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boldness (or liberty) to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, (the blood of a mere man!) by a new and living way which he [a mere man] hath consecrated for us ;—and haviug [the same mere man] an High Priest over the house of God; let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our heart sprinkled from an evil conscience.-For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sin [but that which we reject.] He that despised Moses's law, died without mercy under two or three witnesses ;--of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot [one mere man, whom I term] the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace!
I think no one will wonder that they who reject the whole doctrine of the divinity and atonement of Christ, together with the influence of the Holy Spirit of God, should consider the author of this Epistle as writing without inspiration, and as reasoning very inconclus sively. But what will they say to that passage in the 11th chapter, where the apostle informs us, that Moses esteemed the reproach of Christ, (that is, the reproach of a mere man, who had no existence till about two thousand years after that time, that he esteemed this reproach, I say) greater riches than the treasures of Egypt?
Chapter xii. The apostle exhorts us to look to this [were man] Jesus,' and terms him, (though a mere man,)—the author and finisher of our faith,'— and tells us, he is set down on the right hand of the throne of God ;'-and, (verse 25,) bids us see that we refuse him not, for, adds he, “if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, [the mere inan Moses,] much more shall not we escape, if we turi away from him, who [though he] speaketh from hea ven, [is however but another mere man !] whose voice then, (viz. 2000 years before he had any being !
shook the earth : But now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not only the earth, but heaven also!' This mere man, (chap. xiii. 8.)— Jesus Christ, is the same yesterday, to-day and for ever;' for, though a mere man, he is immutable! and, (verse 12,• That he might sanctify the people with his own blood, he suffered without the gate : Let us go forth, therefore, unto him, without the camp, bearing his re. proach, and by him (mere man as he is !] let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually ;-—that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to his name.
Now the God of peace, who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, (who, though but a mere man, is however] the great Shepherd of the sheep, [omniscient to know, and omnipresent to oversee and protect them all !] through the blood of the everlasting cove.. nant, make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, [the same mere man,] to whom (mere man as he is] be glory for ever and ever! Amen !'~I hope, Rev. Sir, if Dr. Priestley deem this to be good sense, and sound doctrine, he will liave no objection to join with the apostle in this dosology, and add his hearty Amen to St. Paul's, ascribing glory to this mere mau for ever and ever!
However difficult a task Dr. Priestley may find it, to reconcile the Epistles of St. Paul with common sense, on the supposition of that apostle's holding the doctrine of Christ's mere humanity, I am persuaded he will find it equally difficult, to reconcile therewith the Epistles of the other apostles, supposing them also to have been of the same opinion. In proof of this, I shall lay before you a few passages, extracted from their writings also, referring you to the original Epistles, for further satisfaction. St. James, it is true, speaks but little of Christ; but nevertheless, what he does speak, shews, either that he was not an Uvitarian in the Doctor's sense of the word, or that he had little regard to common sense, in writing his Epistle. He not only styles himself a servant of God, but also of the Lord Jesus Christ, that is, as the Doctor will have it, of a mere man! And the next time he mentions his name, which is in the beginning of the 2d chapter, he assures us he is the Lord of glory;' that is, on the Doctor's hypothesis, a mere man is the Lord of glory! Be patient, brethren, (says he, chap. v. 7,) unto the coming of the Lord; [that is, the coming of a mere man!) stablish your hearts : The coming of the Lord [the same mere man] draweth nigh. And grudge not one against another, lest ye be condemned: --Behold, the Judge [a mere man] standeth at the door.'
St. Peter furnishes us with many more examples than St. James, either of the erroneousness of the Socinian doctrine, or of his own absurdity.- Peter,
an apostle of Jesus Christ, [that is, says Dr. Priestley, an apostle of a mere man !) to the strangers,-elect, according to the foreknowledge of God, the Father, through sanctificatiou of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus,' that is, the blood of a mere man! Here, St. Peter speaks like a Trinitarian. He both names the three that bear record in heaveu, and attributes unto each his proper office and work in the economy of our redemption. He ascribes our election to God the Father, who, in his divine foreknowledge, marks from the beginning, who will accept of salvation in the only way in which it can be accepted, the way of repentance and faith, and elects or chooses such for his childreu. He imputes our redemption to the Son of God, Jesus Christ, whose body, offered up upon the cross as a sacrifice for sin, makes atonement, and the sprinkling of whose blood gives at once peace with God, and peace of conscience to the truly peuitent and believing soul. And, he attributes our sanctification to the Holy Spirit, whose heavenly influence upon the mind, both breaks the power, and purges away the defilement of sin, at the same time that he inspires us with love, joy, aud peace, with holiness and happiness, and gives us to know that his genuine fruit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth.
The second of these persons, against whom Dr. Priestley seems to have a peculiar enmity, and who, he thinks, is far too much exalted, when “advanced to the high rank of the first and principal emanation of the Deity, the vous or noyos of the Platonists, and the onulovpyos, under God, in making the world,”– being, he believes, a mere man; this person, I say, even Jesus, the Son of God, is represented by St. Peter, a few verses after, as the great object of the faith and love of the saints, and the source of unspeakable joy to them. “Whom having not seen, ye love, iverse 8,) in whom, though now you see him not, yet pelieving, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of
glory, receiving the end of your faith, the salvation of your souls.' And is He a mere man whom they thus love, though they have not seen him, and in whom they'rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory?' Is He a mere man whose Spirit, as the apostle observes in the following verses, 'was in the ancient prophets,' and spoke by them, and who hath redeemed us, not with corruptible things, such as silver and gold, but with his own precious blood, as of a Lamb without blemish and without spot, who verily was fore-ordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for us?' Surely, if he be, St. Peter must have mistaken his character, and have viewed him in a very different light.
This appears still more manifest from the next chapter :-'As new-born babes,' says he, 'desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby; if so be that ye have tasted that the Lord, [a mere man, shall I say?] is gracious.' That he means Christ, is plain from the following words :- To whom coming as unto a living stove, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God and precious, ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God, by Jesus Christ,' that is, says Dr. Priestley, by a mere man! Wherefore, also, it is contained in the Scripture, Behold, I lay in Zion a chief corner-stone, elect, precious, and he that believeth on him (that believeth on a mere man !) shall not be confounded. Unto you, therefore, that believe, he [this mere man] is precious; but unto them that be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same [mere man] is made the head of the corner, and a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, to them, who, disobeying the word, stumble.' J ask again, can it be supposed, that St. Peter considered the person of whom he spake in these words, as being a mere man? The person whom he thus represents as the one foundation of the church, and of every member thereof ?-to