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Of the Conduct of our Saviour himself, with respecl to his own supposed Pre existence and Divinity.

J F we look into the gospel history, we shall find, that all that our Saviour himself taught, or insinuated, were his divine mission in general, or his being the Messiah in particular; with the doctrine of the resurrection, and that of himself coining again to raise the dead and judge the world. These doctrines, accompanied with moral instructions, and reproofs of the Pharisees, for corrupting the law of God, made up the whole of his preaching. He never told his disciples that he had pre-existed, or that he had had any thing to do before he came into the world; much less that he had made the world, and governed it j and there is abundant dant evidence that this was admitted by the christian Fathers. "Israel." Ibid. p. 106. He says, that when Nathaniel was introduced to Jesus, his miraculous conception was not known *. As Chrysostom has written the most largely on this subject, I shall quote from him a passage or two of some extent, that we may more clearly perceive how he, and (as he was by no means singular in his ideas) how the christian Fathers in general thought with respect to this question.


Athanasius expresses his fense of the difficulty with which the Jews admitted that Christ was any thing more than a man very strongly in the following passage: ** He calls his humanity the son of "man -t for the Jews, always opposing God, "held a twofold blasphemy with respect to "Christ j for some of them being offended "at his flesh, viz. the son of man, thought "him to be a prophet, but not God, and "called him a glutton and a wine-bibbef; "who were forgiven, for it was then the "beginning of the preaching, and the world "could not yet believe him to be God, "who was made mart; wherefore Christ "fays, Whosoever shall speak a word against "the son of man, viz. his body, it shall be "forgiven him. For I,will venture to say, "that not even the blessed disciples them"selves were fully persuaded concerning his "divinity, till the holy spirit came upon them "at the day of Pentecost. For when they "saw him after his resurrection, some wor

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"Another reason," he fays, " why Christ "represented himself so much as a man, was "the weakness of his hearers j and because "they who first saw and heard him were "net able to receive more sublime dis*' courses. And that this is no mere "conjecture, I will endeavour to shew "from the scriptures themselves. If he "delivered any thing great, sublime, and "worthy of his glory; but why do 11 "^ay> grcat> sublime, and worthy of his "glory j if he said any thing above "human nature" (something is here omitted in the Greek, but supplied in the Latin version) " they were thrown into

• Fi Si vm Ii'9-Hf Hvto" Myti, |"» 3opv£»Snf. 57/ >apVsT!f 'can KiLLiuTt iiya.i. In John, Horn. i8. Op. vol. 8. p. 103.


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