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EPHESIAN's i. 17.
(UNITARIANISM.) " What plainer proof can there be, that Jesus Christ is the creature of God, and not his equal? Dr. Chandler observes, that it can never in any sense be said of Christ, that he is God of the eternal Father." . Here it is evident,' says Dr. Priestley, • that all the illumination the Apostle prayed for was to come from God the Father, who is here called the God of our Lord Jesus Christ; the same, no doubt, who was the author of his being, whom he reverently worshipped, and whom he taught his disciples to worship : so far was he from teaching the worship of himself.'”
. : 19 . : Belsham.
Ephesians i. 20. “ And set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places.”
(UNITARIANISM.) In the figurative language of the Apostle, all who enjoy the light of divine revelation, whether Jews or Christians, are said to dwell in heaven. See chap. ii. 6. And the unbelieving world are spoken of as inhabitants of earth. But the Jewish notion of heaven, borrowed not from divine revelation, which is silent upon the subject, but from the oriental philosophy, which they appear to have imbibed in the Babylonian captivity, (see Mr. Lindsey's valuable observations in the Sequel to his Apology, p. 456, and seq.).represented the celestial world as peopled by myriads of beings who were of different ranks and orders; angels, archangels, principalities, pow. ers, &c. . Agreeably to this figurative representation, Jesus Christ is said, after his resurrection, to be seated at the right hand of God in heaven, i. e. to be advanced to the highest dignity in the Christian dispensation; above all principality, power, and might, &c. that is, above all the officers and ministers of the Jewish or Christian dispensation, expressed by the well-known phraseology of the present age and the age to come. This interpretation makes the Apostle's discourse consistent, intelligible, and pertinent; but it gives no countenance either to the commonly received opinion of the existence of a celestial hierarchy, or the popular doctrine of the superiority of Christ to angels, and other supposed celestial spirits. "The Gospel dispensation,” says Mr. Lindsey, p. 464, “ is represented under the idea of a new regulation of these heavenly communities, in which Christ is placed at the head of all.”
Note to the Unitarian Version. i
wil 2011 EPHESIANS 1. 21.15 JK : vom 998 1717.. i * All principality," sc."" 11 10
! SISTEMA is UNITARIANISM.)
. .,:,: " The Jewish dispensation having been represented as heavenly places,' the superiority of Christ to the officers of that dispensation is naturally de scribed as an exaltation above the supposed ranks!
and orders of beings in those heavenly places : but as Christ is also superior to all the officers of his church, this superiority is represented as an exaltation above such supposed orders of beings in the world or age to come, that is the Christian dispensation, as well as in the present world or age, that is the dispensation of the Law. So that there is no reason to suppose that the Apostle had any intention to express or allude to the superiority of Christ above angels in heaven.”
EPHESIANS I. 22. “ Head over all things.”
(UNITARIANISM.) ." It is a fine figure by which Christ is here represented as the head, and his disciples the body, all being one and the same system ; he only having pre-eminence in point of honour, distinction, and usefulness. A similar idea is expressed by Christ being called our elder brother, implying, that he is one of the same species and family. Accordingly, when he is called an heir of God, his brethren are joint heirs with him. This doctrine is uniformly inculcated in the New Testament, and we ought to have our minds deeply impressed with it, and fully to understand its value, in opposition to that system, however prevalent, which makes Christ a being of equal rank with God his Father, and thus, in fact, makes three Gods or objects of religious worship.”
min. .. EPHESIANS II. 2. ..
* "" "Prince of the power of the air.” : 1'') LI..
(UNITARIANISM.) ** There is no reason to suppose, either with Dr. Harwood, that Jupiter is the person alluded to by the Apostle, (see Harwood's Introd. to the New Test.) or with many, that the devil is a real being, who resides in the air, and who has power to govern the changes of the atmosphere. This most improbable doctrine, which makes a malignant spirit a colleague with the Deity in the government of the universe, receives no countenance from the writings of Paul, who only alludes to a mythology already subsisting.”
Belsham. . " As Jews and Christians residing (figuratively) in heaven, are represented as constituting a polity under the government of angels, principalities, and powers, &c. so the unevangelized world are a polity under the government of a fictitious personage called Satan, the ruler of the air, &c, and his angels. This whole imagery is borrowed from the oriental philosophy, and is not to be taken in a literal sense. See Mr. Lindsey.”
Note to the Unitarian Version.
EPHESIANS ii. 8
Spesi, No. 1.
(PELAGIUS.) About the commencement of the fifth century, Pelagius a Briton, and Cælestius, a native of Ire
land, broached opinions which have occasioned much controversy in after times.
They contended, with regard to grace, that the common doctrines of man's original corruption, and the absolute necessity of divine grace to enlighten and purify the heart, tended to discourage holiness, and lull men asleep in presumptuous and fatal secu. rity; that external grace, in the calls of the Gospel, or cause of Providence, is necessary for our excitement to the study of virtue, but the internal assistance of the Holy Ghost quite needless; that, in short, free agency would be annihilated, if grace were necessary. St. Augustine taught, on the contrary, that, even before the Fall, it was impossible Adam could have continued in his original uprightness without grace:
See Pelag. apud Aug. de nat. et grat.
(GoDeschalcus.) In the ninth century, Godeschalcus expressed sentiments, respecting predestination and grace, similar to those whịch were afterwards entertained by Calvin, See Hist. Litteraire de la France, Usserii Histoire Godeschalci.
(CALVIN.) According to Calvin, “ those whom God has called and sanctified by his Spirit shall never finally fall from a state of grace.”
See Calvin's Institutions, Assembly's Confession of Faith, 8c.