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'For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; and the govern
ment shall be upon his shoulder; and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.'
Isa. ix. 6.
The reader will perceive that this appellation occurs among several others, which are very important, and may be all found in their appropriate places.
This word occurs fourteen times in the singular, eighteen in the plural. According to the LXX, Christ is called the angel of the great counsel; the minister, the executor of the great and admirable design of God, for the salvation of mankind. Such a signification is very appropriate, for we cannot suppose that Jesus was a counsellor to God. Dr. Johnson gives the following: 'a confident, bosom friend.' These definitions open a wide field before us. Two points will claim our attention.
First. The design of God in sending this Counsellor.
Second. The sacred nearness existing between God and the Counsellor.
First. The design of God in sending this Counsellor. This may be easily ascertained. It would seem from repeated declarations that he had no other will than that of the Being who qualified and sent him. "The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand.' 'I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me,
And this is the Father's will which hath sent me,
that of all which he hath given me, I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.'* Christ does not counsel God, but God counsels him. Although there is considerable room for remark here, yet we conceive the subject to be so very plain that it is best for the reader to pursue it at his leisure.
Second. The sacred nearness existing between God and the Counsellor. This was a subject on which Jesus delighted to dwell. "The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise. For the Father loveth the Son, and showeth him all things that himself doeth: and he will show him greater works than these, that ye may marvel. For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will. For the Father judgeth no man; but hath committed all judgment unto the Son: that all men should honor the Son, even as they honor the Father. He that honoreth not the Son, honoreth not the Father which hath sent him.' • He that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him.' 'I and my Father are one.'t It is worth observing that this Counsellor prays that the same unity may exist between his disciples as between him and his Father. That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may
believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me, I have given them; that
* John iii. 35. vi. 38, 39.
† John v. 19_23. viii. 29. x. 30.
they may be one, even as we are one; I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them as thou hast loved me.'* If there were among the followers of the Lamb such a unity and nearness as existed between God and this Counsellor, it would bring heaven and earth together. God speed such a happy day!
There are many points that may be urged here; such as the pleadings of this Counsellor; his wisdom, sufferings and death. But as we are anxious to avoid repetition that our work may be comprised in a small compass, we prefer to direct the reader to the title ADVOCATE, where he will find this subject sufficiently illustrated for all the purposes embraced in this work.
* John xvii. 21-23.
"I the Lord have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand,
and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles.'
Isa. xlii. 6.
This word is found, with several meanings, one hundred and ninety-seven times in the Scriptures, but is in no other instance applied to the Saviour. Some MSS. read, the covenant of the age to come, or the everlasting covenant. The word berith in the motto should not be translated covenant, but covenant sacri
The following remarks, as given by Calmet, may assist the reader in arriving at a correct understanding of the term.
Grammarians remark that the alliance which we term a covenant is expressed in Greek by two words. 1. When both parties are equal, so that each may stand
upon terms, or canvass the terms of the other, propose his own, agree, or disagree, &c. the word used is SYNOHKH; but, 2. When the covenant is of that nature, when one party, being greatly the superior, proposes, and the other, willing to come to agreement, accepts his propositions; then the word used is 41AOHKH, which signifies an appointment-dispensation-institution, whereby the proposer pledges himself, but does not bind the acceptor, by the propositions, till he has actually accepted them.'*
*Robinson's Calmet, art. COVENANT.
A great variety of covenants is recorded in the Holy Writings. We read of a covenant of works; of circumcision; of grace. The word is applied to the laws of God; the decalogue; the institution of marriage.
Our version of the Scriptures should have been rendered the Old and New Covenant.
But our great business now is to understand why this appellative was given to the Redeemer. It appears that a covenant is made between God and man, and Jesus is sent for its ratification. This coverant is not of works, but of grace. God is the author, and he will see it fulfilled. Christ is the Mediator. Hence we read, 'For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.'*
Sin and unbelief cannot overthrow this covenant. If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful; he cannot deny himself.'+ 'What if some did not believe? Shall their unbelief make the faith (or promise) of God without effect ?’I Christ, as Mediator of this new covenant, came not to reconcile God to man, but man to God.
*** God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself.'S
Jesus came as the Mediator of a new covenant. 'Called new,' says one, 'not in respect of its date, it being made from everlasting, but in the manner of its dispensation and manifestation. Not that it differed in substance fror the old, for therein
Christ was promised, his death and sufferings shadowed forth by the legal sacrifices. * * * But this testament or
* 1 Tim. ï. 5, 6. + 2 Tim. ii. 13. Rom. iii. 3. 02 Cor. v. 19.