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Christ the Sole Author of Grace and Truth.

Christ the Sole Author of Grace and Truth.

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JOHN i. 17.

" For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by
Jesus Christ."

JOHN i. 17.

" For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by
Jesus Christ."

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on May 06, 2014
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved


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CHRIST THE SOLE AUTHOR OF GRACE AD TRUTH. BY REV.WILLIAM BEVERIDGE, D.D. JOH i. 17. " For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ." THERE is a great dispute among expositors, whether these words were first written by St. John the Evan gelist, or spoken first by St. John the Baptist, as they a little before were. But this is, like most other dis putes, frivolous and unnecessary: for it is no matter who spoke or wrote them, so long as we are sure they are the words of the Holy Ghost, who was pleased not only to dictate, but to cause them also to be recorded, that mankind might always know by whom grace and truth came into the world ; a thing so necessary to be known, that our eternal salvation depends upon it: for it is only by grace and truth that we can be saved ; but unless we know how, and by whom, it came, we can never know how to come at it, so as to be saved by it. And, therefore, the Holy Spirit of God, of his infinite mercy, hath been pleased to acquaint us with it, saying, " For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ." For the understanding of which divine sentence, we must first observe, in general, that what we here translate " grace and truth," is the same that so often 214 CHRIST THE SOLE AUTHOR [SERM. occurs in the Old Testament under the names of r"ll "lDn, the latter of which is always translated " truth," or " faithfulness ;" the other, "TDH, we com
monly, following the LXX, translate " mercy," some times "goodness," sometimes " lovingkindness," or the like ; but it most properly signifies that which we call " grace," " favour," or " kindness," especially to one that doth not deserve it, and can no way requite it. In this sense these two words are frequently put toge ther, none more in all the Old Testament. The first time we meet with them together, is where Abraham s servant being sent to fetch a wife for his master s son, and finding his journey prosperous, he said, " Blessed be the Lord God of my master Abraham, who hath not left destitute my master of his mercy and his truth ." Afterwards he said to Laban and Bethuel, " If ye will deal kindly and truly with my master V In the origi nal it is, " If ye will deal kindness," or " mercy and truth ;" the same words that were used before. The same phrase is used also by Jacob to Joseph 3 ; and by the two spies to Rahab 4 ; and David said to Ittai, " Mercy and truth be with thee 5 :" which is the same, in effect, as if he had said, The Lord be with thee ; or, as he himself had before said to the men of Jabesh- Gilead, "The Lord shew mercy and truth to you 6 ;" that is, the Lord preserve you and save you ; for it is to these two things that our preservation and salvation are ascribed. " Let thy lovingkindness," saith he, or, " thy mercy and thy truth continually preserve me 7 ." " O prepare mercy and truth, which may preserve him 8 ." " Mercy and truth preserve the king," saith Solomon 9 . And David again, " He hath remembered his mercy and his truth toward the house of Israel : all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God 1() ." " For by mercy and truth iniquity is purged u ." I Gen. xxiv. 27. 2 Ver. 49. 3 Gen. xlvii. 29. 4 Josh. ii. 14. 5 2 Sam. xv. 20. 6 Ib. ii. 6. 7 Ps. xl. 11. 8 Ib. Ixi. 7. Prov. xx. 28. 10 Ps. xcviii. 3.
II Prov. xvi. 6. Ps. Ixxxv. 9, 10 ; xl. 10. Prov. iii. 3 ; xiv. 22. X.] OF GRACE AD TRUTH. 215 Hence it is that David so often praiseth God particu larly for these two divine properties together; " I will praise thy name for thy lovingkindness, and for thy truth ." " ot unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy, and for thy truth s sake 2 ." " For thy mercy is great unto the heavens, and thy truth unto the clouds 3 ." Thus he praiseth God also 4 ; and, to sum up all in few words, he saith, " All the paths of the Lord," that is, all his dealings with them, " are mercy and truth unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies 5 ." From all which it appears, that the Church hath all along, from Abraham s time, been used to speak of these two properties together ; neither can it be ima gined that Abraham s servant first began it, but that he learnt it of his master, and he from his ancestors, as they had received it from Adam, when God first pro mised mercy to mankind : for the promise being made by God himself, his faithful people could not but be lieve in the truth of it, and, therefore, constantly used this form of speech, " Mercy and truth," to testify their faith in, and their thankfulness for, the said promise, notwithstanding their unworthiness of it ; which they could not but acknowledge, as Jacob did, saying to God, " I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies, and of all the truth ;" or, as it is in the original, " I am less than all the mercies, and all the truth, which thou hast shewed unto thy servant 6 ." But that which is chiefly to be observed in our pre sent case, is, that when Moses desired to see the glory of God, saying to him, " I beseech thee, shew me thy glory ;" God said, " I will make all my goodness pass

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