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Concerning the Perfon and Character of the Redeemer.

WELL may we, with fear and trembling, enter

upon this high and important fubject, the perfon and character of the Redeemer of men. This person is fo great and wonderful, that he paffes knowledge; and fo does his character, confequently; which is fingular, and infinitely diftinguished from all others, being excellent and glorious beyond conception. And yet there is no falvation for men, without a degree of true knowledge of his perfon and character; and fuch knowledge is connected with eternal life.* "This is life eternal, that they might know thee, the only true God, and Jefus Chrift, whom thou haft fent."

He who knows Jefus Chrift, the Son of God, knows God. He therefore said to one of his difciples, "Have I been fo long time with you, and yet haft thou not known me? He that hath feen me, hath feen the Father."+ The knowledge of Jefus Chrift is the fum of all chriftian knowledge, and includes the whole of true divinity. Hence St. Paul fays to chriftians at Corinth, "I determined not to know any thing among you, fave Jefus Christ crucified." And again, " Yea, and I count all things but lofs, for the excellency of the knowledge of Chrift Jefus my Lord: That I may know him."§ The Apoftle Peter exhorts chriftians to ftrive to make advances, and to increafe in the knowledge of this perfon. "Grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour

* John, xvii. 3. † John, xiv. 9. 1 Cor. ii. 2. Phil. iii. 8, 10.,

Saviour Jefus Chrift." This is an endless theme, an inexhauftible fubject, which the redeemed will study and explore forever, and will grow and increase in the knowledge of this boundlefs, glorious, and most entertaining object, with unspeakable and ever fresh delight and joy, without any end. Happy are they who with St. Paul, have the true revelation of Jefus Chrift; it will lead them on, in the only path of wisdom, to endless stores of knowledge and happiness; when they fhall be where he is, and behold his glory; dwelling in the New Jerufalem, whereof the Son of God, the Lamb, shall shine forever with increafing luftre, and be the light thereof. But they who have not the true knowledge of Chrift, are expofed to run into error and fatal delufions refpecting this perfon, and while they profefs to acknowledge and honour him, really deny and reject him. This was the cafe with the Jews, when the Son of God was in the flesh on earth. For they that dwelt at Jerufalem, and their rulers, because they know him not, nor yet the voices of the Prophets, which were read every fabbath day, they have fulfilled them in condemning him." This proved fatal to them, of which our Lord warned them, when he told them" If ye believe not that I am he, ye fhall die in your fins." And there soon arose in the chriftian church those who denied the Lord that bought them, even our Lord Jefus Chrift. And as ignorance of the perfon of Jefus Chrift, and mistakes refpecting his real character, were fo dangerous and fatal to Jews and profeffing Chriftians, in that day, they have been equally fo in every age fince, down to this day; and will be as mischievous to us, if we are fo criminal and unhappy as to imbibe them, or any other, as contrary to the truth.


Profeffing chriftians have differed, perhaps, in nothing fo much as they have about the perfon and character of Jefus Chrift. The opinions which have been imbibed

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2 Pet. iii. 18. † Acts, xiii. 27. ↑ John, viii. 24. 2 Peter, ii 1. jude, 4.

and profeffed, are so many and various, that it would take volumes, and be an almost endless tafk, particularly to mention and describe them; which, therefore, will not be undertaken here. All that will be attempted, is to afcertain the truth, as revealed in the holy fcriptures, concerning this high and important point, and great mystery of godliness, God manifeft in the flesh.

The variety of different sentiments, and grofs errors, into which men have run on this point, to their own deftruction, have not been owing to any darkness or defect in divine revelation, refpe&ting this. We may be certain that the perfon and character of the Redeemer, is there fo fully, and with fo much perfpicuity ascertained and fixed, that every honeft, unprejudiced perfon, who is willing to know and embrace the truth, and will properly fludy the Bible, will come to the knowledge of the truth, and form right conceptions of Jefus Chrift, in every important article refpecting him. All the mistakes and errors, therefore, which have been embraced on this point, have originated from the evil biaffes, prejudices, and inattention of finful man, together with the influence which fatan, "who deceives the whole world," has been fuffered to exert on the minds of men. The depraved minds of men, love darkness rather than the light; yea, hate the truth; and are more ready to embrace error and delufion, than the pure truth, with relation to the Redeemer: And fatan, the great enemy Christ, and of men, is unwearied in his attempts to blind and deceive them, especially respecting the Saviour, and lead them to embrace damnable errors concerning him, and fuch as are very difhonourable to him, and rob him of all his glory, as the redeemer of finners. This will fully account for the various and multiplied errors which have been, at one time and another, invented and propagated in the chriftian world, confiftent with the utmost clear. nefs and perfection of divine revelation on this head.



Ever fince the gospel has been preached to the world, · to this day, the perfon and character of Chrift, Chrift crucified, has been to the Jews a ftumbling block, and to the Gentiles foolishness: To all the unbelieving and difobedient he has been, and is now, and will continue to be, "a ftone of ftumbling and rock of offence." While to them who believe he is precious, the only fure foundation, and chief corner ftone, on whom they build all their hopes. These true friends to Chrift do know him, having fome degree of true acquaintance with his perfon and character: But their knowledge is very imperfect, and, it is to be feared, in moft, if not all of them, is attended with great darkness, and more or lefs mistakes and wrong conceptions of him. This, however, is no matter of difcouragement to attend to this fubject with great care, diligence and circumfpection; but rather a weighty motive to it; and to attempt to confirm the truth, and throw all, the light upon it which it which may have been obtained, by a long and careful study of the holy fcriptures; leaving it with them who fhall come after with more clear heads, better hearts, and a more unprejudiced, and engaged ftudy of the Bible, to detect the. mistakes which may now be made, and remove prefent darkness, by bringing forth more abundant light from the divine otacles, on this important fubject.

It is not defigned to attempt a particular refutation of any of the many different opinions which have been advanced concerning the perfon of the Redeemer, or to anfwer all the objections which have been made to that reprefentation which fhall now be given as warranted by the scriptures of truth; fince ftating the truth, and fupporting it by divine revelation, is the fhorteft and most effectual way to discover and confute the oppofite errors, and filence all the objections which have been made to it.

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The following things appear to be revealed in the holy fcriptures, concerning this wonderful perfon; and therefore may be fafely believed and afferted.

I. THAT Jefus Chrift, the redeemer of men, is truly God, or a divine perfon. This has been fo much infifted upon, and abundantly proved from fcripture, by fo many writers, that it is needlefs to attend here to all the evidence there is of this truth in fcripture. It will be fufficient briefly to note the following particulars.

1. This is exprefsly afferted of him, and he is often called God in the fcripture. The following paffages are inftances of this. "In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God." This is the word, which took flesh, or the human nature, into a perfonal union with himself. And the word

was made flesh, and dwelt among us; and we beheld his glory, the glory of the only begotten Son of the Father."* The word, which is afferted to be God, is the fecond perfon in the Trinity. "There are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghoft." Therefore, "his name is called the Word of God." "Unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given, and the government fhall be upon his fhoulders: And his name fhall be called, Wonderful, Counsellor, THE MIGHTY GOD." "And this is the name whereby he fhall be called. The Lord (JEHOVAL) our rightcoulness."I "Behold a virgin fhall be with child, and fhall bring forth a Son, and they fhall call his name EMANUEL, which, being interpreted, is God with us." I "And Thomas anfwered and faid unto him, My Lord and my God." "Whofe are the Father, and of whom, as concerning the flefh, Chrift came, who is over all, God bleffed forever."I "Looking for that blessed


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