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Jesus Christ encouraged prayer to be addressed to him? Again, Whosoever drinketh of the water that I [a mere man!] shall give him, shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him, shall be in him a well of water, springing up unto life eternal.' Here again, if Jesus Christ be a mere man, he manifestly encourages idolatry. This he does also, (chap. vii. 37 :)—
If any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink : He that believeth on me, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. This spake he of the Spirit, which they that believed on him should receive.'
But what shall we say to the following words? In what light do they appear, if they be considered as proceeding out of the mouth of a mere man? Chap. v. 17: My Father, [the eternal God,] worketh hitherto, and I [a mere man !] work.' Verse 19:- Verily I say unto you, the Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: For whatsoever things he [the infinite Jehovah] doth, these also doeth the Son, [a mere man!] likewise. For the Father [the eternal God] loveth the Son [a mere man !] and sheweth him [though but a man] all things that himself doeth ; and will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel. For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them, even so the Son [a mere man !] quickeneth whom he will. For the Father [the great God] judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son, [a mere man !] that all men should honour the Son, [that is, should honour a mere man !] even as they honour [the infinite Jehovah, viz.] the Father! He that honoureth not the Son [this mere man!] honoureth not the Father who sent him!Verily, verily, I say unto you, the hour cometh, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God, [viz. the voice of a mere man !] and they that hear shall live. For as the Father [the everlasting Jehovah] hath life in himself, so hath he given to the Son [that is, to a mere man !] to have life in himself, and hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of Man ;'-that is, because he, a
mere man, is a mere man !
A strange reason truly Our Lord goes on, 'Marvel not at this, the hour is coming, in which all that are in their graves shall hear his voice, [the voice, says Dr. Priestley, of a mere man!] and shall come forth.'
Methinks every reasonable man that considers this extraordinary passage, must allow, that if the Lord Jesus be a mere man, (I speak it with reverence,) he never can be acquitted of the crime, which the Jews laid to his charge, (chap. x. 33,) I mean the heinous crime of blasphemy. Are these expressions fit to be used by a mere man? or by any mere creature, however exalted? Put them into the mouth of Gabriel, and try how they sound.-" My Father worketh hitherto, and I work. Whatsoever things God doth, these doth Gabriel likewise. As God raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them, even so Gabriel quickeneth whom he will. God hath committed all judgment unto Gabriel, that all men should honour Gabriel, even as they hovour God. He that honoureth not Gabriel, honoureth not God. The dead shall hear the voice of Gabriel, and live. All that are in their graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth." Is not this language blasphemous, even from the mouth of the holy angel Gabriel, who stands before God, and it seems is one of the highest order? If even he, or the Archangel Michael used it, would they not deserve, and would they not meet with the condemnation of the devil? And . let it not be said, that the angels have no right to use this language, because they have not been exalted to the authority and power to which the Son of Man is exalted. For if God will not give his glory to another, as he hath sworn he will not, it is certain no mere creature can be so exalted as to have a right to use such language, which would manifestly be to equal himself (as the Jews said) with God.
And then it is not here only that our Lord expresses himself in this manner. He is frequently speaking to the same purpose. Thus, (verse 39,) Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life
and it is they that testify of me; and ye will not come to me [that is, according to Dr. Priestley, ye will not come to a mere man !] that ye might have life.'Again, (chap. vi. 32,) My Father giveth you the true bread from heaven, for the bread of God is he [the mere man, if we believe the Doctor and Socinus, born of Joseph and Mary] who cometh down from heaven, [that is, that cometh from a place where he had never been!] and giveth life unto the world.-I, [a mere man!] am the bread of life, he that cometh to me, [mere man as I am !] shall never hunger, and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.-All that the Father giveth me, shall come unto me, [a mere man !] and him that cometh unto me, I will in no wise cast out. For I [a mere man] came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one that seeth the Son and believeth on him, may have everlasting life, and 1 [a mere man !] will raise him up at the last day.
The Jews then murmured at him, [as methinks Dr. Priestley and the Sociniaus must necessarily do,]: because he said, I am the bread which came down from heaven; and they said, [in language similar to that of Dr. Priestley,] Is not this Jesus the Son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How is it that he [a mere man] saith, I came down from heaven? Jesus therefore, answered, [it would be well if the abettors of the Socinian doctrine would weigh the answer,] Murmur not among yourselves. No man can come unto me except the Father who sent me draw him, and I will raise him up at the last day. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, hath everlasting life: I am the bread of life.(Ver. 50,) This is the bread that came down from heaven That a man may eat thereof and not die. I [a mere man born of Joseph and Mary] am the living bread which came down from heaven: If a man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: And the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of
the world.'-The whole of this discourse is absurd and impious, on the Socinian principles.
Again, (verse 53,) 'Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life, and I [a mere man] will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh [mere man, though I be] is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me [a mere man !] and I [a mere man !] dwell in him. This is the bread that came down from heaven. Not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead. He that eateth of this bread shall live for ever.' Certainly if our Lord be no more than a man, he must have intended to mislead his hearers. He adds, Doth this offend you? What, and if ye shall see the Son of Mau ascend up where he was before?' Now, if he be a mere man, who had no existence till born in Bethle hem, he asserts a falsehood here. He had never been in heaven before. As also, (chap. viii. 19, 23,) ‘If ye had known me [a mere man] ye would have known my Father also! Ye are from beneath, I am from above: Ye are of this world; I am not of this world!' Are these the words of the faithful and true Witness ? Are they the words of soberness and truth? Are these that follow? It God were your Father, you would love me, for I proceeded forth aud came from God.Your Father Abraham rejoiced to see my day, and he saw it and was glad. Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham? Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, before Abraham was, I am.' How distant
from common seuse, as well as piety, is language like this, proceeding from the mouth of a mere man!
Chap. tenth furnishes us with many examples of a similar kind. 'I [a mere man !] am the door of the sheep ;-by me, if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and shall find pasture.-I [the same mere man] am come, that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. I am
the good Shepherd; the good Shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. [I say again, though a mere man,] (verse 14,) I am the good Shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. As the Father knoweth me, [a mere man,] so I [a mere man] know the Father, and I lay down my life for the sheep. And other sheep have I, which are not of this fold, them also I [a mere man] must bring in, and they shall hear my voice, [the voice of a mere man,] and there shall be one fold, and one Shepherd. Therefore, doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I [a mere man] may take it again; no man taketh it from me, but I lay it down, of myself; I [a mere man !] have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.'Verse 27, My sheep hear my voice, and 1 [a mere man!] know them, and they follow me, and [though a mere man] I give unto them eternal life, and they shall never perish, neither shall any pluck them out of my hand. My Father that gave them me is greater than all, and none is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand; I and my Father [that is, if we believe Dr. Priestley, a mere man and the eternal God] are one!' Well might the Jews accuse him of blasphemy. Surely, if he be a mere man, he cannot be acquitted of that dreadful crime. For he speaks as though the almighty power of the Father were his own, to be used by him at his pleasure, for the protection of his sheep. Again, (verse 37,) If I [a mere man !] do not the works of the Father, believe me not: But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works, that ye may know and believe that the Father is in me, and I in him,'
And, methinks, his words to Martha appear very inconsistent with truth, if considered as proceeding from the lips of a mere man: 'I am the resurrection and the life, he that believeth in me, though he die, yet shall he live.' Divers passages, also, in the two next chapters, if understood as spoken by a mere man, seem equally ridiculous, as chap, xii, 26, 'If a man