« PreviousContinue »
SER M. predictions has from Us removed all ap-
pearance of difficulty in the understand-
The true meaning of the words, is begun to be opened in the very next verse immediately following the Text, Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the Throne of David, and upon his Kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from benceforth even for ever, ver. 7. In the Prophecy of Daniel, 'tis explained a little further ; ch. ii. 44.' The God of Heaven fall set up a Kingdom which shall never be destroyed, -and it shall stand for ever. And still more clearly, ch. vii. 13. I saw in the night-vifions, and behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of Heaven, and came to the Antient of days, and they brought bim near before bim; And there was given him dominion and glory and a Kingdom, that all people, nations and languages jould serve him; bis dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his Kingdom that which shall not be destroyed. This was a sufficiently plain intimation, that the Kingdom of the Meffiah was not to be
a worldly temporal Kingdom. The Ap-S E R M. plication of these Prophesies to Christ, is
II. made expressly by the Angel to the Blessed Virgin, Luk. i. 32. He mall be great, and fall be called the Son of the Highest, ------and be shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever, and of bis Kingdom there shall be no end. What manner of Dominion this was to be, our Saviour himself began more clearly to explain, Mat. xxviii. 18. All Power is given to me in Heaven and Earth. This discovered that it was to be a spiritual Kingdom, more extenfive, as well as more lasting, than Earthly Dominions. The Principal Acts of Power in this fpiritual Kingdom, are expressed by St Peter, Afts X. 42; He is ordained of God to be y udge of Quick and Dead; and that thro' bis Name whosoever believeth in him mall receive remission of Sins. And the full Extent of this whole Dominion is set forth by St Paul, in those passages of his Epistles, where he tells us that Christ fitteth at the right band of the Heb.xii. 2. Throne of God, being Head over all things, Eph. t.22. exalted far above all principality, and pow. phil ii. 11
. er, and might, and dominion, and every Eph. i. 21.
SER M.name that is named not only in This World, II.
but also in that which is to come; Angels Pet. iii. and Authorities and Powers being made
fubje&t unto him, and all things put under 1 Cor.xv. bis feet. To which description, the A
postle yet thought it necessary to add the Eph.1. 22. Heb.ii. 8. following caution, 1 Cor. xv. 24, 27 i
But when be saith all things are put under him, 'tis manifest tbat he is excepted wbich did put all things under him; And (in the end) when all things shall be subdued unto bim, then shall the Son also bimself be sub, ject unto Him that put all things under Him, (having delivered up the Kingdom to God even the Father,) that God even the Father
be all in all. Which delivering up of the Kingdom, if any one asked bow it is consistent with those forementioned prophecies of his reigning for ever; the Answer is plain, that as of the Saints, under Christ their Head and Lord, it is affirmed Rey. xxii. 5, that they mall reign for ever and ever ; so of Christ in an infinitely higher sense, even after his delivering up the Kingdom to the Father, it will still be true, that of his Dominion with and under the Father, there shall be
no End. And This is the full meaning of SERM. That Expression, The Government shall be upon his shoulder.
The remaining part of the Text, is a further Description of the Person, upon whose shoulder it was prophesied This Government should be; 'tis a further description of his Person, under four distinct Names or Characters. The First is; And. bis Name Mall be called Wonderful, Counsellor. The term, Wonderful, fignifies, that the Person was to be of Secret and Greater Dignity, than the Jews expected: And so the word is of the fame import, with that more antient intimation given to Jacob, when he wrestled with him, Gen. xxxii. 29. Wherefore is it that thou dost ask after my Name ? and to Manoah, Judg. xiii. 18. Why askest thou thus after my Name, seeing it is secret? The other term, Counsellor, signifies the Re- uszáars. vealer of the Secret Counsel of God; For
Vya. so the Gospel is frequently stiled in Scrip- Acts xx. ture, the whole Counsel of God; the bid-1 Cor ii. 7. den wisdom ; the mystery which has been bid Eph.iii
. 9. from ages and from generations, but now is Col. i. 26.
Rom. xvi. made manifest to his Saints ; the mystery
SER M. which was kept secret fince the World bea II.
gan, but now is made manifeft: and by the Scriptures of the Prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made
known to all Nations for the obedience of Joh.i.!. Faith. Upon This account it is, that
Christ is called The Word of God, the Mal. iii. l. Revealer of his Will, the Angel or Me
senger of his Covenant, and, in the words of the Text, Wonderful, Counsellor.
The Second Character is, He shall be called The mighty God, or mighty Lord. The meaning of which phrase, has been already in good measure explained under that foregoing character, The government fall be upon his shoulder ; And the complete import of it is more fully expres
fed to us in those places of the New Tea Heb.1. 2. Itament, wherein Christ is stiled Heir of
all things, Lord of all or over all, Lord 12. XIV.9 both of the Dead and Living, the Prince xvii . 14 of the Kings of the Earth, the Lord of
of Lords and King of Kings, and, in one
word, (by the appointment of the FaHeb. i. 8. ther,) our Judge, our Lord, and our God: Joh. i. 1. The Sum and Intent of all which Titles together, is accurately set forth by St
Acts x. 36.