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And what, on the doctor's principles, has common sense to do with the following passage, which we find in the next chapter ?—“Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ from above :) or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring him back from the dead.)” For, if he be a mere man, who had no existence till begotten by Joseph, and conceived in the womb of Mary, why does the apostle speak of bringing him down from above? Surely, if the latter clause, “ Who shall descend into the deep"—that is, into the grave, or into the state of the dead—“to bring him back from the dead ?” would imply an absurd inquiry, if he never had been in the grave, or in the state of the dead; so the former clause proposes a question equally ridiculous, if Jesus Christ before his appearing among us never had been above.

The apostle goes on, according to the Socinian principles, in the same strain of absurdity: “ The scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him," a mere man though he be, “shall not be ashamed; for the same Lord over all,” though but a man, “ is rich unto all that call upon him : for whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed ? and how shall they believe in him,” the mere man, “ of whom they have not heard ? and how shall they hear without a preacher ? and how shall they preach, except they be sent ?” Romans x, 11-15.*

There are sundry other passages in the remaining chapters of this epistle, which, I am persuaded, no person that believed the doctrine of Christ's mere humanity, and was possessed of common sense, could have dictated or written. The following are among the most remarkable :--" The deliverer,” a mere man, “ shall come out of Zion, and shall turn away iniquity from Jacobs.” Romans xi. 26. 66 “He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord," namely, unto a mere man; “and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord,” the same mere man,“ he doth not

* In proof that this is to be understood of Christ, see Vindication, part i., p. 263; part ii., p. 353.

mere man;

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regard it.

He that eateth, eateth to the Lord,” a

6 and he that eateth not, to the Lord,” the same mere man, “he eateth not. For none of us" real Christians “ liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself. For whether we live, we live unto the Lord,” that is, unto a mere man ;

or whether we die, we die unto the Lord,” the same mere man ; “ whether living or dying therefore, we are the Lord's," that is, we are the property of a

“For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and liveth, that,” though a mere man, “he might be Lord both of the dead and living. For we shall all stand before the judgment-seat of Christ,” the judgment- seat of a mere

“ For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. So then every one of us shall give an account of himself to God. I know and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus," a mere man, “ that there is nothing unclean of itself. For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink, but righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. He that in these things serveth Christ,” that is, serveth a mere man, “ is acceptable to God.” Romans xiv. 6–12, 14, 17, 18.

“Receive ye one another, as Christ also," a mere man, “ hath received us to the glory of God.” Romans xv. 7. “ Esaias saith, There shall be a root of Jesse," namely, a mere man, not born till

many
hundred years

after Jesse, and yet the root from which Jesse sprung, “ and he that shall rise to reign over the Gentiles; in him,”--though a mere man, and though it be written, “ Cursed is the man that trusteth in man,” yet“ in him," I

say,

6 shall the Gentiles trust." Verse 12. “ I will not dare to speak of those things which Christ,” a mere man,

6 hath not wrought by me, to make the Gentiles obedient, by word and deed, through mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God; so that from Jerusalem, and round about unto Illyricum, I have fully preached the gospel of Christ. Now I beseech you, brethren, for the Lord Jesus Christ's sake,” that is, for the sake of a mere man, “and for the love of the Spirit, that ye strive together with me in your prayers to God for me.” Verses 18, 19, 30.

mere man.

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“Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my helpers in Christ Jesus," that is, in a mere man. Salute

my

well-beloved Epenetus, who is the first-fruits of Achaia unto Christ,” a

“Salute Andronicus and Junius, my kinsmen, and my fellow-prisoners, who were in Christ,” the mere man, 6 before me.

Salute Urbane, our helper in Christ,” who you know is a mere man. “The churches of Christ," that is, the churches of a mere man,

salute
you.

Mark them that cause divisions; for they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, that is, serve not a mere man, “ but their own belly. The grace of” this mere man, “our Lord Jesus Christ, be with you. Amen." Romans xvi. 3, 5, 7, 9, 16—18, 20. I say again, " The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,” the saine mere man, 66 be with you all.” Verse 24.

These, rev. sir, are a few of the many passages in the epistle to the Romans relating to Christ, which, when opened with Dr. Priestley's key, and interpreted according to his doctrine, appear to be so absurd, that I think no person pretending to common sense would have written them. And as a proof that the doctor and his brethren consider them as absurd, or, at least, incompatible with their scheme, they are rarely observed to use such language either from the pulpit or the press. “Serving Christ,” "preaching Christ,” “being in Christ,” “the Spirit of Christ,” “the grace of Christ,” Christ “ made of the seed of David according to the flesh,” 6 sent in the likeness of sinful flesh,” Christ “dying for us,” reconciling us to God by his death,” giving us“ redemption in his blood,” being “the end of the law for righteousness,” &c., &c., are expressions seldom, if ever, heard from their pulpits, or read in their books. And no wonder; for they are expressions which but ill agree with their doctrine of Christ's mere humanity. They are like the head of gold, and breast of silver, in Nebuchadnezzar's image, joined with feet and toes of iron and clay.

I am, rev. sir,
Your obedient son in the gospel of God our Saviour,

JOSEPH BENSON.

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LETTER II.

every place call

Rev. SIR,

In the last letter we reviewed sundry passages quoted from the epistle to the Romans, and found, I think, that on the supposition of the author's holding the doctrine of Christ's mere humanity, he paid little regard, I will not say, to divine inspiration, or to conclusive reasoning, but even to common sense, in writing that epistle.

I now proceed to the first epistle to the Corinthians; the very inscription of which, and benediction pronounced immediately after, demonstrate, either that the Socinian doctrine is false, or that St. Paul wrote, to say the least, very absurdly.

“Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ," that is, an apostle of a mere man; 6 unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus," namely, sanctified in a mere man; “ called to be saints, with all that in

upon
the name

of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours," that is, call upon

the name of a mere man: 'grace

and
peace,

from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ," who thoug!.

more than a man, is able, conjointly with the selfexistent Jehovah, to confer grace and peace upon all the churches. I Cor. i. 1–3.

“I thank my God," proceeds he, “always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Christ Jesus," that is, by a mere man; “that in everything ye are enriched by him," a mere man though he be,“ in all utterance, and in all knowledge, even as the testimony of Christ,” this mere man, was confirmed

among you, so that ye came behind in no gift, waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, who,” though he be a mere man,

66 shall confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of” the same mere man,

our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord," I mean the fellowship of a mere man. 1 Cor. i. 4-9.

Now, what a group of absurdities have we in these few

to you,

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66

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verses ! An apostle of a mere man ; sanctified in a mere man; calling upon the name of a mere man ; deriving grace

and

peace from a mere man; enriched by a mere man in all utterance and in all knowledge; confirmed unto the end by a mere man ; waiting continually for the coming of a mere man! Surely this kind of language savours more of lunacy than of a sound mind, and betrays as great a want of reason or common sense, as of learning or inspiration. And yet, one can hardly open anywhere in this or in the other epistles of this apostle, but, on the supposition of his being an unitarian in the sense of Dr. Priestley and Socinus, one meets with absurdities equally numerous and glaring. Thus in the verses which immediately follow:

“ Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ," namely, the name of a mere man,“ that ye all speak the same thing. Was Paul," a mere man, crucified for you? or were ye baptized into the name of Paul ? I thank God that I baptized none of you, but Crispus and Gaius; lest any should

say

that I," a mere man, “ baptized in my own name," the name of a mere man. Christ,” another mere man,

did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of speech, lest the cross of Christ,” that is, the cross of a mere man, 6 should be made of none effect. For the doctrine of the cross is indeed to them that perish foolishness; but to us who are saved, it is the power of God.” I Cor. i. 10, 1315, 17, 18.

“ We preach Christ," a mere man, “ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; but unto them who are called, Christ,” the same mere man, “the wisdom of God, and the power

of God. Of him are ye in Christ Jesus," namely, in a niere man, “who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteous. niess, sanctification, and redemption.” 1 Cor. i. 23, 24, 30. A mere man, the wisdom of God and the power of God; yea, wisdom and righteousness, that is, the source and author of wisdom and righteousness, sanctification, and redemption, to all that believe! Strange doctrine this indeed, and very incredible !

Thus again in the next chapter: “I determined not to

6 For

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