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the only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He hath declared him. Here let it be observed, that the evangelist clearly declares the GloRY of Jesus to have been visible ; for how shall a thing be beheld unless it appear, and how shall it appear, so as that men may behold it, but in some outward sensible exhibition'? Certain it is, the expression, we BEHELD his glory, is a clear argument that this glory was something visible, something different from the common notion of glory, as it means reputation, honour, &c. which may well be perceived by the faculties of the mind, but cannot be said to be seen by the eyes of the body.
There is also a peculiar energy in what the evangelist says of the word, that he was full of grace and • truth;' according to what St Paul adds", • for it
pleased, it was the good pleasure of the Deity, • that in him (Christ) should all fulness dwell.' And again?, * In him dwelleth all the fulness of the god
head bodily. But what especially deserves our attention is the particular application of truth to the reord made flesh. Our blessed Lord calls himself the
I Perhaps critics in the language might think they perceived some analogy between two of the evangelist's words--sornwoer, he taber• nacled,' from whence comes the Latin scena, in English, a scene or stage, and s910 ompeta, we beheld, whence comes tbeatrum; in English, a theatre. From which analogy it might be deduced, that buman flesh was the scene, and earth the theatre, upon which spectators beheld the glory of the Divine Person in Jehovah, who assumed that flesh.
2 Col.i. 19.
3 ch. ii. 9.
truth', the AMEN, the true and faithful witness. From this pos in Hebrew, comes the Hebrew word for truth, in Greek ann Irea, in Latin veritas ; all which signify reality in opposition to mystery, as well as honesty in opposition to falsehood : and that it is in this signification principally, that it is to be applied to Christ here, is to be gathered from the contradistinction put by the evangelist-'the law
was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by • Jesus Christ. Here the truth of Christ, or Christ the truth, is set as a counterpart to the law of Moses, not as if the law was to be charged with falsehood, of 'which such a divine institution cannot possibly ada. mit, but as it was so full of mysteries, types, shadows, and figures, of which Christ was the truth the reality, the substance and accomplishment. Hence it is, that Christ so frequently introduces his declaration with an apnu, auru, or, as we read it, ' verily, verily, I say • unto you, literally-I the Amen, or the Truth, verily say unto you. Hence it is, that, immediately before he gave up the ghost, he cried TET=A550., all is
perfected or finished ;' according to which St Paul calls Christ's body a better and more perfect, Tedsto&pas, finished tabernacle", &c.
There is a most applicable text to this purpose in the Psalms, which is peculiarly characteristic of Christ 3 – *mercy and truth are met together, righteousness and peace have kissed each other.' Right
2 Heb. ix. II.
1 St John xiv. 6. Rev. iii. 14.
3 Psalm 1xXXV. 10.
eousness and peace are two principal attributes of Christ; and St Paul's explication of Melchisedec, in this sense, is most pertinent': * This Melchisedec, • king of Salem, being, by interpretation of his name, • Melchizedec king of righteousness, and by his • kingdom king of Shalam, that is, king of peace.' By which description we are taught to look for the blessed union of righteousness and peace. And in the same divine person it is, that mercy
and truth have met; and (which is directly to our purpose, viz. that Christ's body or flesh was the truth or substance of the Jewish types) the Psalmist immediately adds, · Truth shall spring out of the earth. The Hebrew is noon, shall branch, which is one of the epithets of Christ *, for which the Septuagint version of this psalm has aveteins, ' has sprung or shone;' and accordingly in Zechariah, instead of the branch, they, the Septuagint translators, read, whose name is 'avatoan, the day-spring or east, which appellation is used in the song of Zacharias; • the day-spring • from on high,' &c.
Now in what respect can it be said that truth has branched, or shone from the earth? Certainly in respect of the incarnation of Christ, when the word was made flesh, and by assuming the human body, and appearing upon earth, did fulfil all the types and shadows of the law; and shewed himself
I Heb. vii. 2.
2 Isa. iv. 2. Zech, vi, 12, 3 St Luke i. 78.
to be the truth of what had been before exhibited. only in figure. Another part of the psalm, just now quoted, has a manifest aspect to this person in Jehovah. “Surely' says the psalmist, « his salvation • (a New Testament appellation of Christ ') is nigh • them that fear him, that GLORY may dwell in our
land, 1373 7139 , in our earth, or according to what St John says, “ The word was made flesh, and dwelt among us *.'
But I go on to another observation from St John's words - No man hath seen God at any
time; the only begotten Son, who is in the bosom * of the Father, he hath declared him, We have already seen the universality of this belief both among
Jews and Gentiles, that no man hath seen God at any time, confirmed ; and it is here confirmed by the assertion of a gospel-writer. From all which testimonies put together, it undeniably follows, that the divine, person, who so oft appeared in old times, was not HE, the pure unclouded Deity, whom no human eyes could behold. And, , though neither Jewish doctors nor heathen philosophers could positively say, how or by whom so many heavenly appearances were made, yet the evangelist St John expressly tells us, that God was declared or exhibited to the world by the Son, by
1 St Luke ii. 30. iii. 6. compared with Isa. iv. 5. where what the prophet calls the glory of the Lord,' the evangelist calls the salvation of God,
3 St John i. 14.
the word made flesh, whose GLORY the world saw ; the same glory which had so frequently appeared among the Jews, and been seen by them. Accordingly St Paul' calls the Son the brightness, in Greek απαύγασμα,
the vivid display or shining forth of the glory, in conformity to what the psalmist had said before •, • Thou, that inhabitest the cherubim, shine • forth-in the sight of Benjamin, Ephraim, and • Manasseh, stir up thy strength, and come to be • our salvation.' The whole of this psalm is a prayer for the restoration of the church; and, by the style of it, has a direct view to the Messiah. What follows in particular clearly points to the incarnation- Let thy hand be upon the man of 'thy right hand', and upon the Son of Man, whom • thou madest strong for thine own self: whom thou • didst choose to be united to thyself *.' This petition is made to him that sitteth between the cherubim; and, by the mention of the humanity, the man vw, and Son of man 78-ja to he joined to this 5'3173 30, that inhabiteth the cherubim, we are directed to the idea, which we ought to have of the shining forth spoken of in the first verse. Indeed all the forms of expression in the psalm do clearly imply, that the shining forth prayed for, and prophesied of, was to be a visible exhibitions. And from whom to expect this exhibition we are taught.
1 Heb. i. 3.
2 Psal. lxxx. I. 3 See also Psalm cx. I. Acts ii. 34. and vii. 56, &c. 4 See Gal. iv. 4. Heb. ii. 16,&c. 5 See ver. 2, 3. 19.