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know anything among you, but Jesus Christ,” that is, I determined not to know anything but a mere man, “and him crucified. We speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, which none of the princes of this world knew; for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory," that is, a mere man. 1 Cor. ii. 2, 7, 8.
Again : “Other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ," 1 Cor. iii. 11, a mere man ; that is, a mere man is the one foundation of the whole church, with all its doctrines, privileges, and duties. All believers, in all nations and ages, are built upon a mere
And this doctrine supposes the apostle to speak as follows : “In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,” that is, in the name of a mere man, “when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ," namely, the power of a mere man, “ to deliver such an one unto satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.” 1 Cor. v. 4, 5. Will Dr. Priestley, or any of the Socinians, tell us how the power of a mere man, confined in the third heaven, could be exerted and felt on earth, and that in thousands and myriads of congregations at the same time? And will they inform us how sinners of every description could be “washed," as the apostle expresses it in chapter vi., “sanctified, and justified in the name of” this mere man?
Pass we on to the seventh chapter : “ Unto the married I command, yet not I," a mere man, as you know I am, “ but the Lord,” another and a greater mere man, “Let not the wife depart from her husband. But to the rest speak I," a mere man, “ and not the Lord,” particularly the other and greater mere man. I Cor. vii. 10, 12. that is called in the Lord, being a servant, is the Lord's,” that mere man's, “freeman: likewise also he that is called, being free, is Christ's," the same mere man's,
servant. Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men.” 1 Corinthians vii. 22, 23. Howbeit, ye may be the servants of Christ, who himself is but a
Now how ridiculous is this language! How unworthy of the lips, I will not say of an inspired apostle, enlightened with divine wisdom, but of any rational creature, however illiterate and uninformed! And yet this and such like language every advocate for the mere humanity of Christ, who acknowledges the authenticity of these . epistles, and supposes their author to have a unitarian, puts into the mouth of the apostle ; nay, and makes him utter it almost with every breath, even as often as he has occasion to speak of his Master, which, it is well known, is very frequently.
The Socinians glory much in the sixth verse of the next chapter, because the apostle there asserts, with great plainness, the unity of God; but even that passage affords a striking instance of the absurd and ridiculous doctrine I mention. For if he affirm, that “to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things," a truth we should be sorry to disbelieve or deny, persuaded as we are, that he is what his name imports, the Father of all, even of his beloved Son, his incarnate Word; if, I say, he affirm this, he affirms with equal plainness that there is "one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things :" and how all things could be by a mere man, who had no existence till they had been made and preserved at least four thousand years, it may, perhaps, puzzle even Dr. Priestley to show. Nor have we far to read before we find another proof of the absurdity of supposing St. Paul to hold the doctrine of Christ's mere humanity. Verse 12, he says,
“When ye sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak consciences, ye sin against Christ;" that is, according to this hypothesis, When
ye sin against mere men, ye also sin against a mere man! To this mere man, as the Socinians think him, the apostle declares himself, in the next chapter, to be under the law, and, chapter X., affirms that the Israelites tempted him in the wilderness; that is, if the Socinians be right, tempted him two thousand years before he existed. And while the ungodly among them thus rebelled and vexed the Holy Spirit of their Lawgiver and their Judge, the faithful applied to him as their Saviour, and received salvation from him ; for “ they drank of that spiritual rock that followed them, and that rock was Christ," the rock
ages, and the fountain of living waters to his church, and yet, according to Dr. Priestley, a mere man!
If it seem strange to us that persons of sense and learning should patronize a doctrine which fathers such nonsense upon an inspired apostle, our wonder will in some measure cease, if we pass on to the twelfth chapter of this epistle. There the apostle both gives us the true reason why men embrace the Socinian hypothesis, and furnishes us with a striking example of the absurdity of attempting to reconcile it with his doctrine. “I give you to understand,” says he, “ that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed ; and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.” They have not received the Holy Ghost : they are not enlightened by that divine Spirit; he has not taken of the things of Jesus, and shown unto them, has not revealed Christ to them, and therefore they do not, in the true and scriptural sense, call Jesus Lord, but degrade him into a mere man. The apostle goes on : Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit," from whom they proceed ; " and there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord,” the same mere man, says Socinus, that appoints them all; “ and there are diversities of operations, but the same God, who worketh all in all:” in other words, according to the Socinian doctrine, all the gifts, offices, and effects produced in the church of Christ are from the Holy Ghost, from a mere man, and from the self-existent Jehovah.
Permit me, rev. sir, to refer you to a few more passages of this epistle, as instances of the absurdity of supposing the apostle to have held Dr. Priestley's sentiments concerning the mere humanity of Christ. We read, “The first Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam is a quickening Spirit," that is, according to the doctor, a mere man is a quickening spirit ! “ The first man was from the earth, earthy; the second man is the Lord from heaven;" that is, a mere man, descended from Joseph and Mary, is the Lord from heaven! “I protest by your rejoicing which I also have in Christ Jesus," a mere man, “ I die daily.” “Thanks be to God, who giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ,” that is, through a
same mere man.
“ Therefore be ye steadfast, and immoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord," namely, the work of a mere man, “forasmuch as ye know that your labour shall not be in vain in the Lord,” the same mere man. 1 Cor. xv. 45, 47, 31, 57, 58. 6. The salutation of me Paul with my own hand. If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ,” that is, love not a mere man, “ let him be Anathema” (let him be accursed) “ Maranatha,” that is, the Lord, the same mere man, cometh. grace Lord Jesus Christ," namely, the grace of a mere man, “ be with you. My love be with you all in Christ Jesus," the
1 Cor. xvi. 21-24. You see, dear sir, the first epistle to the Corinthians, when interpreted according to the Socinian doctrine, no more appears to have been written with common sense, than the epistle to the Romans. Nay, if Jesus Christ be a mere man, some parts of it are impious, as well as absurd. It is inscribed to those that " call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ," that is, if Jesus be no more than a man, it is inscribed to idolaters. And both that and many
other passages of it manifestly countenance and encourage idolatry. To represent grace and peace as being derived from the Lord Jesus, as well as from God the Father, and to ask grace of him for the churches ;-to speak of being “ enriched by him in all utterance, and in all knowledge;" of being “confirmed by him to the end," and called into his fellowship; of preaching him, “ the wisdom and power of God; the wisdom and righteousness, sanctification and redemption" of his followers; of being determined to know nothing but him ;-to call him “the Lord of glory,” even that Lord “by whom are all things," and represent him as the only foundation of his church, that is or can be laid ;-as “the Lord that shall come” and bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and make manifest the counsels of the heart ;-to speak of the power of this person being with them that are gathered together, delivering an offender to satan ;-to hold him forth as our passover crucified for us, and dying for our sins, according to the scriptures ;--to teach that believers are washed, justified, and sanctified in his name; are his members, joined to
him in one Spirit, and not their own, but his, bought with a price ;-to term him “the Lord” almost in every breath, and that eminently and absolutely, without any, the least, restriction or limitation; and represent himself and all the apostles, nay, and all Christians and ministers through all the world, as his servants ;-to speak of his ordaining laws for his church; and of his followers being under the law to him ;—to talk of sinning against him, tempting him, and provoking him to jealousy; and to pronounce those accursed that do not love him ;-surely this is not only absurd, but even pernicious doctrine, if he be no more than a man.
Equally pernicious as well as absurd are sundry passages of his second epistle to the same people. He begins it, as he had done the former, by styling himself an apostle of Jesus Christ,” and asking grace
of him, as well as of his supreme and everlasting Father; he men
; tions his consolations as abounding through him, verse 5; and speaks of their triumphing in him, and being unto God a sweet savour in him, in them that are saved, and in them that perish. 2 Cor. ii. 14, 15. He calls him that “Son of God,” whom he, Sylvanus, and Timotheus had preached ; and declares that he was not yea and nay, but that all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him, Amen. 2 Cor. i. 19, 20. And he assures us, they “preached not themselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord," 2 Cor. iv. 5; that is, according to this doctrine, they preached not mere men, but a mere man; “ and themselves the servants of the churches for Jesus's sake," namely, for the sake of a mere man ; and “always delivered unto deatlı for his sake," namely, for the sake of a mere man,“ that the life also of Jesus,” adds he, "might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.” Verse 11. The reason of this their entire devotedness to Christ we learn chap. v. 14, 15. “ The love of Christ constrained them,” that is, according to Dr. Priestley, the love of a mere man,
6 while they thus judged,” thus believed and reflected, “that if one” mere
“ died for all, then are all dead : and that he died for all, that they who live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him," the mere man, that “ died for