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DISCOURSES AND SAYINGS
OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST
A SERIES OF EXPOSITIONS.
BY JOHN BROWN, D.D.,
PROFESSOR OF EXEGETICAL THEOLOGY TO THE UNITED PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH,
BROUGHTON PLACE, EDINBURGII.
ΔΕΙ -- ΜΝΗΜΟΝΕΥΕΙΝ ΤΩΝ ΛΟΓΩΝ ΤΟΥ ΚΥΡΙΟΥ ΙΗΣΟΥ
IN THREE VOLUMES.
EDINBURGH: WILLIAM OLIPHANT AND SONS.
GLASGOW: DAVID ROBERTSON.
TO JAMES DOUGLAS OF CAVERS, ESQUIRE.
My Dear Sir,
Your honoured name is placed in the front of these volumes, not so much to grace them (though, as Selden says, “ bookes are most fitly consecrated to true lovers of goodnesse and all good learning”), as to gratify their author, by giving him an opportunity of expressing the deep conviction he has long felt, of the important and enduring service you have in your writings done to the cause of christian truth and love ; and of recording the pleasure and advantage derived from intercourse with you, for nearly thirty years, and the ever-increasing cordial regard which has grown out of that intercourse.
May God,“ even our own God,” who has blessed you and made you a blessing to the church and to the world, bless you more and more, and more and more make you a blessing. May you long continue, Sir, to adorn your station, to bless your family, to “ devise liberal things,” and to add to those literary gifts by which, without impoverishing yourself, you are “making many rich” on earth, and, I doubt not, “ laying up for yourself treasure in heaven."
I am, My Dear Sir,
Most respectfully and affectionately,
“ Jesus would not have been “Son of God,' and 'Son of Man,' had not his words, like his works, with all their adaptation to the circumstances of the times, contained some things that are inexplicable, had they not borne concealed within them, the germ of an infinite development, reserved for future ages to unfold. It is this feature,-and all the evangelists concur in their representations of it,—which distinguishes Christ from all other teachers of men. Advance as they may, they can never reach him; their only task need be, by taking him more and more into their life and thought, to learn better how to bring forth the treasures that lie concealed in him."—NEANDER.
It is a growing conviction in my mind, that vital and influential Christianity consists, much more than is ordinarily apprehended, in an intimate personal acquaintance and friendship with our Lord Jesus Christ. He is the great revealer of God; he is the revealed Divinity. The man knows the Father who knows the Son-that man alone knows the Father. Christ is himself “the way, the truth, and the life;" and it is only in so far as we really know and love him, that we are in “the way,” or that “the truth” and “the life” are in us.
To be a Christian, it is not enough that we know and acknowledge a system of doctrine and of law, deduced from the sayings of our Lord and the writings of his apostles. It is necessary that we be acquainted with his person, his character, and his work; that we know the doctrines of Christianity as his mind, the laws of Christianity as his will. The very life of Christianity consists in loving, confiding in, obeying him, and God in him; and he plainly can be loved, confided in, and obeyed, only in the degree in which he is known. Speculation about the person and work of Christ, however correct, is not the “excellent knowledge” in comparison with which the apostles