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CHAPTER VIII. I COME now briefly to examine Mr. Yates's strictures on those passages in which SUPREME WORSHIP is given to Christ.
On the instances of homage paid to Jesus on earth, I satisfied myself with the following general remark:- In some of " these instances, as must strike every reader of the Gospel 66 history, there is so strong a resemblance, so very near an 56 approach, to Divine worship, that we should have exspected a creature, actuated by such principles as were 6 formerly described, tenderly alive to a sense of his infinite 6 inferiority, and jealous of the glory of the God that sent “him, to have said, on such occasions, as the apostle Peter " did to Cornelius Stand up-I myself also am a man;' « or as the angel to John, when he fell at his feet to wor
ship him ; See thou do it not--worship God.'- But " in the life of Christ, as recorded by the Evangelists, 6 nothing of this kind is to be found. He accepts all the “ homage that is offered to him, without a hint of its im“ propriety, or the slightest monitory intimation of his 66 equality in nature with the persons by whom it is paid.”
Mr. Yates's observations, under the first particular of his reply to this remark, do not appear to be at all to the purpose. That our blessed Lord frequently directed the minds of the people to the supreme Jehovah, the Father, as having sent and commissioned him, is true. How could it be otherwise? Who denies that, in the capacity in which he appeared in the world, he was sent, and commissioned, and had received his authority and power ;-and that it was necessary that he should substantiate this by sufficient evidence? But, to assert that he claimed and received honour only as the ambassador of the Supreme God, is to beg the question; for the evidence adduced of the assertion is founded on à very questionable Unitarian commentary on our Lord's words, 6 that all men should honour the Son, « as” (that is, says Mr. Yates, because) “ they honour the Fa" ther: he that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the 6 Father that sent him.” The particular cases of the homage in question still remain untouched. What Jesus said on other occasions will not show the 6 expectation' mentioned in my remark to be otherwise than 6 reasonable" in these. Mr. Yates indeed says," We do not know that homage was 66 ever offered to him without a higher reference to God, " and that he accepted it without a hint of its impropriety." But we do know the simple facts stated in the history; that he did receive the external homage there related to have been paid to him, without any such « hint of its impropriety"
as was given, on similar occasions, by other ambassadors of God, human, and even angelic.
Mr. Yates's second observation in reply, is, that, in his opinion, “ the angel whose conduct Mr. Wardlaw contrasts 66 with that of Jesus, was Jesus himself;” and in three full pages he assigns his reasons for this opinion.
No considerate reader'will feel any surprise at Mr. Yates's anxiety to establish this opinion; because, were it well founded, the passages in question would contain an express refusal, on the part of Jesus, of the worship due to God. But, to show the falsehood of the opinion, it is not at all necessary to travel through the whole book of Revelation. The refutation of it is nearer at hand. I submit to the reader the following remarks; which, I trust, will convince him, not only of the futility of the opinion advanced by Mr. Yates, but of his want of prudent generalship, in bringing these passages into such prominent notice.
At two distinct times, it appears, John offered worship to an angel; and the angel, on both occasions, declined the honour, in terms nearly the same. In both of these instances, the context affords the most distinct information that the angel was not Jesus Christ.
1. In the beginging of chap. xviith, John tells us, " There 6 came one of the seven angels who had the seven vials, and talk“ed with me."-It requires only to read forward thence to chap. xix. 10. to satisfy any person, that this was the angel before whom John fell down to worship. It surely will not be said that the Lord Jesus was “one of the seven an“ gels who had the seven vials.”
2. This angel, when John falls down at his feet to worship him, says, “ See thou do it not: I am thy fellow-servant, and “ (the fellow-servant) of thy brethren that have the testimony
66 of Jesụs ;"_or, “ I am a fellow-servant with thee, and with “thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus."-Now, although Jesus, in his state of humiliation on earth, is called the servant of God, he is nowhere else in Scripture, even in referrence to that period, called a fellow-servant with the apostles and prophets:—far less is he so called when exalted to glory in heaven. There his language is, “I am the first and the last, 6 and the living One; and I was dead; and behold I am alive 6 for evermore, and have the keys of hell and of death.” Is this the same person who is supposed to say “ I am a fel6 low-servant with thee and with thy brethren?"-On the contrary, the apostles are frequently styled the servants of Jesus Christ. And the mode of expression used by the angel, “ I 6 am a fellow servant with thee, and with thy brethren who “ have the testimony of Jesus," seems, with sufficient clearness, to show, that he means to describe himself as an associate with John and his brethren, in the service of Jesus himself.
3. Immediately on John's offering worship to the angel, and his refusing it,--heaven is seen opened, and the sublime vision is exhibited to the view of the entranced prophet, of Him who was called “ Faithful and True;" “ the Word 6 of God,” “ the King of kings and Lord of lords.”-Here is Jesus in all the majesty of dominion and power. Is this still the angel, that was John's fellow-servant, and that had just been showing him the preceding visions? Is this one of the seven angels that had the seven vials?
4. The same thing is not less clear respecting the second instance.--In chap. xxi. 9. the same expression occurs as at the beginning of chap. xviith, “ And there came unto me 6 one of the seveni angels who had the seven vials, full of the • seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying"-&c. And
here also, reading forward, marking particularly verses
10, 15, 17, of chap. xxi. and verse l. of chap. xxii, will be sufficient to convince the reader that this is the angel (whether the same, or another of the seven, is not clear) before whom John prostrated himself to worship, and who refused the homage, as before.
5. The difficulty, arising from the subsequent context, is simply the difficulty which is so often to be found in the prophetic writings, produced by the suddenness of the transition from one person to another, as the speaker, without any premonition of the change. If this difficulty is far from being peculiar to this passage, it cannot surely be allowed to overcome the plain and decisive proofs that the angel before mentioned was, in both instances, another than Jesus Christ. - The note of Grotius, (whom Mr. Yates will admit to be an impartial authority) as quoted by Mr. Brown, expresses the general opinion, and, as I think, the just one. “Sequitur hic dialogus 6 inter Dominum Jesum et Johannem, non appositis perso“ narum nominibus, sed quæ facile ex verbis subintelliguntur. “ Hic loqui incipit Jesus. Simile habes Esa. vii. xxxvii. xlviii. 6 Jer. v. viii. ix. xv. xxii.”—“ Here" (that is at the tenth verse) “ there follows a conversation between the Lord “ Jesus and John, in which the names of the parties are not “ mentioned, but may easily be understood from their words. 6 Here Jesus begins to speak. Parallel cases may be found 6 in Isa. vii. xxxvii. xlviii. Jer. v. viii. ix. xv. xxii.”—If the reader will peruse the chapters thus referred to, he will be at no loss to discover in them the parallel instances of sudden change of speaker.
6. In chapter i. 1, 2. the Book is intitled —- The Reves “ lation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to show
“ unto his servants the things which must shortly come to