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We know the terror of the Lord, and therefore perfuade men. Happy would it be, if men, knowing and considering these terrors, would suffer themselves to be persuaded. Which God grant, through Jesus Christ our Lord : to whom, with the Father and the Holy Ghost, be ascribed all honour and glory, henceforth, and for evermore, Amen.
PHILIPPIANS ï. 6—II.
Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be
equal with God; but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name ; that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Je-. sus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. THE words now read to you have been strongly debated by Christians differing in opinion about the person and dignity of our blessed Saviour ; and, as they are often handled, lead more certainly to the knowledge of the interpreter's opinion than of the. Apostle's. · I intend not to press them into the service of any particular opinion, but fairly to expound them.; and to infer nothing from them, but what may evidently
be shewn to be in them, even by the necessity of the Apostle's argument. To avoid obscurity and confufion, I shall proceed in the following method:
First, I shall represent to you the Apoftle's argument entire and by itself.
Secondly, I shall consider the several things implied in it; which, with respect to this particular argument, we may call the principles upon which the Apostle reasons.
Thirdly, By comparing one part with another, I shall endeavour to lay before you the true sense and meaning of each part.
First then, I shall represent to you the Apostle's argument entire and by itself.
At the beginning of this second chapter, St. Paul exhorts the Philippians to be at peace and unity among themselves, to love one another, and to be of the same mind, mutually aiding and assisting each other in all things. Hear his own words : If there be therefore any confolation in Chrift, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies ; fulfil ye my joy, that ye be like minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. And then, like a wise physician, he searches to the bottom of the evil, which he would cure; and, well knowing that pride and vainglory are the perpetual sources of strife and contention, the bane of mutual love and charity, he exhorts them to fly from these evils, presses them to lowliness of mind, and admonishes them not to overvalue themselves, nor undervalue others; but that they should practise humility towards one another, each esteeming other better
than themselves. Thus far he advances in the two next verses : Let nothing be done through Atrife of vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.
To support this doctrine, and to enforce their obedience to it, he sets before them the example of Christ; and in lively colours represents his great humility: he shews them how much below himself he descended for their fakes; how truly great he was, and how truly low he made himself; by nature, how much higher than the highest; by choice, how much lower than the lowest. Let this mind, says he, be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus : who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God; but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. And that their obedience might want no due encouragement, he sets before them, from the fame example, what glorious rewards they might promise themselves hereafter, for their present humility and lowliness of mind : for this abandoned, this crucified Jesus was not left to sink under the obfcurity of his voluntary humility ; but, as a reward of his humility and sufferings, he was raised to the highest pitch of dignity and power: Wherefore, says he, God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name ; that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in