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that loved us. In the preceding 35th verse the apostle speaks of the love of Christ, not as an affection which he had testified by any particular acts, but as a blessing in which we have a present interest, and on which our hopes depend. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ 2 and it is explained, ver. 39, by the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Here the language of the sacred writer is general, and applieth not to any particular and specific instances of Christ's love. The next text, to be alleged, is very clear and explicit. It not only speaks of the affection, but points to the chief instance, the great display of it. Gal. ii. 20. The life which I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. To the same purpose is Eph. v. 2. 25. Walk in love as Christ also hath towed us, and hath given himself an offering and d sacrifice to God of a sweet smelling savour, ver. 25. Husbands love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church and gave himself for it. To the like effect is the last passage to be quoted under this head: Unto him that loved us, and washed us from: our sins in his own blood, and hath made us king . and priests unto God: to him be glory for ever. Amen. It is observable, that in these passages, where the love of Christ is set before us, as the object of our imitation, and the ground of our praises to hin; in > F 6 these

these passages, where the writer explains it and dilates upon it, nothing is said of his having “undertaken to assume a body, and to go through “ the various trying scenes, with which his life and “death were attended,” but the only instance of his love expressly mentioned is, that “he gave him“self for us;” as if this act were the grand proof of his benevolence to us, the main and sufficient ground of our obligations to him. The principle, on which X. Y. Z. conceives Christ to be the object of our gratitude and love is not once mentioned : a perfect silence about it reigns through all these passages. This is quite consonant to many other places, in which the love of Christ is not, in so many words, mentioned; but in which his dying for us is spoken of with great emphasis; and in which the stress is laid upon this instance of self-denial and benevolence, as the greatest he could give. See Mat. xx. 28. John x. 1 1. 17. Gal. i. 4. Phil. ii. 8. 1 Tim. ii. 6. Tit. ii. 14. 1 Pet. i. 19. ch. ii. 24. J John iii. 16. X. Y. Z. will, on reflection, own that this was a singular act of love and friendship to mankind, and must perceive, that the Unitarian sentiments preserve that very ground of love and gratitude to Jesus Christ, which the New Testament exhibits, and from which it derives its arguments and exhortations. In estimating this instance of Christ's affection to

mankind, the circumstances and nature of his death - should

should be taken into consideration; that he humbled himself unto the death of the cross, a most painful, and above all, a most ignominious death : that he suffered, the just for the unjust, to bring us to God. To these circumstances, viz. the innocence of his character, and the kind of death he underwent, the sacred writers particularly refer, as heightening his condescension and friendship. But X. Y. Z. will observe, that the circumstance on which he lays the greatest stress, viz. a degradation from a glorious pre-existent state, though it should be supposed that it is implied in some representations of the character of Christ, yet is never even hinted at, when his death is spoken of: though so proper to cast a glory round it, as illustrating his grace and philanthropy”. An An Arian, it is evident from the feelings which X. Y. Z. expresses, would not have written in

[* “No christian,” says Mr. Fuller, “whose mind is not warped “ by system, can read such passages as the following without feel“ing a glow of sacred gratitude.” Then quoting Heb. ii. 16. 2. Cor. viii. 9. Phil. ii. 6, &c. he adds, “How foreign is this from “Dr. Toulmin's assertion, “that the circumstance of Christ's de“ gradation from a glorious pre-existent state is never hinted at, “when his death is spoken of, though so proper to cast a glory “ around it, as illustrating his grace and philanthrophy l’’ SocinianMr. Fuller must suppose, that I and other Unitarians are strangely unacquainted with the New Testament, if he conceive, that we are not apprised that such passages occur in it. We acknowledge them. We respect the sentiment they convey. And we feel a glow of gratitude kindled by it. But it doth not hence follow, that they teach the doctrine of the pre-existence, and of a degradation from the glory and honour of that state. The two last certainly represent our Lord Jesus as existing in circumstances

o of

ism Indefens. p. 33.

this strain, would not have omitted a consideration, On

of glory and power, and displaying humility and condescension in not availing himself of those circumstances to the full extent; but they do not declare, that these were circumstances of his being before he was born. We conceive, that the mind must be warped by system, or that the thoughts must take a direction from some opinion previously received, to find the doctrine of the pre-existence in them. It is a fact, that the Translators sat down to their work of rendering these passages into English, and that almost ail christians have first read them, with minds possessed with this notion : and have applied it, without suspicion of its fitting, as a key to their meaning. To me it seems most natural and probable, therefore, that one who bad never heard of the doctrine of a splendid condition of being before the appearance of Christ in this world, would, on reading these passages, see no more in them, than a referrence to circumstances which fell within the observation of the beholders; than an appeal to powers possessed, and to a condescension and self-denial practised, in one and the same state of being: to an example of great humility displayed before men, in connection with great eminence and dignity of prerogatives and character; for the words strictly and plainly express no more. They more than intimate, that the self-abasement and humiliation were to be estimated by a contrast with a visible, conspicuous glory and greatness; both being, at the same time, before the spectators. The phrase, the form. of God, denotes not the internal nature or substance of any being: but only some external form, scheme, figure, or appearance. Dan. v. 6, 9, 10. Mark xvi. 12. To speak of the supreme, eternal, unchangeable Being: of God, as being in the form of God, is glaringly absurd and irreverent. Christ, says Ambrose, as quoted by Erasmus, was then in the form of God, when he raised the dead, restored hearing to the deaf, and cleansed the lepers.—As to Heb. ii. 16. The reader will, on examination, perceive, that this quotation is not pertinent


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on his scheme, so important and forcible. And it is inconceivable, that the sacred writers, if they

to the purpose for which it is alleged. The word, nature, he will
see by the difference of the character, is not in the original. A
more correct translation would be, as Dr. Whitby, Bp. Fell, and
the margin of some Bibles have it, he laid not hold of angels, but he
said hold of the seed of Abraham ; i. e. to help them. “The word,”
saith Leigh (1), “ signifies to catch any one who is either running
“ away, or fallen on the ground, or into a pit; to fetch back or
“ recover again.” So that it doth not at all refer to any change
which the person of Christ underwent, nor express his assumption
of another nature into union with himself; but the assistance, the
help he extended to mankind, but not to angels. “Angels were
“ not under the power of death, nor under the fear of death; and
“ therefore stood in no need of his helping hand, as mankind
“ did.” In a word, for what Mr. Fuller has advanced, I still
think myself correct in saying, that “the circumstance of Christ's
“degradation from a glorious pre-existent state is never hinted at
“ when his death is spoken of :” especially, when it is spoken of as
a proof of his love and the grounds of ours.
Mr. Fuller asks, “if Dr. Toulmin wished to answer his 11th
* Letter, why he did not prove, that the original dignity of Christ's
“ character is never represented as the ground of love to him P”
P. 33. If, by answering, Mr. Fuller means a distinct reply to
everything advanced in that Letter, he will perceive that I did not-
wish to do it, because I have not attempted it. But I conceive, that
a connected, fair view of all that is said of the love of Christ in the
New Testament, must be a virtual and decisive answer to that Let-

ter, or to any other essay on the subject, the writer of which hath gone beyond the authority of scripture in representing the grounds of that affection. I have shewn, by a particular induction of texts, what the scriptures have said upon this head; and it is very dan

[(1) Critica Sacra; see also Poli Synopsis in locum.] gerous

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