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"cause all very good men are called sons of "God, and Israel is called his first born *."

It was objected, that it was wrong in God to conquer the devil by deceiving him, the divinity of Christ being concealed under his human nature; but Gregory Nyssen replies, that " it was fair enough to deceive the de"ceiver f."

If it was imagined to be necessary that the devil, whose cunning and penetration was never thought very lightly of, should remain ignorant of our Lord's divinity, he must, no doubt, have concealed it with the greatest care, and have conducted himself in the most cautious manner. If the devil was not able to discover any thing of the matter, how could men find it out, and especially Jews, whose most sanguine expectations from the Messiah went no farther than to a man, born like other men? Certainly they

* Tiov ,uev 9ss »«As<n, Ssov 3ete»{ Tov wov sx suriranai. vioi yap Sa itsyMrtcu, 01 SiaffTn; cotgoTwenw nipot; Sec* s%om; cutsivmttx. 'tti> To ropoToroxo; woj fix IcrpaoTi. Or. 23 P- 128.

f H fttv y«f not'' a^iav avli%o<rt;, Si »; 0 awaltm avlaisalalat Immov huiwaa. Or. 2. Opera, vol. 2. p-515.

who. who thought that the devil continued ignorant of the pre-existence and divinity of Christ till after his death, must have thought that all the Jews, and our Lord's disciples, were ignorant of those doctrines. If, as Chrysostom says, it was particularly necessary to conceal this great secret from our Lord's disciples, lest they should have published it through joy, and also from his enemies, and the devil, lest they should have counteracted the design of his coming, we may take it for granted, that, in the opinion of the writers who have given us these representations, it was no more suspected at the time of Christ's death, that he had even preexisted, or that he had had any thing to do in the making or governing the world, than that he was to be so great a personage before he was born.

Let us now fee in what manner the apostles were supposed to have conducted themselves in this respect after our Lord's ascension, and after the descent of the Spirit on the day of Fentecost.

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CHAPTER IV.

Of the Testimony of Athanastus to the Caution with which the Apostles divulged the Doctrines of the Pre-existence and Divinity of Christ.

A S-the Testimony of Athanastus, on account of his known orthodoxy, and of course his unwillingness to make any needless concessions to his adversaries, may be thought to have more weight than any other, I shall, in the first place, produce it; and as exceptions have been made to it, I shall shew that, independent of any concurrent testimony of others of the Fathers, who have mentioned the subject, and which I shall produce hereafter, it clearly proves that, jn his idea, the apostles thought it nc ceslary to use great caution in divulging to the Jews sp offensive a doctrine as that .of the divinity of Christ; though, jn conse» quence of their caution on this head, the Jewish christians did in their age continue

unitarians| Unitarians, believing Christ to be nothing more than a mere man, and also propa-* gated the fame doctrine among the Gentile converts. The passage itself is as follows:

"Will they affirm," fays he, " that the "apostles held the doctrine of Arius, because "they say that Christ was a man of Nazareth, "and suffered on the cross ? or because they "used these words, were the apostles of *' opinion that Christ was only a man, and "nothing else? By no means: this is "not to be imagined. But this they did ** as wife master-builders, and stewards of "the mysteries of God; and they had this "good reason for it. For the Jews of that "age, being deceived themselves, and hav"ing deceived the Gentiles, thought that

Christ was a mere man, only that he came "of the feed of David, resembling other "descendants of David, and did not be"lieve either that he was God, or that the ** word Was made flesh. On this account "the blessed apostles, with great prudence, "in the first place, taught what related to "the humanity of our Saviour to the Jews, *• that having fully persuaded them, from his G 4 "miraculous

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