of his glory by faith was invisible. For as the invisible things of God are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead, Rom. i. 20.; so from our Saviour's miracles, the disciples beheld the glory of his goodness and his power; for in them he manifested forth his glory, John ii. 11. xi. 40. It is evident, however, that these miracles were not the form in which he existed. They were things wrought by him, proofs of his divi. nity, as he wrought them in his own name; but not his divinity itself. He did not subsist in them, but they existed by him. Were they the form meant in our text, it would follow, that had they never been, neither would He, who is said to be in that form, which would be open blasphemy. They might never have been. But as for him, his existence was necessary, and therefore eternal. He could say,

« Before Abraham was, I am,” John viji. 58. These miracles were in the days of his flesh, when he had taken upon him the form of a servant, and therefore behoved to be widely different from the form of God, in which he existed before he assumed that of a servant. As to the majesty of Christ, which his disciples beheld on the holy mount, it could not be the form meant in my text. jesty was the object of their bodily eyes. His face shone as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light, Matt. xvii. 2. That visible glory which they saw, even as the voice they heard from the overshadowing cloud, was an incontestible proof of his Deity, but not the form in which he existed before he was made flesh. All the glory beheld on the 2nount respected his body only, and therefore could not be that form in which he subsisted, before a body was prepared for him. As his appearances in a bodily shape under the Old Testament, were so many preludes of his future incarnation, so the glory in which he shone upon the mount, may justly be considered as a pledge or anticipation of that glory into which he was to enter after his sufferings. The great subject on which Moses and Elias talked with him, was his decease which

That ma

he was to accomplish at Jerusalem, Luke ix. 31. And by the glory with which he was at that time surrounded, he was encouraged to go on with his work, and to set his face as a' flint. After all, this was a glory vouchsafed him in the days of his flesh, and therefore totally different from that which he had with the Father before the world was, John xvij. 5. The one was eternal and unchangeable, the other like that of Moses, 2 Cor. iii. 7. temporary and transient: For soon his visage was marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men. Isa. liii. 14.

But I go on to observe, by way of affirmation, that to be in the form of God signifies two things, viz. uni. ty with him, and likeness to him.

1st. When it is said that Jesus was in the form of God, it implies that he was in the full possession of the nature of God, being the same in substance with him: or as it is expressed, Col. ii. 9. that in him dwelt all the fulness of the Godhead. That this is certainly included in his being in the form of God, is evident from the apostle's own words in the following verse, For there he tells us, that he who was in the form of God, took upon him the form of a servant. The apostle sets the two as in opposition, that from the obvious mean. ing of the one, we may learn that of the other. In taking upon him the form of a servant, he assumed the human nature; therefore being in the form of God, he possessed the divine. In taking the form of a servant, he became man; therefore being in the form of God, he was God. As he could not assume the form of a servant, without becoming truly man; neither could he be in the form of God, without being truly God. It is observable with respect to these two forms, that he is said to be in the one, and to have taken the other: intimating that the one was natural, the other voluntary; the one, before all time; the other, in the fulness of time. It cannot be denied, that though our Saviour has laid aside the form of a servant, being now highly exalted as Lord over all, Phil. ii. 9-11. yet he is still a man, and shall continue so for ever;

and that therefore, to have hnman nature, and to be in the form of a servant, are not precisely the same. It is as undeniable, however, that Christ could not take the form of a servant, without assuming humanity; and that therefore, “as to be in the form of a servant sig. • nifies to have a human nature clothed with all its in“ firmities, so to be in the form of God, signifies to a be God, to have sovereign majesty, to enjoy infinite

glory, to exercise the authority, the rights, and the “ functions of God, to live and appear in a manner “ suitable to that great and incomprehensible na« ture *.” God having no form but his essence, our Sa. viour being said to subsist in his form, must be partaker of his essence, or be by nature God.

2dly. When Jesus is said to be in the form of God, it implies that he was like unto him. In a

ancient version, t our text runs, “ Who being in the similitude of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God.” As our was Lord essentially one with the Father, till the fulness of the Godhead resided in him; so he was like unto him. Hedid not more certainly partake of his essence, than he resembled his person. This, as well as the preceding particular, is fairly deducible from what the apostle says concerning the form of a servant. That form included not only nature, but also likeness. The apos. tle having said that our Lord took upon him the form of a servant, immediately adds, by way of explication, “ being made in the likeness of men.” 'I cannot but observe with some that our translators have marred the beauty of the apostle's words, by adding two copulative conjunctions, neither of which' is in the original; and thus making three distinct propositions, while all the words together are used to express our Saviour's ex. inanition, with an explication, shewing wherein it consisteth. The true translation of the apostle's words runs in the following manner. “ Nevertheless, he emp. tied himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men. If it be asked, “How he who was in the form of God, and in whom dwelt all the fulness of Godhead, emptied himself?” The apostle answers, “ That it was by taking the form of a servant.” If it be further asked, “How he took the form of a servant ?" The same apostle answers, “ It was by being made in the likeness of men,” viz. in the likeness of sinful flesh, as he expresseth it, Rom. viii. 3. Thus the second clause is explanatory of the first, and the third of the second. The form of a servant included not simply flesh, or human nature; but the likeness of sinful flesh. Christ was not made in the likeness of innocent Adam, but of sinful


• Pictet. Theol. Chret. vol. 1. p. 238

+ Syriac.
Pearson on the Creed, p. 122.


Such a likeness was his humble dress during the period of his painful service, called by way of emphasis, the days of his flesh, Heb. v. 7. Being made sin, or a sinoffering for men, meetit was that he should be made in the likeness of sinful men, 2 Cor. v. ult. Being to offer a sacrifice, it was fit that a body should be prepared for him upon his coming into the world, Heb. x. 5. Now, as by assuming the form of a servant, he was made in the likeness of men; so subsisting in the form of God, he could not but be like him. In the one case he was made like unto his brethren; in the other, he was always like unto his Father. When he is expressly said to be in the form of God, viz, of God the Father, this cannot but signify that he as much resembles him in person, as he is one with him in essence. To be in the form of a thing, implies the greatest likeness to it, and at the same time that it is distinct from it. Thus the form of the impressed wax, exactly resembles that of the seal: there being point for point in the one, that there is in the other. Our Saviour is not God the Fa. ther, but he is in his form. Never did a son so exactly resemble a father, as he does him. All his Father in him shines. Hence, he said in the days of his flesh, He that seeth me, seeth him that sent me, John xii. 45. He that hath seen me, hath seen the Father, chap. xiv. 9. And, saith the apostle, He is the brightness of his Father's glory, and the express image of his person,


Heb. i. 3. The Father has an infinitude of glory, and our Jesus is the brightness of that glory, as the rays of light are the brightness of the sun. The Father is a person, a subsistent in the Godhead, and our Lord is the express character, image, or delineation, of his person, resembling him in all his perfections, as the inpression on the wax does the engraving of the seal, there not being a line in the one which is not also in the other.

When created substances come under our consider. ation, their essential and accidental properties claim our attention. And in contemplating the nature of the ever-blessed God, as revealed in holy scripture, two kinds of properties are to be carefully observed, viz. essential and personal. The one class is common to the ever-adorable Three; so all are infinite, eternal, and unchangeable. But as to the other, one is peculi. ar to one, and another to another. So paternity to the first, sonship to the second, and procession from both, to the third. For though the Father be eternal, the Son eternal, and the Holy Ghost eternal; though in respect of essence and essential properties, they are one; yet as to persons and personal properties, they are distinct. The Father is not the Son, nor either of them the Holy Ghost. Yet each of them possesseth not a part, but all the fulness of the Godhead. Nor is this a contradiction, any more than that there are three lines in one triangle, and that every line has an equal, though a distinct relation to the whole of that interjacent superficies which they inclose. Consider the father and the Son as possefsing the same Godhead, and they are one. But consider them as distinct persons in that Godhead, and the one is in the form of the other, is like unto the other. Accordingly he is called, “ The image of the invisible God,” Col. i. 15. i. e, his image in his divine person, as appears from the following clause, where he is called, not the first-born of every creature, for at that rate he would only be the first of creatures, but the first Begetter or the first Former of the whole creation *.

• Vide Scapula's Lexic.

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