William Bradford Institute
for Study of the
Early Settlement of America

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Christ's Name Wonderful


by Thomas Boston


This is the name of our incarnate Redeemer, and when we hear it named, it must
represent to us the Son of God in man's nature.

USE 1. O the love of God to poor sinners of mankind! John 3:16, For God so loved
the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him,
should not perish, but have everlasting life. The greatest work that ever God
did was for their salvation. He made the world for man and gave it to him, Psalm
115:16, and the visible heavens, too, Genesis 1:17. Yes, the highest heavens
also He made for them and gives to them in His Son, Matthew 25:34. But a greater
work than all these He did for them when He did this miracle of the incarnation
of His own Son for them, and gave Him, an incarnate Redeemer, to them. O how can
we escape the most fearful doom if we neglect this great salvation! How worthy
are they to perish who will not be saved when God has wrought this greatest
miracle to save them?

USE 2. What unaccountable stupidity is it in men not to consider, admire, and be
swallowed up in contemplation of this miracle; and not to be in deepest love
with this miraculous personage given to them? Ah! Have we not all been careless,
unmoved spectators of this miracle? How many have never spent a few minutes in
the consideration and admiration of Him? Have ye not gazed on and wondered at
some trifle more than at this greatest of the works of God? Have ye not been
more deeply in love with some person or thing for its shadowy excellencies than
with this miraculous person? Cease to wonder at the Jews' obstinancy in not
being moved to believe by all His miracles; for a greater than them all is here,
to wit, His miraculous self; and yet we are unmoved.

What is the import of Christ as God-man, His being and appearing to be a
miraculous, most wonderful one? Considering this as the name of Christ, to
commend Him to sinners, it imports:

1. The excellency of His person as God-man. He is an excellent, glorious, and
lovely one. Hebrews 1:3, Being the brightness of His Father's glory, and the
express image of His person. Though the blind world perceives not His
excellency, saying as Isaiah 53:2, He hath no form or comeliness, and when we
shall see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him. It is not but
through their own default, by reason of their blindness; for His glory shines
forth, to be perceived by those whose eyes are opened. John 1:14, We beheld His
glory, etc. But the glory of the sun is not seen by the blind man, nor the glory
of Christ by unbelievers.

2. The fulness of excellencies in Him, our incarnate Redeemer. His name is
"Miracle," a collective word. There is a confluence of excellencies in Him. Look
to Him in every part, and all is excellent in Him. Song of Solomon 5:16, He is
altogether lovely. Some excel in one thing, some in another, as Moses in
meekness, Samson in strength, Solomon in wisdom; but none but Christ is all.
Moses, we would say, was a miracle of meekness; Samson of strength; and Solomon
of wisdom. But Christ is a miracle all over: meekness, strength, wisdom, and all
other excellencies meet in Him to a miracle. There is no blemish, no lack at all
in Him. Colossians 1:9, For it pleased the Father that in Him should all fulness
dwell.

3. The uncommonness and singularity of His excellencies. Miracles are but rare,
in respect of the common operations of providence. And Christ among the sons of
men is as a standard bearer among ten thousand, Song of Solomon 5:10. He is a
person of singular excellencies. It is observed that what is done by miracle
does in its kind excel what is the product of nature in that kind. The water
that was made wine was far better than the wine of the vine, John 2:10. So the
man Christ is fairer than the sons of men, Psalm 45:2. So every excellency in
Christ is beyond that excellency in another, so was Christ's meekness beyond
Moses' meekness, His strength beyond Samson's, and His wisdom beyond Solomon's,
as the sun's light is beyond that of the stars.

4. The absolute matchlessness of His person for excellency and glory. Proverbs
8:11, Wisdom is better than rubies; and all the things that may be desired are
not to be compared to it. Seek through all the creatures in heaven and earth,
and there is none comparable to Him. Psalm 73:25, Whom have I in heaven but
Thee? And there is none upon earth that I desire besides Thee. His match is not
to be found among all the ranks of created beings.

5. The shining forth of His excellencies, fit to draw all eyes upon Him. A
miracle is the center of men's eyes to which all men are ready to look. It is a
sight everyone would desire to see, and to see narrowly. There is an attractive
beauty and glory in this wonderful one. This is a mystery to the world who are
ready to say, as Song of Solomon 5:9, What is thy beloved more than another
beloved that thou cost so charge us? seeing nothing in Him to fix their eyes
upon Him. But,

(1) His Father's eyes are fixed on Him as the object of His good pleasure.
Matthew 3:17, This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. The eyes of the
Holy Spirit are on Him. Zechariah 3:9, Behold, the stone that I have laid before
Joshua; upon one stone shall be seven eyes; behold, I will engrave the graving
thereof, saith the Lord of Hosts. Compared with Revelation 5:6, In the midst of
the throne, and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb
as it had been slain, having seven horns, and seven eyes, which are the seven
Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.

(2) The eyes of the angels are drawn after Him as a most wonderful sight. The
faces of the cherubim were therefore made looking towards the mercy-seat, Exodus
25:20, to teach us that Christ the Mediator, reconciling God and sinners, is the
object of the angel's wonder. I Peter 1:12, which things the angels desire to
look into.

(3) The eyes of all the saints are drawn after Him as the object of their
admiration and affection. No sooner are the eyes of the blind soul opened, but
they fix on Him. John 4:10, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that
saith to thee, Give me to drink, thou wouldst have asked of Him and He would
have given thee living water. Therefore faith is called "looking unto Christ."
Isaiah 45:22, Look unto Me and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth. And it is
not a looking after a wonder of a few days, but it must remain all along their
course through the world. And when they come to glory, they will fix their eyes
on Him forever, never weary, but always refreshed with the sight.

And that the eyes of all men are not upon Him is because they know Him not, and
are not capable of discerning His glory. Psalm 9:10, And they that know Thy name
will put their trust in Thee.

Whosoever truly discerns what Christ is cannot choose but to love Him above all
persons and things, and choose Him for their portion being offered to them. His
matchless excellencies make Him such a lovely one that the discovery of them
commands the surrender of the heart to Him and captivates the affections. It
sinks the value of all created things in competition with Him and enthrones Him
in the heart. Hence, true believers can neither be boasted nor bribed,
frightened nor flattered from His love.

Believers' love to Christ must be lasting and everlasting, for
His excellencies are infinite and incomprehensible. When we meet with an object
among the creatures that commands our admiration and love, we are taken with it;
but some defect comes afterwards to be perceived in it, and then the admiration
ceases or turns into contempt. At least the perfections of the object are all
seen through and they become familiar, and the admiration dwindles into nothing.
And what was at first sight admired as new ceases to be so when it affords
nothing more new. But no defect or blemish can ever be spied in Him, who is
fairer than the sun; and there being an incomprehensible depth of excellencies
in Him, there is ever a place for new discoveries, so the admiration must be
kept up forever.

Those whose greatest admiration and supreme love Christ is not the object of are
yet certainly in the midnight darkness of their natural state. Whosoever of you
admire and love any created person or thing as much or more than Christ, you
have never yet seen nor known Him. The predominant love of the world, prizing
and esteeming the things thereof above Him, is a concluding evidence that you
are walking in the dark, that the scales are yet on your eyes, and that Christ
is a veiled Christ to you.

Christ is God and man in one person. Here is a wonderful person indeed whom we
cannot comprehend; true God, yet man; true man, yet God. The uniting of a soul
to an earthly body, forming one person called man was a work of wonder; but what
is the putting together of two pieces of clay in comparison of the Potter's
uniting with His own clay? Should we behold an angel assuming to himself and
appearing in a crawling worm as if it were his own body, we would cease to
wonder at it, beholding this surpassing wonder, an incarnate God! Here eternity
and a being of yesterday meet together in one person, a child, and yet the
everlasting Father. Here infinite and finite meet in one; God and His own
creature!

He is wonderful in His perfections and qualifications. Psalm 45:2, Thou art
fairer than the children of men. Grace is poured into Thy lips. All qualities
that render one desirable and lovely meet together in Him, and all those are in
Him to a miraculous pitch. So His Father is well-pleased in Him, Matthew 3:17,
and the Spirit rested upon Him, verse 16. And every soul beholding Him with an
eye of faith will take up its eternal rest in Him.

Particularly He is wonderful in His spotless and unchangeable holiness and
purity. The fulness of the Spirit of holiness is in Him. The brightest of the
saints here below do not lack their spots; at best they are but fair as the
moon, but there is no darkness in Him at all.

He is wonderful in the concentering of all perfections in Him, each in its
perfection. Song of Solomon 5:16, his mouth is most sweet, yea, he is altogether
lovely.

He is wonderful along in His duration. Some are wonderful in one part of their
life, some in another, but He is miracle all over His duration.

He is wonderful in His love. His love will appear wonderful if you consider the
subject of it, the party loving us. He is the eternal Son of God, the Prince of
the kings of the earth. That the Father's delight should have made the sons of
men His delight may cause us to cry out, Psalm 8:4, Lord, what is man, that Thou
takest knowledge of him? Or the son of man that Thou makest account of him?
Consider the effect, force, and energy of this love. It is absolutely matchless.

Never did any love work so powerfully as His, and it does not rest until He has
His own with Himself in the highest heavens forever.

The qualities of it are wonderful. It is free love, Hosea 14:4. It is sovereign
love. Christ's love had nothing from us to kindle it. It is tender love. It is
unchangeable love. It is everlasting love.

And thus Christ appears to be all over wonderful. See then,

1. The greatness of the Father's love in giving to us such a wonderful one for
our Prince. The love of God appears here to a wonder. O what honor is put upon
man by making such a gift to him, that which heaven could not give a greater! O
what happiness appears to be designed for man by this gift!

2. The reasonableness of the believer's superlative love to Christ. Every
believing soul loves Christ above all persons and all things. They will love Him
more than all the world and all that is therein, and more than their own life,
Luke 14:26. And good reason for it, because there is no object so lovely. If we
look to confessors parting with their goods, their liberty, and their worldly
comforts for Christ, to the martyrs parting with their lives, embracing fires,
gibbets, and the most cruel deaths for Christ, we will cease to wonder at their
so doing when we consider what a wonderful One He is for whom they undergo the
loss of all. Gaining Christ, they are the greatest gainers, whatever they lose,
Philippians 3:7-8.

3. The reasonableness of the gospel-demand to all to receive and submit to
Christ as their Prince and Governor. His transcendent excellency entitles Him to
the principality and government over the sons of men. His merit requires our
absolute resignation to Him.

Lastly, see the dreadful sin and danger of slighting this Christ. The more
wonderful and excellent He is, the deeper will be the guilt of refusing Him. The
deeper the guilt, the more fearful will be the vengeance for rejecting Him.
Hebrews 2:3, How shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation?
Be exhorted, then, to give this wonderful One your heart. Proverbs 23:26, My
son, give my thine heart.

Make Him the choice of your soul. Take Him for your portion as One who is the
best of portions. Let your souls solemnly consent to the gospel offer.
Part with all for Him, as the wise merchant who sold all that he had and bought
the one pearl of great price, Matthew 13:44-45. Give up your lusts and your
idols; renounce the devil, the world, and the flesh, resting on Christ for all
for time and eternity.

Dwell in the contemplation of His matchless excellencies. Let it be the
substance of your religion to love Him, to admire Him, to be swallowed up in His
love. And let love to Him set your souls moving in all holy obedience.

MOTIVE 1. You can never bestow your hearts so well. What is all the world in
comparison to Christ but loss and dung? Alas! That shadows should have our
hearts while the most substantial good courts it.

MOTIVE 2. Consider that it is for this end Christ is commended to you. We preach
Christ that you may fall in love with Him.

MOTIVE 3. Lastly, consider how you will answer for it to Him before the
tribunal, that you have preferred others lovely to the lovely One.

 

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