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just observe, by the way, that the peculiar phraseology here adduced for the Deity of Christ, is not uncommon in the Scriptures, and would be equally valid in proving that two or more human beings are only one man. Thus, Paul and Apollos are regarded as one ;
“I have planted, Apollos watered. * Now, he that planteth and he that watereth are one.” (1. Cor. iii. 6, 9,) &c., &c. But, let us appeal to a more venerable authority than our own, or, it will be allowed, than that of any contemporary. "Two things,” says Milton, “may be called one in more than one way. Scripture saith, and the Son saith, 'I and my Father are one;' I bow to their authority. Certain commentators conjecture that they are one in essence; I reject what is merely man's invention. For the Son has not left us to conjecture in what manner he is one with the Father (whatever member of the church may have first arrogated to himself the merit of the discovery); but explains the doctrine himself most fully, so far as we are concerned to know it. The Father and the Son are oné, not indeed in essence, for he had himself said the contrary in the preceding verse, my Father which gave them me, is greater than all (see also xiv. 28, my Father is greater than I), and in the following verses he distinctly denies that he hath made himself God in saying, I and my Father are one ; he insists that he had only said as follows, which implies far less (x. 36), say ye of Him whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God? This must be spoken of two persons not only not co-essential, but not co-equal. Now, if the Son be laying down a doctrine respecting the unity of the Divine essence in two persons of the Trinity, how is it that he does not rather attribute the same unity of essence to the three persons ? Why does he divide the indivisible Trinity ? For there cannot be unity without totality. Therefore, on the authority of the opinions holden by my opponents themselves, the Son and the Father without the Spirit are not one in essence.
How then are they one? It is the province of Christ alone to acquaint us with this, and accordingly he does acquaint us with it. In the first place, they are one, inasmuch as they speak and act with unanimity; and so he explains himself in the same chapter, after the Jews had mis
understood his saying: (x. 38), believe the works ; that ye may know and believe that the Father is in me, and I in Him (xiv. 10); believest Thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? The words that I speak unto you, I speak not of myself, but the Father that dwelleth in me, He doeth the works. Here he evidently distinguishes the Father from himself in his whole capacity ; but asserts, at the same time, that the Father remains in him ; which does not denote unity of essenee, but only intimacy of communion. Secondly, he declares himself to be one with the Father, in the same manner as we are one with him—that is, not in essence, but in love, in communion, in agreement, in charity, in spirit, in glory."
In the Epistle of St. Paul to the Philippians, we read, (Chap. ii. 6) “Who (i. e. Christ Jesus) being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God.” The Greek word rendered “form” in this passage, implies the outward form, face, resemblance of any. thing or person, in opposition to its real internal nature and constitution. « The whole passage seems to me,” says Erasmus, “to be very violently misapplied to the nature of Christ; since Paul is treating only of his APPEARANCE as exhibited to us." The same word (uopon) occurs repeatedly in the Jewish Scriptures, particularly the septuagint version, but only once in the New Testament exelusively of the text we are now considering. The phrase, form of God, no more implies that Christ was that God in whose form he appeared, than the expression, form of a servant, occurring in the following verse, implies that he aetually entered into the condition
* This passage is taken from the posthumous work of Milton, entitled, “ A Treatise on Christian Doctrine, compiled from the Holy Scriptures alone,” and translated from the Latin by Dr. Sumner, Bishop of Winchester. Portions of the Chapters on the Son of God and the Holy Spirit have been republished, under the title of “ John Milton's Last Thoughts on the Trinity,” the editor of which observes, that the general preface to the work breathes a fine spirit of religious liberty, and concludes with the just remark, that “Milton is henceforth to be ranked amongst those Christian scholars, a numerous and honourable class, who have rejected the doctrine of the Trinity as an unscriptural innovation, and a corruption of the pure doctrine of Christ. It may surely suffice to shield Unitarian Christians from some of the reproaches which are so frequently cast upon them, that to them belongs a triumvirate of intellect, wisdom, learning, and piety, which cannot be paralleled, in the immortal names of Locke, Newton, and Milton.”'
» he not only
of a bond-servant. “The meaning probably is,” says Mr. Wilson, in his admirable work on Scripture Proofs and Scriptural Illustrations of Unitarianism,”
" that he possessed great benevolence, wisdom, and authority ; that he acted in the capacity of God himself (see John x.3436); that, to demonstrate the Divinity of his mission,' he was gifted by the Father with a voluntary power of controlling the laws of nature--of curing the most inveterate diseases, bestowing food in a miraculous manner to famishing multitudes, giving sight to the blind, and re-. storing the dead to life. This explanation, we think, harmonises both with the scope of the Apostles' reasoning, and with the whole tenour of our Lord's deportment and actions. Though, in the form of God'--though in the possession of extraordinary and Divine powers, 'he did not assume the splendour of such a state, but made himself of no reputation '—he lived in poverty and contempt, while he meliorated the condition of thousands around him, by the employment of his mighty powers. “He took upon him the form of a servant; exercised, for the good of others, the Godlike qualifications with which he had been invested by the Father, but he ministered to the welfare of his brethren, by the praetioe of duties peculiar to the meanest slave."
With regard to the real import of the latter part of the verse in question, “thought it not robbery to be equal with God," there seems considerable difficulty, and hence an abundance of conjectural interpretation. The difficulty seems to lie in the ambiguity of the Greek words, rendered by “ROBBERY,” and “ to be equal.” Commentators will, of course, be naturally inclined to give that signification to the passage which seems to comport best with their pre-conceived notions. Unfortunately the word here translated “ROBBERY,” scarcely occurs in any other Greek writer ; nor is it agreed among the learned, exactly in what sense it should be taken-whether it should be construed astively or passively, that is, whether it signifies an act of seizure, or the prey, the booty, the thing seized upon; though the majority of expositors lean to the latter view. Again, the word translated "equal" is derived from one which signifies to be like, to resemble ; henee, the rendering may very justly be given, "to be like, or, to resemble God," as well as, “ to be equal with God.”
And some of the most learned Trinitarians, as well as the generality of Unitarians, have conceived the Greek expression thus translated to denote, not perfect equality, but mere resemblance. Dr. S. Clarke thus explains the passage:-“Did not covet to be honoured as God, was not greedy, or fond of, did not look upon it as a prize to be hastily catched at.” Emlyn and Cappe say: thought it no robbery, or prey, to be like to God;” and Mr. Mardon, “did not eagerly grasp at this resemblance to God.”
From the conflict of opinions as to the true interpretation of this confessedly difficult passage, we may appeal to the whole tenour of the Apostle's language in this Epistle, and enquire what was his design? Was it to represent Christ as claiming equality with God? Why, in the most earnest manner he recommends to the Philippians, meekness of disposition and humility of deportment. He entreats them to discard all sentiments of selfishness and vain glory—to be influenced only by motives of the most disinterested nature. He places before their eyes the example of their Lord and Master, who, so far from arrogating to himself equality with God, preferred being subject to the greatest ills of which human nature is susceptible, rather than appear with that splendour of dignity which he might justly have assumed, rather than employ, for his own ease and emolument, those extraordinary powers, which he had received from the Father. This interpretation, borne out by many translations, seems quite in unison with the Apostle's design ; for it is highly improbable, that he should have recommended to the members of the Phillippian church to “ esteem others better than themselves, and, at the same time, exhibit, as an incentive to such praiseworthy conduct, the example of one who, instead of being “meek and lowly in heart”-instead of relirquishing his own comforts in order to minister to the wants of others, esteemed himself infinitely above his brethren, by putting himself on a perfect equality with the greatest and the best of beings. St. Paul could not have truly asserted that Christ did not think it a robbery, or an unjust assumption, to be equal with God; for our Lord never assumed such equality—he never claimed independent power. On the contrary, he testified, both by his words
and actions, that all the authority he possessed was the gift of a Superior Being.
The reader is now left to his choice, whether he shall adopt a rendering which is at least of doubtful authority, which is opposed, in its tendency, to the principal design of the apostolical writer-and which is utterly repugnant to the doctrine of Christ himself; or, whether he shall prefer a translation of the passage which has been proposed by the most eminent biblical critics, which most beautifully illustrates the great virtues that the writer of the Epistle in the context, so warmly urges on the Philippian converts, and which harmonizes with every word and every act recorded of the meek and lowly Jesus !
An argument for the absolute equality of Christ with God has been founded by Trinitarians on some passages of Scripture, where, it is alleged, the Jews understood him as claiming such equality. To the most remarkable of these texts we now advert : “The Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the Sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.” The Greek word rendered by
equal” is the same in this as in the passage just referred to, and has the signification (as we have before remarked) of resemblance as well as equality. Hence several versions render the phrase "making himself like God." Theophilus Lindsey asserts, that “this is a just translation of the original,” and that “ our translators have fallen into a similar mistake in Luke xx. 36; where wayyedol should be rendered, not equal, but like unto the angels.” Let the mere English reader, who is unacquainted with the ancient languages, turn to the passage in Luke, and even he, we think, will be able to decide as to the justness of this criticism. It is evident the whole question hinges on the meaning of the word wos, However, “the Jews did not mean,” says Dr. S. Clarke, "to charge Jesus with affirming himself to be the Supreme, self-existent, independent, Deity; but only with assuming to himself the power and authority of God.” We cannot but profess ourselves of this opinion. The Jews were firm believers in the strict, undivided unity of God. They were now in the presence of one who, to all appearance, belonged to the same order of beings as themselves—a person who had never pretended to be that God, or equal to that God, whom their ances