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The good that is to be found in God, in our dearest Immanuel, is a heart-rejoicing good. All the delights, all the false good things of this world do not touch the heart; all these are only something that flatter the senses, a transitory illusion of the sight; their enjoyment is only superficial; it does not reach the deepest ground of the heart. But God, and the delights which Jesus gives and imparts, are heartrejoicing sweetnesses and blessedness. When Jesus, after his visible presence, was about to depart from his disciples, he asked them, whether they had ever wanted for any thing? They answered, 0 no! never!' and yet they were frequently so destitute, as to be compelled to pluck the ears of corn. Why did they reply in this manner ? They had experienced and enjoyed so much delight and so much satisfaction in Jesus, and in his society, that they did not once think of outward circumstances.
The good that is to be found in Jesus, is not only a heart-rejoicing good; but there is also in Jesus heart-cementing sweetness, cordiality, and loveli
The world indeed has also its objects, which, as it were, enchant the heart ; that is, as if people could not do without this and that particular thing ; but it is only a kind of enchantment; they might easily be delivered from it, if they would only resign themselves entirely to God. But in our precious Saviour there is such heart-attracting, heart-affecting, heart-cementing loveliness to be found, that the heart of him, who has become acquainted with Jesus in his heart, and has tasted and enjoyed him in his soul,
is so firmly united to him, that he neither can nor will forsake him eternally,
The Lord's disciples once fell into various trials and siftings (even as it still occasionally happens to all believers), as we read in John vi. and on this occasion, Jesus asked them, if they would also go away? But Peter answered, saying, “ Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life.” They had probably been a little perplexed; what Jesus had been speaking upon, was hard for them to digest; but yet they would not forsake him. Ah! our dearest Saviour often brings his people into all kinds of bitterness and darkness; but though the soul may, at such seasons, complain ever so much, yet if the individual be asked, if he will return to the world ? the answer is, Ah, no! God for ever preserve me from doing so! Such heart-cementing, heart-inciting loveliness is to be found in Jesus Immanuel.
The good things, which are to be tasted and enjoyed in the Saviour, who was born for us, are such sorts of delights, as never bring disgust with them, and with which we shall be neither tired nor satiated to all eternity. Alas for the poor world! If she happen to possess a puppet, with which she amuses herself for a few days, she becomes all at once tired of it, and will have something else; but even then, she cannot take pleasure in it long. O what a miserable life, spent, so to speak, in hopping from one thing to another, and never attaining a happy state!
But he that really finds, tastes, and enjoys Jesus in his heart, is never weary of him to
all eternity. The longer we live in this world, the more does the world and all the visible things of this outward life appear dead to us; so that when a man is old, the relish for first one thing and then another, falls away from him; nay, at length, every thing becomes indifferent to him. And although the individual does not possess grace, yet it is wont thus to fare with him. But the very reverse is the case with the children of God; their Saviour, and the things he communicates, becomes more and more dear and precious; the more he is enjoyed, the more we hunger after him ; the more we drink of him, the more we thirst after him; the older we grow, and the nearer we approach to eternity, the more precious does Jesus become, the more dear and estimable is our Immanuel to us. O are not those permanent delights and abiding virtues, which are to be found in Jesus? Angels, cherubim, and seraphim, have found their delight in Jesus Immanuel for so many thousand years, yet they are not become weary of it, and will not be weary of it for a thou. sand eternities. Choose, therefore, permanent delights, my dearest friends!
The goodness, friendliness, and loveliness, which are in Jesus, are inexhaustible riches, of which there is no end. If one were to pourtray the world, with all its glories, in the best manner possible, and even invent something to add to it, yet the discourse would not be a very long one; for there is really not much to be found in the world. He that has looked over the whole, must say, there is nothing to be
found in it. But it is very different with our Jesus Immanuel. Ah, were we to speak of his goodness and blessedness, of his love, and the blessings which we may have in him, from one day to another, nay, through whole eternities, we should never arrive at the end of it; and when we had spoken of them a thousand years, we should say, we had not even touched
them, Dearest friends! I speak thus for this reason. In the present day, there is, God be praised, much spoken, heard, sung, and read of the everlasting love of God our Immanuel. We have yesterday, God be thanked ! also touched upon this mystery ;
for do not think, that we have exhausted it; far from it! We have said much, but not yet all that God gave us to see; and what he thus gave us to see, was scarcely a drop of the inexhaustible ocean of the eternal love of God revealed to poor sinners in Jesus Immanuel; it was scarcely a drop of the great and inexhaustible ocean of sweetness, blessedness, and loving-kindness, which is to be found in Jesus.
Having, therefore, yesterday, by divine assistance, treated upon
the commencement of these words, we will now proceed to serve up the rest. The Lord, yesterday, prepared a feast for us, from the former part of this verse; there is still, so to speak, the desert remaining ; with which our dearest Lord is willing to grant us a real refreshment, derived from the gracious name of him, who was born our Immanuel ; when it is said, “ 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 (as he is in reality) Wonderful, Counsellor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.”
We have no occasion to divide these words; we will, therefore, only feed upon them, one by one, with the divine assistance and blessing.
“The eyes of all wait upon thee, O Lord ! give us, therefore, our food on this occasion ; unfold thy liberal hand, and refresh the weary; strengthen the weak and the faint, and satisfy the hungry with thy good things." Amen!
These words by no means present to us all the names, qualities, and excellencies that are in Jesus. Beloved children have many names ; but none has so many names and perfections as our new-born babe at Bethlehem. His first name which is here presented to our view, is called Wonderful. What is this intended to teach us ? and to what purpose shall we apply it? I answer, that we may become children in devotion and simplicity of heart. Christ is wonderful in his person; wonderful in his divine perfections, beauty, and loveliness; wonderful in his form; wonderful and incomprehensible in his ways and guidance. It is just as though our dearest Saviour had said to us by the prophet, thou must leave thy reason out of the matter; it is much too wonderful for thee, thou canst not see through it, thou canst not comprehend it.
Christ is wonderful in his person. We see at Bethlehem a little infant; this infant is the eternal