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KEY

TO THE

SCRIPTURE CHARACTER

OF

Jesus Christ;

OR THE

DOCTRINE

OF THE

ANCIENT EXISTENCE OF HIS GLORIOUS SOUL

IN UNION WITH HIS DEITY,

CLEARLY PROVED AND DEMONSTRATED FROM REVELATION.

TO WHICH IS ADDED,

AN APPENDIX,

CONTAINING

SOME REMARKS ON THE SCHEME OF DOCTRINE

LATELY PUBLISHED

BY THE REV. MR. R. ET, A.B.

BY A FREE ENQUIRER AFTER TRUTH.

Search the scriptures; they are they which testify of ME.- -JESUS CHRIST the same yesterday, and to-day, and for ever. John vi. 39. Heb. xiii. 8.

INTRODUCTION.

IT is a truth which no christian calls in question, that our LORD JESUS CHRIST is the author, the foundation, and the glory of our religion. Yet many disputes have arisen about who, or what he is; and the scriptures, which only can determine these things, have not been attended to with such simplicity, accuracy, and credit, as they justly claim in matters of so vast importance, as the true character of our LORD JESUS CHRIST is, in the christian religion.

It is very plain that the scriptures represent him as a complex person, wherein GoD and man are united, so as to make one camplex agent, one common principle of action and passion, so far as it is possible for the two distinct natures of GoD and man to be so.

Thus he is called "GOD with us.* GOD manifest in the flesh."† GOD dwelling in our mortal nature. The man CHRIST JESUS, "in whom dwelleth all the fulness of the godhead bodily. A man of the seed of David after the flesh,-who is GOD over all blessed for evermore."§ A man, whose flesh Thomas saw and felt, and yet called him," My LORD and my Gop." He is called the child Jesus, and yet the mighty GOD.¶ GOD

* Matt. i. 23.

t1 Tim. ii. 5. Col. ii. 9.
|| John xx. 27, 28.

+ 1 Tim. iii. 16.

& Rom. ix. 5.

¶ Isa. ix. 6.

is said to "redeem the church with his blood,"* and to "lay down his life for us."+ From this intimate union CHRIST himself says, "I am in the Father, and the Father in me.-I and my Father are one."‡

Since the scriptures represent JESUS CHRIST in such a sacred light, whose person and offices have so large a share in our holy religion, we cannot possibly be too well acquainted with his various glories. As it is the study and joy of angels to pry into these wonders,§ it is certainly the indisputable duty of every christian to "grow in the knowledge of CHRIST his LORD, his GOD, and his SAVIOR."

The various glories of our LORD and SAVIOR are the subject of our warmest zeal and strictest attention, and most diligent enquiry, of our holy meditation, and our sacred joy. In his person, character, and offices, there are wonders in store to raise our highest holy curiosity, and entertain the delightful enquiries of our souls in time and eternity. Many of these wonders are displayed in the gospel in the most open and illustrious light;— others are yet unrevealed-reserved till we shall see him face to face:-some are revealed but with less glaring evidence, and like hidden treasures, are contained in the mines of revelation, to awaken our diligence in the pursuit of divine knowledge,and every spark of new discovered glory must richly recompence our longest labor in such laudable enquiries.

If God is pleased at any time, to make a ray of sacred light shine upon the diligent and humble

Acts xx. 28.
1 John iii. 16.
§ 1 Peter i. 12.

+ John x. 28, 30. || 2 Peter iii. 18.

enquiries of any christian into the dark and difficult passages of his word, by which the glories of CHRIST may be made more conspicuous, and the scriptures better understood, and if the fresh ideas can be put in proper language, the communicating of them for the use of other christians, must be an indispensable duty, and a real service done to the gospel of CHRIST.

It must be owned that there is not only difficulty, but danger in the exercise of this duty, in communicating sentiments, which though they are derived from scripture, yet appear to be uncommon, and have not been much noticed by authors. Those of the learned who are rooted in old opinions, established in particular forms, and self-satisfied in what they already believe, are prejudiced against any further light. It rather awakens their learned anger to fix the brand of heresy upon the instrument God is pleased to make use of,-overwhelm the hints of any brighter discovery with clamorous and hard names, and drown them in noise and darkness. Among the unlearned, such as are wedded to what they were taught in their younger years, and have not been accustomed to the exercise of free enquiry, will be equally prejudiced with the learned. Hard names and reproaches are weapons ever at hand, and common to the wise and unwise, the Greek and barbarian, the vulgar christian and the scholar.

And here let me request, that my readers would not be startled at what they find new or strange to them at first appearance; nor condemn such things as heresy, because they differ from what they have formerly received. That they would suffer themselves to believe, that we have not yet attained to a particular knowledge of all things that may be learned concerning our Lord

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