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derstood, affords a strong proof of the coequality of the two Persons; and that it is quoted accordingly by Dr. Whitby in his trea tise de vera Christi deitate. But as this can only be done by help of the above distinction, I must ask, why Novatian's sense of this text must be admitted as the true one? He did not affect, say some, did not claim, did not take upon him, &c. to be honoured as God. Notwithstanding the great
authorities of Grotius, Tillotson, and Clarke, &c. * with which this interpretation is fortified, I cannot help thinking the reading in use, thought it not robbery to be equal with God, not barely to be the more eligible, but indeed the proper reading. For, not to insist on one circumstance in its favour, which is the nonagreement of the several interpretations of the learned Gentlemen above-mentioned, it deserves to be noted, that though the phrase 8χ αρπαγμον ηγησατο would admit the conftruction contended for, yet the context will be found absolutely to revolt against it. Granting the phrase being in the form of God to be
* See Mr. Parkhurst's Note at p. 79. of his Treatise on the Divinity and Pre-existence of our Saviour.
in itself of undeterminate signification, yet, when predicated of him who is one with the Father, who was in the beginning with God, and really and truly was God, it certainly is to be regarded as synonymous with those expresfions; and consequently as importing an intire equality with God. But herewith the construction of Novatian, and of the Arians, not to say of Dr. W. himself, is totally incompatible. The reading in use therefore must be allowed to be not only natural, but necessary. He thought it not robbery, i. e. to be no violation of right, or justice.
The other passage is the following. There is one body, says the Apostle to the Ephesians, and one Spirit ; one Lord, one Faith, one Baptism; one God, and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. Chap. iv. 4. &c. The Socinian and the Arian inference from these texts is obvious; but in proof that it is an unfair one, I would remark, that had St. Paul intended here to have diftinguished the Father from the Son and the O
Spirit, by this ascription of Supremacy, he would certainly have named the two latter with their severally discriminating inferior titles ; and this without a needless, and I might say, impertinent combination of unities, if I may so call them. Besides, had this been the Apostle's design, how comes it to pass that supremacy is in almost the same terms ascribed in the New Testament to Jesus Christ; whose throne is for ever and ever, who is Lord of all, who is over all, God blessed for ever? Or how are we to account for its being so frequently said, that both Christ and the Spirit as well as the Father is in us? If the manifest attribution of Supremacy in the texts just now cited does not exclude the Father, why must it be understood in the place under confideration to exclude the Son? The same question may be asked with the same propriety, and with the same success, with regard to the following well-known paffages in the first Epistle to Tim. which, I believe, the Anti-trinitarians in general set with much assurance at the head of their authorities.
Now unto the king eternal, immortal, invisble, the only wise God, be bonour and glory for ever and ever : f Who is the blessed and only potentate, the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords, who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto, whom no man bath seen, or can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Surely all this is briefly but fully comprebended in the above descriptions of Jesus Chrift; to whom, by the way, independently on the Father, St. Peter ascribes glory both now and for ever. We shall now be able to despatch with no difficulty certain passages which at first sight have an humiliating tendency, and seem to import the inferiority of the Son to the Father, and the impersonality of the Holy Ghost. It
be of use to expose pretences.
With respect to his human character, or his legation, Christ is confessedly God's; and the head of Christ is God; and, says he, my Father is greater than I. We have already seen, that the absolute Godhead of Jesus
+ 1 Tim. i. 17. vi. 15, &c.
Chrift, though it had been on certain occafions not barely intimated, but in plain terms asserted by him, was not uniformly mani, fested to his discipies during his residence upon
earth. It was a truth which he was in due time fully to authenticate to them, but which at present for obvious reasons they could not bear. * Accordingly, as in many other places, so in the words last quoted, which were calculated to footh them under the loss they were about to sustain by his going away, my
Father is greater than 1, the blessed Jesus with particular propriety alludes to the commission he had undertaken, and adapts himself to their imperfect and unsettled conceptions. f On pretty much the faine ground he had at another time declared to the ruler who addressed him under the character of Good Master, that there is none good but one, that is God. The full manifeftation of the great mystery of the Gospel was reserved for the day of Pentecost ; before which consideration a thousand difficulties
* See Parkhurst's Divin. &c. of Christ. p. 102. &c. 117. &c. + See Disc. 3 and 7. See John xiv. 26. 1 See Luke xviii. 18.