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“ he did not rob,” is not to give a translation, but a paraphrase. But their great strength lies in the similar phrases which they pretend to find in heathen authors. There, say they, these phrases signify to catch at an opportunity, to pursue, covet, or snatch at a thing that is desirable, and therefore so must that in our text. Some competent judges, however, have called in question the instances they quote *. But supposing they were perfectly similar to that in our text, it will never follow from thence that it must be explained by them. It will be out of dispute with every lover of the truth, whether we are to abide by the waters of Shiloali, or to repair to the puddles of paganism: whether we are to explain the apostle, by the apostle, or by a heathen: whether we are to borrow a light from what a heathen says in a passage or two, or from what the Holy Ghost himself says in a great many places of the New Testament: whether we are to compare spiritual things with carnal, or with spiritual. As was already observed, the word in my text, signifies not only to lead, but also to think, esteen, account, reckon or judge. It is found

* Dr. Whitby insists on the phrases éprepuce motely, which he renders to snatch at, and detarpiece vytiçout which he supposes signifies to pursue, or covet a thing that is desirable. But it will never follow, that because these phrases may have these significations in a profane author, that therefore άρπαγμον ηγήσατο must have the same in a sacred. “Αρπαγμα ποιειν Lurruyuav may indeed signify to make robbery an opportunity, i. e. an opportunity not to be lost, which is the same as to rob: But it cannot from thence be inferred that oxy úgtempeor úgúseto must signify, he did riot pursue, or covet to be equal with God. Dr. Ridgley on the Lar. ger Catechism, p. 153, vol. 1. has observed, that the substantive noun in our text is not the same with that in the places quoted by Whitby. I lere it is de aequos, there ágtayuae. The one, he says, signifies the act of robbing, the other the object or effect. Which he illustrates by varie ous examples of verbals ending in

feos

and Komarnos, Boasting; Kousharud, that in which we boast. Konatuos, Punishing; Kondoux, the punishment inflicted. Ogropes, Limiting; 'Ogooua, the boundary or limit itself. 'Dadosuos, Arming; '0whoice, the armour itself. Erogatucos , Aiming; Proxacus, the object aimed at. Bertiguos, Baptising; Bertioua, the ordinance in which it is perform. ed, Mark va. 8. compared with Matt. iii. 7. and xxi. 25.

Melle, as

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in eighteen places in the New Testament, in all of which it is taken in the latter sense. Now, the question is, whether when investigating its meaning in our text, we should call in the aid of a heathen author, or compare it with the invariable use of the same word in all these passages: whether we are to inquire of the god of Ekron, or of the God of Israel? In the de. termination of this we cannot hesitate a moment. To use the word in one and the same sense in eighteen places, and to abandon that sense in the nineteenth, would be very extraordinary; especially, when there is not so much as the shadow of necessity for so doing. Such a conduct would betray something ridiculous, if not worse: a design to shun the truth, rather than to seek it. It is not without the superintendency of the Holy Spirit that the word in my text is used twice in this chapter, and three times in the next. So verse 3d,

Let each esteem others better than themselves. Verse 25th. I supposed it necessary to send you Epaphroditus. Chap. iü. 7, 8. What things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea, doubtless, and I count all things but loss: And do count them but dung, that I may win Christ.” In all these places the word signifies to think, reckon, judge, esteem, or account And no solid reason can be assigned why it should not have the same signification in my text. Add to this, that in all the other thirteen places where it occurs in the New Testament, it has still the self-same sense, as will appear from inspecting them. So Acts xxvi. 2. I think myself happy. i Thess. v. 13. Esteem them very highly. 2 Thess. iii. 15. Count him not as an enemy: i Tim. i. 12. He counted me faithful, chap. vi. 1. Let servants count their masters worthy of all honour. Heb. X. 29. Hath counted the blood of the covenant an unholy thing. Chap. xi. 11. She judged him faithful who had promised. Verse 26. Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt. James i. 2. Count it all joy, when ye fall into divers temptations. 2 Pet. i. 13. I think it meet, Chapter ii. 13. They count it pleasure to riot in the

day-time. Chap. iii. 9. As some men count slackness. Verse 15. Account that the long-suffering of our Lord is salvation. Nay, the word in my text has the same signification in the Septuagint. Job. xli. 27. He esteemeth iron as straw. Verse 28. He accounteth the sling-stone as stubble. From this collection of

passages it must appear to the conviction of the unprejudiced, that the Socinians' translation of our text is without parallel or precedent in holy scripture, and therefore to be rejected. Thus we have evinced that the sense which they affix to it is obscure, indecent, incoherent, and unsupported.

It must be acknowledged that some in high reputation for learning, orthodoxy and piety, have translated our text in a manner, which at first sight, seems to coincide with that of the Socinians, but at the same time they understand it in a different sense.

66 He did not “ hold it for a spoil to be equal unto God. That is,

say they, He would not glory in his majesty, which " he had in the form of God, as they who triumph in “ their spoils; but rather deny the honour of equality “ with God, agreeing truly unto him, by not shewing "sit, and by not glorying in it *.” This sense is no how contrary to the analogy of faith. There is nothing in it which militates against the Deity of the great God our Saviour. Neither can it be deemed any how incoherent with the context. For în connection, thus it reads, " Who being in the form of God, did not hold it for a spoil to be equal unto God; but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men." Still, however, it seems unnatural to speak of our Redeemer's uncreated glories under the notion of spoil. And hence, those who embrace this sense of the passage, find it necessary to distinguish betwixt privale spoil, which is never acquired without injustice, and public, which is obtained in lawful war. The former being usually concealed, as in the case of

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Şo Maestricht. Theol. vol. 1. p. 489. So also Cameron and Daille. See Pictet's

Theol. Chret. vol. 1. p. 240.

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Achan; the latter exhibited in triumph, as was wont to be done by the Roman conquerors.

After all, there seems to be an impropriety in using such a style as the above. The infinite honours and perfections which our Lord enjoyed, were his by nature, not by gift, much less by conquest. He was as necessarily a Son, as God was a Father, and therefore as necessarily God as he. Therefore though it may well be said that he vailed the glories of his Godhead, yet there can be no propriety in saying that he did not triumph in them, as conquerors in their spoil.

Having made these observations, little needs be said in vindication of the reading retained in our version. It is entirely agreeable, as we have seen, to the constant use of the word in other passages of the New Testament, agreeable to the versions used in other churches, and exhibits a sense, natural, easy, suitable to the context, and most agreeable to the analogy of faith *. Our Lord Jesus existed from eternity in the form

* After having considered the text in the most critical manner of which I was capable, I cannot but cordially acquiesce in our version, with the addition of one word only. We read, “ He thought it not rob bery to be equal with God." With the venerable Turrettine, I would read, he thought it not robbery to be altogetker equal with God. Such I apprehend is the precise meaning of the words, icc Osã. It is known that toc is an adjective from ioos, John v, 18. signifying equal. And keeping the form of the adjective, the clause in the Latin would run, Non rapinam existimavit esse equalia Deo. But it is known also that so won is often used substantively, and then it signifies equalitas. Scapula Lex. p. 690. and for this reason it is that the learned Turrettin, reads, Christus erat in forma Dei, Phil. ii. 650 tū Otw, æqualitates, id est, prorsus æqualis Deo. He thought it not robbery to be altogether equal with God.' Nor is it unusual with the Hebrews to speak in this manner. So Psalm cx. 3. Thy people shall be willingnesses, that is altogether willing. The word cru has been much tossed among the critics, some contending that it should be taken adverbially here, as Whitby; others denying it, as Pearson; who asserts that soon and 6044 were used as the same by the Greeks. He also observes, that whom the Greeks call wou bzw equal to God, Homer calls vra Osw. Odyss. Lib. 15. L. 519. where Telemachus speaking of Eury. machus, says,

τον νύν ίσα θεώ Ιθακήσιοι εισoροώσι. . I would further observe, that icos signifies equality, rather than simili

of God, was one with him in essence, the brightnessof his glory, and the express image of his person. And being So,

he thought, he reckoned, he esteemed, he judged, he counted, it no act of robbery to be equal with God. He did not think that he did any injustice in claiming all the honours of supreme Deity, since to them he had an unalienable right by nature, being one with God, John x. 30.; and therefore equal to him, chap.

v. 18.

The true sense of the words being thus ascertained, I come now to the Second general Head of discourse, which was to illustrate and confirm some of the doctrines obviously contained in them. And these are chiefly three,

1st. That our Lord is in his person distinct from the Father.

2dly. That he is nearly related to him. And,

3dly. That he is entirely equal with him. Con. cerning each of which in the order.

The first Doctrinal proposition respects our Lord's distinction from the Father. This is so clearly and so frequently taught in scripture, that he who runs may read. It lies indeed as at the bottom of the Christian system; and is so essential to it, that there can be no Christianity without it. Nay, it is a truth, which even Mahometans, Arians, Socinians all confess. This being the case, I choose rather to illustrate, than to prove it. That it is implied in my text, must be obvious to the meanest capacity: For if Christ was in the form of God, and reckoned it no robbery to be equal with

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εαυτον

tude or likeness. John 18.

701ãy tw dzã, Making himself equal with God. Luke xx. 36. iráyys:nos gydę sios, For they are equal unto the angels. I cannot therefore but subscribe to the judgment of the renowned Sir Richard Ellis, that with the Greeks sò suves, joined to ba is most significant. And that perfect equality could not be expressed more fully by words. Fortuita Sacra, p. 213.

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