For to us a child is born, to us a son is given: and the government shall be on his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful…
Now and then a birth occurs of such momentous portent to man, that men are constrained by the influences which proceed from it to fix it in memory, and give to its anniversary fitting commemoration. There are births which are like the introduction of new forces and energies into human society, which pour the current of their power down through the ages with ever-widening and deepening volume. When Confucius was born, half of the human race had a father and a teacher given them. When Moses was born, not only a few millions of slaves found a deliverer, but the great underlying, eternal principles of morality and piety found a spokesman. With Socrates, Greece had given to her the opportunity of goodness. With Caesar came into human history the embodiment of ambition. The birth of Wilberforce was the beginning of a philanthropic education to Christendom. Howard demonstrated that the extremest feelings of a kindly humanity were practical and serviceable to society. With Washington came to mankind the ideal of unselfish patriotism; while Lincoln embodied the first century of the American Republic. These were noted men, extraordinary beings; and the names of these are all memorable. Their names have passed into history, and remain as certainly fixed as the stars beaming in the sky; and, like the stars, their glory is abundant to attract unto them the observation of men. When the date of their birth, or the supposed date of their birth, is reached, as with the movement of time we swing round the circuit of the year, men instinctively pause; thought is quickened; the depths of gratitude are stirred with benign remembrance; and thanksgiving naturally ascends unto God, who has given unto men, unto them and theirs, such a beneficent gift.
(W. H. Murray.)
Parallel VersesKJV: 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, Counseller, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.