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REMARKS ON ISAIAH 9:6.

Covington, GA., May 1, 1860.

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 Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”

In compliance with the request of Brother James Bridges of Missouri, in our number before the last, we give a brief statement of our views on the above text.

From the preceding context it is plain that the Spirit of Christ in the prophet did testify of the Son of God in his character as the Redeemer of the spiritual house of Israel, and the name given in the text can apply to none other. Though there be gods many and lords many among the children of men in their vain imaginations and superstitious devotions, to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.

Premising then that there can be but the one character to whom the name in the text can fully apply we shall endeavor to show some of the particulars in which the name given applies exclusively to Jesus in his character as the glorious Mediator in whom the saints have their existence as their Life, their Wisdom, their Power, their Father, and their Peace.

As their Life it is a glorious mystery how he is at once the beloved of the Father, the spotless Lamb of God, and one with his people who are the guilty transgressors of the Divine Law. In this he must ever appear as emphatically the Wonderful. No light of human or seraphic wisdom can explain on any principle of human reason how this thing can be; nor is it at all requisite that it should be comprehended by inferior intelligences, for it is enough for us to know that God so declares the fact, and let our aspiring curiosity on this matter be content to be still and know that HE IS GOD. We are informed in the sacred volume that, “it is the glory of God to conceal a thing,” and Elihu says, {Job 33:13,} “He giveth not account of his matters.” In this view of his sacred character, He is and must ever remain emphatically the Wonderful, the incomprehensible and mysterious Holy One of Israel.

As the Counselor he is equally preeminent above all others. No advocate ever displayed such unlimited power and wisdom as shines in this glorious and unapproachable Counselor. Who, but this High and Lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, could so order the cause of a guilty, self-condemned sinner as to make him really spotless and holy in the piercing sight of Infinite Justice? It is vain to seek among the children of the dust for a parallel or illustration of this glorious Counselor. He is the only Being in heaven or earth whose name can at all resemble the character spoken of in the text. When his people had become involved in sin and the just sentence of the Law of God had consigned them to death, no ordinary counselor could have undertaken their cause with any hope of success. The case is desperate when a criminal is to be tried before an earthly judge, and acknowledges his guilt; but it is still more aggravated when the Judge is the God of the universe, before whose eyes all things are open, and whose wisdom comprehends not only all the actions of men, but the whole workings of the desperately wicked heart which prompted the crime. But vain as are all our efforts to comprehend his character, or the meaning of his name, his right to it is as firmly established as the pillars of heaven. And God has said that his name is above every name.

But, it is not only as the Wonderful and Counselor, that his name is above every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come. His name shall be called THE MIGHTY GOD. Not without right does he assume this holy and reverend title. The Father says to the Son, “Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever, the sceptre of thy kingdom is a right sceptre.” Psa. 45:6 & Heb. 1:8. See also Phil. 2:6. The character of the Redeemer cannot be divided. Though in his capacity as the Savior, as well as in his eternal Deity, he exists in three distinct offices, he is yet the One only wise God our Savior. But we cannot comprehend how He can be at once the Eternal God, who created all things for His own pleasure and glory, and also the Man Christ Jesus, suffering the just deserts of his people’s transgression. Shall we therefore conclude that it is not a correct doctrine, and that the Scriptures which clearly sustain it are erroneous? Certainly not upon the same principle we should have to yield the doctrine of the existence of God; for who can comprehend that doctrine in its infinity? Let us rather be content to know that what God has declared is true, and it is because we are finite worms, that we cannot comprehend divine truth. Yet the truth is the same, and all our rebellion and enmity cannot change it. Does the name convey too much dignity and power to be applicable to the Redeemer? He is worthy of all praise and adoration, for he was slain for the redemption of his people.

The title, THE EVERLASTING FATHER, applied to the Messiah, must be understood to allude to his relationship to his people, the children given to him as the Great Head of the Church. Isa. 8:18, Heb. 2:13. The character of the Father seems to give rise to the question of Bro. Bridges, “Was there ever a Son and no Father or a Father, and no child?” While it is indisputable that the character spoken of is rightly named the Everlasting Father, yet the inference that his children had a manifest existence coeval with him in eternity, is not sustained by the scriptures. On the contrary He says by the inspired Psalmist, “My substance was not hid from thee when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.” Ps. 139:15,16. In the purpose or what we sometimes call the predestination of God the children’s manifestation was settled eternally. And in pursuance of that predestination in the fullness of the times before appointed the children of God are individually manifested by natural generation, and then manifested as the children of God. Their creation and existence in Christ in eternity, before the foundation of the world, {Eph. 1:4 & 2:10,} must not be confounded with their individual manifestation in time as members of the family of Adam.

The Redeemer is the PRINCE OF PEACE to his people in his manifestation as the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believes. In our condition as rebels and wicked sinners against God, there is no peace or comfort for us; but when Christ is manifest in his mediatorial character as the righteousness of his people it is plain that He is our Peace, having put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. Heb. 9:26. When about to leave his disconsolate disciples in this enemies’ land without his personal presence, he comforted them with the soul cheering assurance, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give unto you.” And the people to whom he is the Prince of Peace, is evidently the same character for whom he is exalted a Prince and Savior to give repentance unto Israel, and remission of sins.

Joseph L. Purington.