GRACE AND TRUTH
The present volume is designed to form a companion to one which immediately preceded it, (Glimpses of the Truth as it is in Jesus) and to which, in the general character of its subjects and mode of treating them, it may be thought to bear some resemblance, sufficient, at least, to identify them as originating from the same pen.
"Grace and Truth!" Magnificent and expressive words! Let not the Christian reader unfold these pages with the extravagant expectation of finding within them anything approaching to a consecutive and elaborate treatise upon these vast and lofty themes. They have no pretension of this kind. He will be disappointed, looking for this, in meeting with familiar, simple, and unconnected illustrations only, of these great subjects; not, however, the author trusts, the less important, precious, or sanctifying.
What is Grace? It is the heart of God overflowing- His free mercy in Christ to fallen man, coursing its benignant way through our lost world, and outmeasuring the ravages and the triumphs of sin. For, "where sin abounded, GRACE did much more abound."
What is Truth? Momentous question! The anxious inquiry of every age, of every Church, of every lip. Pilate knows it now. And he might have known it when the question first fell from his trembling lips- for ETERNAL and ESSENTIAL TRUTH stood as a criminal at his bar! But summon the witnesses, and they shall testify what is truth. Ask the devils who beheld His miracles and quailed beneath His power, and they will answer- "It is Jesus, the Son of God Most High." Ask the angels who beheld His advent and announced His birth, and they will answer- "It is the Savior, who is Christ the Lord." Ask His enemies who nailed Him to the tree, and they will answer- "Truly it is the Son of God!" Ask His disciples who were admitted to His confidence, and who leaned upon His bosom, and they will answer, "We believe and are sure that it is Christ, the Son of the living God." Ask the Father, testifying from the 'secret place of thunder,' and He will answer- "It is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." Summon witnesses from the inanimate world. Ask the water blushing into wine- ask the sea calmed by a word- ask the earth trembling upon its axis- ask the rocks rent asunder- ask the sun veiled in darkness- ask the heavens robed in mourning- ask all nature agonized and convulsed, as He hung upon the tree- and all, as with one voice, will exclaim- Jesus is TRUTH.
Happy are they, who, through the teaching of the Holy Spirit, receive Jesus into their hearts as the truth- believe in Him as the truth- walk in Him as the truth, and who, under the sanctifying influence of the truth, are employing their holiest energies in making Him known to others as "the way, the truth, and the life" -thus, like their Lord, "bearing witness unto the truth."
In the Lord Jesus, then, as the head of the new-covenant dispensation, "Grace and Truth " essentially and exclusively dwell; and sitting at His feet, each sincere, humble disciple may receive grace out of His fulness and be taught the truth from His lips. "The law was given by Moses, but GRACE and TRUTH came by Jesus Christ."
To encourage the 'house of Jacob to possess their possessions,' is the lowly design of these pages. Should their perusal stimulate the Christian reader to seek an increase of grace from Christ, -impart to him clearer unfoldings of Jesus as the truth, or lead him into deeper, more comforting and sanctifying views of the 'truth as it is in Jesus,' -let him, in return, pray for the unworthy writer as greatly needing and desiring in his own soul a larger measure of these precious things. And all the glory shall be ascribed to the TRIUNE GOD, to whom exclusively and most justly it is due.