest world of matter we know but little. The spirit world is under the rule of Jesus; He is its only King; His word its only law; His presence its only bliss. He reveals to the eye of faith the home of heaven. He brings "life and immortality to light."

4. Greatness in moral government. God has promised for us — and thereby has guaranteed — results which can never be effected by any mere force, though that force should be even infinite. The difficulty in the Saviour's government of moral beings lies here, — that He has guaranteed and foretold the final issues of that government; that He has foreseen the course of life pursued by every moral agent, though that life is in many points independent of all external forces Neither Scripture nor reason may explain the difficulty, but it is pleasing to think of my text, — "The government shall he upon His shoulder, — for Jesus is "Kings of kings, and Lord of lords."

II. CHRIST THE KING OF ALL THINGS SMALL. There is nothing so small as to escape the notice of Jesus. When on earth He observed the poor as well as the rich, and commended each according to his fidelity. Think not that you are forgotten by the Saviour, or that your work or suffering is overlooked because you are poor, obscure, and feeble, and therefore, forgotten and overlooked by men. What men despise through ignorance may be most highly prized in another form. Filthy soot and the brilliant diamond are formed of the same material. The Saviour sees, not merely what we are, but what we may become, and as fidelity is the highest element of moral worth, He estimates the value of men, not by what they do, but by their fidelity — by the proportion which exists between their power and their performance. The lisping prayer of a little child may thus be of greater value in God's estimation, than the highest song which ever rose from an angel's heart.

III. CHRIST THE KING OF ALL THINGS GOOD. There is nothing so good that it can exist apart from the rule of Jesus. The day is no more dependent on the sun, the rain upon the clouds, the stream upon the fountain, than happiness is dependent upon Christ.

IV. CHRIST THE KING CONTROLLING EVIL. There is nothing so bad but Jesus can make it the means of good. In all we suffer, as well as in all we enjoy; in the dark and dreary night of trouble, as well as in the bright day of prosperous life, it is equally true that Jesus Christ is King of all.

(Evan Lewis, B. A.)

Fifteen miles from Sandy Hook the pilot comes on board the English steamer to navigate it into New York harbour. I remember his climbing on board, on the last occasion that I made the passage. The great steamer slowed, and as we looked down from the deck into the dark night we could see a lantern on the surface of the ocean, where his boat was lying. Presently he emerged from the pitchy darkness and reached the deck. From that moment the anxieties of the captain were at an end, and he might refresh himself in deep, long slumbers. So when Christ is on board our life, the government is upon His shoulders, and of the increase of His government and of our peace there is no end.

(F. B. Meyer, B. A.)

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