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THE great object of this work is, to consider, in a concise and plain manner, the various Names and Titles applied to Jesus, both in the Old and New Testaments. The author had, in the course of his professional studies, long seen the necessity of a work like this, and he believed that something of the kind was much needed in the christian world.
In perfecting his plan, the author often found himself severely tasked, for he could meet with no writer who had embraced so wide a plan as he proposed to carry out. In the final preparation of the work for the press, however, he has been highly favored by the kindness of friends; and he has also had access to the most valuable libraries in this vicinity. And he feels that he owes a debt of gratitude to many for their kind assistance, but more especially to that Being who has enabled him, after having kept this work steadily in view over six years, to bring it to a final termination.
As the plan of this work is somewhat new, the author has thought it necessary to present some of its peculiarities. Some may object to its title. In reply to this, the writer readily admits that he found many terms applied to the Saviour which could not, strictly speaking, be called Names or Titles; such as Vine, Bread, Rock, and many others;
but still the plan of his work embraced them. And he found beneath these emblems some of the richest and most glowing views of the great Redeemer. What themes can be sweeter to the Christian than to view Jesus as Bread to sustain, a Vine to strengthen, a Physician to heal, a Hiding-Place from the storm, a Star to guide, a Sun to enlighten, and a Rock throwing out its shade in a weary land?
In presenting the various Names and Titles, the author has endeavored to avoid those which he did not believe properly belonged to the Saviour; for he could hardly persuade himself, with Bellamy and others, that the Sacred Writers intended to distinguish the Saviour of the world by such appellatives as the following: Apple Tree,' 'Bundle of Myrrh,' Eagle,' 'Camphire,'' Gold,'' HoneyComb,' Lily of the Valley,' Polished Shaft,' 'Wall of Fire, Fatted Calf,'Rose of Sharon,' &c. God forbid that we should take from the Saviour any honor due to his name. These terms may be well enough in their proper places, but seem not very well calculated to adorn and set forth the excellencies of Him whose labors are above all praise, and whose character cannot be too highly extolled.
In the progress of this work, the author may have thought that he found the Saviour where no such personage was intended by the inspired writers. And he may not have been so fortunate in all instances as even to find him where he was clearly pointed out. But he has done what he could, and if others can excel him, no one will be more ready to rejoice. One thing is evident; no one can ever portray all the glories of the Saviour. There are excellencies in that character that no language can describe, no illustration can reach, and no pencil can paint. As well might man attempt to portray the glory of every star, or beautify the rainbow. And in endeavoring to bring out the excellencies of Jesus, the author has frequently been made sensible of the inadequacy of human language, and the
weakness of the human mind. After all his labor, therefore, perhaps he has only sketched out a plan for some one to perfect in some future period of the christian church.
Throughout the volume, the author has endeavored to give a distinctness to the object for which Jesus came into the world. He has also attempted to point out the intimate union and connection between the Son and the Father. And here, although he found a oneness and a unity such as never was exhibited before, yet he was compelled to depart from the ground usually occupied by Trinitarians. In doing this, however, he has been equally careful to avoid the Humanitarian scheme. Both he considered as extremes. He believes that in Jesus of Nazareth we see an image, a bright, unclouded, moral exhibition of the great Father, but not God himself! But the author has aimed especially to give a moral and practical turn to the whole work. He has not aimed so much to please the critic, as to warm and move the heart of the humble and devoted follower of Jesus. And he sincerely hopes that his work will promote that great object, and be the means of leading many to bow at the feet of the Saviour.
In the arrangement of the work, the alphabetical order was preferred, on account of its simplicity and ease to the reader. At first, this seemed to preclude the necessity of a table of contents; but farther consideration led the author to prefix one, so that the reader could, at a single glance, see an entire list of all the Names and Titles of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Boston: January, 1841.