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ISAIAH ix. 6.
Unto Us a Child is born, unto Us a

Son is given, and the government
fall be upon his shoulder; and
bis Name shall be called wonder-
ful, Counsellour, The migbty God,
the everlasting Father, the Prince
of Peace.

OD, the Supreme Governour S ER M.
and Lord of the Universe;

II. who worketh all things after

the Counsel of his Will; having appointed, in the unsearchable Wisdom

G

SER M. of his Government that the Method by
II. which sinful men should be brought un-

to Salvation, should be by his Son's
appearing and suffering in the Flesh;
thought fit, from the Beginning of the
World, to give men at first obscure No-
tices, and afverwards by degrees clearer
and clearer predictions, of a Saviour who
should come in the fulness of Time, to
be their Redeemer, Mediator, Intercessor
and Judge. In which whole Dispensati-
on, as in all other Matters, when we af-
firm that God disposes things after the
Counsel of his own Will, we must always
take care so to understand this, and other
the like Expressions of Scripture, that it
may signify, not what vain and presump-
tuous men are apt to mean, when They
talk of acting according to their own Will
and Pleasure, that is, arbitrarily and
without reason; but the meaning of this
fort of expressions, when applied to God,
who can never please to do any thing but
what is best, is This only; that his mere
Will and Pleasure ought abundantly to fa-
tisfy us, that tho' we do not perhaps know
in particular what all the reasons are, yet

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in reality there always are in the things Serm. themselves the greatest and strongest reasons,

II. upon account of which every thing that m He does, is in itself the best and fittest to be done. Having therefore in perfect Wisdom, as Supreme Governor and Lord of all, determined to bring sinful Man to Salvation by this particular Method; he opened his divine Intention at first obscurely to Adam, by promising that the Seed of the Woman should bruise the Serpent's Head: And afterwards a little further to Abraham, by showing him that in His seed should all the Nations of the Earth be blessed : Then, with still more distinct circumstances, to Moses; under the numerous types and shadows of the Law. And lastly, more and more plainly and explicitly, as the Time drew nearer, by full and clear Predictions of many successive Prophets. Under all which several Dispensations, they who obeyed the word of God, according to the manner in which it was Then respectively revealed to them, were each of them entitled to the Benefit of the whole Salvation; and, notwithstanding their

different

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Ser M. different degrees of Knowledge, are all of
II.

them finally to be gathered together into
One in Christ; so that He, to whom
much is revealed, shall have nothing o-
ver; and He, to whom was revealed but
little, shall have no lack; when, at the
consummation of all things, they shall all
meet in one great and general Assembly of
the first-born which are written in Hea-
ven; Patriarchs, Prophets, and Apostles ;
and whosoever have in all Ages, after the
pattern of these great Examples, obeyed
the Commandments of God as made
known to them, whether by the Light of
Nature, or by the Law of Moses, or by
the Gospel of Christ.

Of all the Prophecies in the Old Testa-
ment, concerning this Method which the
divine Wisdom has appointed, of bring-
ing men to Salvation ; there is none that
contains a clearer and more distinct, a ful-
ler and more particular prediction, than
the words now read unto you for the Sub-
ject of our present Meditations : Unto us
a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given, and
the Government shall be upon his shoulder;
and bis Name Mall be called Wonderful,

Counsellor,

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Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlast- Ser m. ing Father, The Prince of Peace. In

II. discoursing upon which words at This - Time, the Method shall be, to consider

and explain distinctly the several particue lars, whereof the Text consists, in the

Order they lie; and from each particular
so explained, to infer in its place, as we
go along, what may be usefully and

prac-
tically deduced therefrom.

Unto Us a Child is born: These words, as they found in the English, may seem at first sight to express nothing more, than the natural Birth of some eminent person. But in the strict sense of the original, and according to the intention of the whole Prophecy, 'tis plain they must be so understood, as if they had been thus rendred; Unto us is born The Child, absolutely and by way of eminence ; That Child, whom all the Prophecies from the beginning of the World, in their final intention pointed at; whom this Prophecy of Isaiah, thro’ every part of it, describes under different Characters; and whom the Text may reasonably be supposed to refer to as particularly, before-mentioned, ch. vii. 14.

The

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