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t ) r * Alexander on Philip . ii . 5—11 . Sir , Wahefield , June 12 , 1817 . LOOKING over some of my papers the other day , 1 cast my eye on the following criticism on Philip , ii . 5—11 ; and recollecting
some years ago to have shewn it to my friend Mr . Jones , * who , at that time , expressed his cordial approbation of it , it occurred to me , that it might not be unacceptable to your readers in general . In no version that 1 have yet seen does the sense of the original appear to me to have been
adequately expressed ; nor does any exposition of the passage that I have iri-therto met with , convey , in my apprehension , the full force and peculiar propriety of the apostle ' s language . If , therefore , you deem it not unworthy of a place in your miscellany , it is entirely at your service .
DISNEY ALEXANDER , M . D . In the passage before us the apostle is exhorting the converts at Philippi to cultivate the amiable virtues of humility 9 condescension and benevolence , intimating to them , at the same time , that they would be called to
suffer in the cause of religion . And in order to give the greater effect to his exhortation ^ he places before them the animating example of the Founder of their faith , and reminds them of the glorious reward with which his obedience has been crowned . ** Let
this mind be in you which was likewise in Christ Jesus , who , though in the form of God , thought not of the vobberif of being equal with Crod , but divested himself of it , and assumed the form of a servant ; who being in the likeness of men , and proved to be in frame as a man , abased himself so
* Author of Illustrations of the Four Gospels , a work replete with ingenious criticism and philosophical research ; and which the scholar should read for its elegance , the Christian for the confirmation of his faith , and the sceptic for the
cogent and luminous display of those beauties and evidences of our religion , which , however they may escape the notice of the careless and superficial , are nevertheless powerfully adapted to impress conviction on the mrnd of every serious and dispassionate inquirer .
as to become obedient unto death even the death of the cross . t ) n which account God hath highly exalted him , and conferred on him a name which is above every name , that in the name of Jesus every knee should bow , among those that are in
heaven and on the earth and under the earth , and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord , to the glory of God the Father . ' On the passage thus rendered , I proceed to submit the following observations to the judgment of the reader .
Though in the form of God . The allusion is , as I conceive , to the transfiguration on the mount , where he assumed a divine ov luminous or super . naturally splendid appearance , his face shining as the suri and his raiment
becoming white as snow : fJ < og < py ® sx without the article , literally in a form of God , a phraseology precisely answering to that in Mark ii . 22 , Acts vii . SO , Gen . xxx . 8 , and various other passages .
Thought not of the robbery of being equal with God . This is an exactly literal version of sy otcrfxy ' u * bv yytcralo to etvcu tcra 0 sw . So far was he from claiming it as his due 9 that he never harboured such an idea , never
once thought of the robbery of being equal with God , i . e . of arrogating to himself that worship which he well knew to be the prerogative of God alone . The language is evidently borrowed from the Jewish Scriptures . " Shall a man rob God ? Yet ye have robbed me . " Mai . iii . 8 . " Ye are
cursed with a curse , for ye have robbedme , even thy whole nation , " ver . 9 . See alsoJer . vii . 11 . But what gives a singular force and energy to this expression , is the circumstance that the Jews did actually accuse our J ^ ord , during the exercise of his ministry among them , of this sacrileg ious
act . Compare carefully John v . l # t and x . 33 . To repel , therefore , so unjust and invidious a charge , a charge which , it is probable , still continued to be urged against the meek and Jowly Jesus by many , both among the open enemies and false friends ot the Christian faith , appears to have been the chief , if not the sole object
BIBLICAL CRITICISM .
Monthly Repository (1806-1838) and Unitarian Chronicle (1832-1833), Oct. 2, 1817, page 614, in the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (2008; 2018) ncse.ac.uk/periodicals/mruc/issues/vm2-ncseproduct2469/page/42/