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viz, that the Son was the Father himself. But the truth is, that our Lord intended nothing more by this way of speaking, but to intimate that he was the i ather's representative, ambassador, and the great revealer of his will, that the wisdom and power of the Father resided in him, and were displayed to mankind by him. This passage is similar to the expression of St. Paul, Col. i. 15. Who (Christ) is the image of the invisible Gud ;' i. e. the person, who above all others, resembles the Father most; or, in whom his perfections most eminently appear. The apostles also, in conversing with Christ, had the best opportunity of knowing God, and of becoming acquainted with his will, and the way of obtaining his favour. The words, believ. est thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me,' have been thought by Trinitarians, to refer to some kind of mysterious union, or in-existence of two divine co-equal persons, But our Lord himself has explained them otherwise ; for he tells us in the same verse, the words that I speak unto you, I speak not of myself, but the Father that dwell. eth in me, he doeth the works. From which it appears, that he meant to inculcate an opposite doctrine, and to sig. nify that the Father, or the Spirit of the Father, was the source of his wisdom, and the author of all his miraculous works. See Discourse, V. p. 54 to 58.
We find similar language to lhis of our Lord used con. cerning pious and devout persons,
1 Cor. iii. 16. Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?' 2 Cor, vi. 16. As God hath said, I will dwell in them and walk in them. 1 John iv. 16.
He that dwelleth in love, dwelleth in God, and God in him.' When good Christians are described in this manner, it is not surprising that Christ should talk of his being in the Father, and the Father in him.
John xiv. 14. 'If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.'. This appears to relate to the miraculous powers and extraordinary qualifications that were conferred upon the first Christians. Christ was enabled to bestow these gifts by tire promise of the Holy Ghost, which he received of the Father, It is observable that our Lord does not desire his Apostles to ask from himself, but to ask in his name.
And it is certain, that the person from whom they were to ask was the Father: for he iells them, John svi. 23. And ir
that day ye shall ask me nothing: Verily, verily, I say unto you, whatsoever ye
shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you. This passage, therefore, proves nothing more, but that Christ should grant the petitions of his disciples according to the will of the Father and to his glory : for he observes in the preceding verse, John xiv. 13. And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.'
John xvi. 15. All things that the Father hath are mine.' The All things here mentioned, appear to relate to the things of the Christian church; because the Spirit is said to take of these things, and give it unto the Apostles. It is said of Christians, 1 Cor. iii. 21, “All things are yours;' therefore it is not wonderful that the same should be affirmed by our Lord Jesus Christ of himself. But whatever may be included under the word all, it is no proof of the divinity of Christ, for he tells us, John-iii. 35. • The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand.' Whatever, therefore, Christ possesses, is the free and voluntary gift of the Father, and we are sure that God cannot receive from any person. See Rom. xi. 35, 36.
John xvii. 5. And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self, with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.' Christ's possessing glory with tle Father before the world was,' or occupying an eminent station in the heavenly world, can never be fairly urged as a proof of divinity: for it is not said that this glory was eternal, or that it was of the same nature with the glory o! the Father. "On the contrary, Christ clearly appears to have been divested of this glory at the time he prayed for the restoration of it. But the Divine Being can never be deprived of the glories of his nature With him there is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. He cannot lay aside his essential perfections, far less can he pray to another to re-establish him in the possession of them. The language of our Lord here, is the language of a dependent being, looking up to another as the source of his felicity, and humbly imploring the Father to restore him to that elevated situation that he once enjoyed in his presence. This place, therefore, is so far from proving the divinity of Christ, that it evidently discovers to us that he never pog. sessed any proper divinity at all. I have hitherto been
arguing on the supposition, that our Lord really possessed a glory with the Father prior to the creation of the world ; which has ever been the opinion of all Unitarians of the Arian denomination. But there are many excellent and zealous advocates for the cause of truth, who think that the glory that our Lord here prays for, was a glory that he had not before been in possession of; but which was posterior to his sufferings and death. And it seems highly proper to produce their reasons for thinking so in this place. An author, who deserves the good will, esteem, and approbation of all who bear the Unitarian name, explains this passage in the following manner.
“ It has been too bastily and erroneously concluded from this part of Christ's prayer, that he is asking Almighty God to bestow opon bim something of which he had been in possession before the world was;' but which he had voluntary relinquished, when he had his birth from his mother Mary. How little foundation there is for such a conclusion will appear by attending to the following circumstances pointed out by our Lord himself in this very prayer, viz. 1. The date and commencement of that glory which he requests. 2. His manner of speaking concerning the share which his disciples were to have with him in it. 3. The nature of the glory itself.
For 1. He himself says, ver. 4, 5. 'I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do: and now, O Father, glorify thou me, &c. This shews that the glory he prayed for was to be subsequent to the faithful discharge of his duty to God in this life and the reward of it. He declares the same, Luke xxiv. 26. Qught not the Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?? And so atso 1 Peter i. 10, 11. of which sal. vation the prophets have enquired ; searching what or what nianner of time the spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testitied before band the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.' So that this glory was something hitherto unpossest and future.
66.2. Vers 22. He says, 'the glory which thou gavest (rather, hast given) me, I have given them.' Observe his words carefully. The glory that he speaks of, God, he says, had given to him. Not that it was already bestowed upon him: for then there would have been no occasion to pray for it. But the heavenly Father had promised to bestow it,
and therefore he speaks of it as already given, because, by the promise of God, which can never fail, it was as fully his gwn, as if he had been in actual possession of it. And in like sort, he had given this glory,' he here saith to his dis. ciples, i. e. promised it to them, (John xiv. 1, 2, 3. and at other times,) had given it then by promise, and thereby insured it to them as much as if they were already possessed of it. And, therefore, as our Lord says, that his Father had given him the glory he prays for, though it was not yet bestowed, but only promised to him. So does he say, that he had glory with God before the world was ;' not that he had really been in possession of it before the world was, but because it was destined for him by Gud, known unto whom are all his works from the beginning, Acts xv. 18. In the same manner, 2 Tim. i. 9. Eph. i. 4. God is said to have chosin us, and to have given us his grace, before the foun. dation of the world, before the world began :' although we had then assuredly no being. And Matth. xxv. 34. where our Lord describes the blessing of those who shall have pro. moted bis gospel, the cause of truth and righteousness : he says, 'Come ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdon prepared for you from the beginning of the world.' He might have said, inherit the kingdom which you hare had with God before the foundation of the world. This interpretation receives farther confirmation by the petition which he offers up for his disciples, vér. 24. viz. that they may behold my glory which thou hast given me : for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.' He here again speaks of the glory which God intended to be stow upon him, as already given him. And although it was before he had a being, he might say, that, ‘God had loved him before the foundation of the world;' as God is said to have chosen and given us his grace before the world begun.' Some have conjectured that the construction of this verse should be this, that they may behold my glory which thou hast given me before the foundation of the world, because thou lovest me.' In which case the phrase will be entirely similar to ver. 5, and still farther illustrate it. But no stress is laid upon this, though there is not any thing forced in it. In ver. 23, preceding, he had said of his dis, ciples, “thou hast loved them, as thou hast. loved me,'i. C.
hast intended the same honour and glory for them as
3. “What is the glory that Christ here requests the heavenly Father to bestow upon him? We may assure ourselves, that as all prayer ever ought to be, so Christ's prayer now would be suited to his character, present circumstances, desires and expectations. What then so proper and natural for the holy and benevolent Jesus, at the close of life to ask of the supreme Father, and sovereign disposer of all things, as the success of that gospel, by which the virtue and happiness of mankind was to be promoted; which had been his sole aim and pursuit, for which he had lived, and for which he was about to die! To suppose him to pray for his own private happiness and advancement; and to animate himself with a prospect of that from God, as is the common opinion of the glory he sought, would not be suitable to that perfection of moral character which we cannot but ascribe to him; nor acting up to that idea of the most en, larged universal benevolence, which seems to have actu. ated him. *
“ There is a very singular passage of his life recounted, John xii. 20. which happened a day or two before he uto tered this prayer, which wonderfully discovers to us what ļay nearest his heart, and was the object of his wishes, the glory he sought.' Some Greeks, or religious Gen. tiles, had desired the favour of seeing him, in all probabi. lity to know whether they, who were not of the race of the Jews, might hope for any benefit from him, the fame of whose virtues, miracles, and high favour with God had reached them. Upon his Apostle's telling him of the curiosity and desire of these strangers, he thus, with a kind of-exultation, expresses the great satisfaction be had in it; ver. 23, 24. The hour is come that the son of inan should be glorified. Verily, verily, I say unto you, except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit :' i.e. Are these Gen
u Heb. xii. 2. Looking unto Jesus,---who, for the joy that was set. before him, endured the cross, despising the shame.' La joye du Sauveur, s'est le salut des bommes ; ' dit fort bien Theodoret sur cet endroit..". Beausobre in loc,