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think, the face to understand this expreffion, before the World was, of the new Creation, but do endeavour to avoid it another way, which I shall confider by and by.

And a little after, I have given them v. 8. the words which thou gavest me, and they have received them, and known affuredly that I came from thee, and that thou didft fend me.

Again, That which was from the be- 1Joh.1. ginning, which we have heard, which 1, 2. we have feen with our eyes, which we have looked upon and our hands have handled of the Word of life: for the life was manifefted, and we have feen it, and bear witnefs, and fhew unto you that eternal Life, for fo he calls the Son of God, which was with the Father, and was manifefted unto us.

And that he was not only with God before he affumed human Nature but also was really God, St. Paul tells us: Let this mind be in you, which was alfo in Chrift Jefus, who being in the form of God ἐχ ̓ ἁρπαγμὸν ἡγήσατο,

Phil. 2.


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did not arrogate to himfelf to be equal with God, that is, he made no oftentation of his Divinity: For this I take to be the true meaning of that Phrafe, both because it is fo ufed by Plutarch, and because it makes the fenfe much more eafie and current, thus, who being in the form of God, did not affume an equality with God, that is, he did not appear in the Glory of his Divinity, which was hid under a Veil of human flesh and infirmity; But he emptied himself, and took upon him the form of a fervant, and was made in the likeness of men, and being found in fashion as a man, or in the habit of a Man, he became obedient to the death, &c. So that if his being made in the likeness and fashion of a man does fignifie that he was really Man by his Incarnation, then furely his being in the form of God when he took upon him the fashion and likeness of Man and the form of a Servant or Slave, muft in all reafon fignifie that he was really God before he became Man:


For which reafon the fame Apoftle did not doubt to say, that God was mani- 1 Tim. fefted in the flesh.

And now I hope that I have made it fully appear, that the beginning of St. John's Gofpel is not the fingle and only Text upon which we ground this great Doctrine as Socinus calls it, and as we really esteem it to be: For you fee that I have produced a great many more; to avoid the dint and force whereof the Socinians do chiefly make use of these tipo Answers.

First, To thofe Texts which fay that he was in Heaven and came down from Heaven, they give this answer; That our Saviour fome time before his entrance upon his publick Miniftry, they cannot agree precifely when, was taken up into Heaven, and then and there had the Will of God reveal'd to him, and was fent down from Heaven again to make it known to the World.


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This is so very arbitrary and precarious a Suppofition that I muft confelf not a little out of countenance for them, that Men of fo much Wit and Reason fhould ever be put to fo forry and pitiful a shift. For can any Man imagine, that in fo exact a History of our Saviour's Life, written by feveral Perfons, the Relation of fo important a matter as this, and of the circumftances of it, fhould be wholly omittted? That we should have a particular account of his being carried into Egypt in his infancy, and of the time when he was brought back from thence: Of his difputing in the Temple with the Jewish Doctors, and putting them to filence, when he was but twelve years of Age: A punctual Relation of his being baptized by John; and how after that he was led by the Spirit into the Wilderness to be tempted of the Devil, and was carried by that evil Spirit from one place to another: Buc not one word of his being taken up by


God into Heaven, and of his coming down again from thence; not the leaft intimation given either of the time or any other circumftance of so memorable a thing, upor which, according to the Socinians, the Authority of his Miffion and the Divinity of his Doctrine did fo much depend: When fo many things of fo much less moment are so minutely and exactly reported, what can be the reason of this deep filence in all the Evangelifts concerning this matter? But above all, it is to be wondred that St. John, who wrote his Gospel laft, and as Eufebius tells us on purpose to fupply the omiffions of the other Evangelifts, fhould give no account of this thing, and yet, as the Socinians fuppofe, fhould fo often take it for granted and refer to it; as when it is faid that he came forth from God, and was fent from God, and came down from Heaven, befides feveral other Expreffions to this pur pofe.


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