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reader wishes to know what these are, I have only to request of him to read over again the fifth chapter of the Revelation.
Mr. Yates concludes this chapter, by endeavouring to illustrate the sense of the sacred writers, in uniting God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ in their ascriptions of glory and praise, by “ the manner in which Mahommedans" (to whom Unitarians have always shown a warm side,) “ as“sociate their prophet with the Almighty." He quotes the following “ lofty language of praise and supplication;" “ Praise be unto the Almighty God, and unto our Lord his 6 prophet Mahommed, whose protection and mercy we crave, “ and resign ourselves to his holy will.”—This language of the followers of the false prophet “proves,” says Mr. Yates, “ that a person may be conceived to be infinitely “ inferior to God as his creature and his dependent, and yet, 4 in consideration of the power and glory to which God 66 has raised him, he may be praised, and even petitioned, « in connexion with his Creator and the Creator of all.” No doubt the language proves, that this “ may be conceived.” But does it prove that they who so conceive, conceive rightly? Is it a right conception, that a person“ infinitely inferior." in nature to the great God, and, with whatever power and glory invested, still infinitely inferior, should be associated with “ his Creator and the Creator of all," as the object of the same praise and supplication? Because the votaries of the Koran have presumed thus impiously and inconsistently to associate the name of their false prophet with the name of the Almighty, in their acts of homage and devotion, must we impute the same impiety, and the same, or much greater inconsistency, to those “ holy men of God who spake as they 6 were moved by the Holy Spirit;" on whom the gifts of inspiration were conferred, with the express design of exposing, and bearing down, and finally subverting, all idolatry-called so emphatically in Scripture “ that abominable thing which “ God hates ?”—If I might venture a probable conjecture, as to the origin of the Mahometan practice, I should suppose it to have arisen from the very circumstance of the name of JESUS being so associated in the Holy Scriptures. Finding this the case, and assuming his being no more than a prophet, they have exalted their own prophet to the place which the Bible gives to Christ, impiously honouring him with the same high and sacred associations.
In Chapter IX. Mr. Yates examines the REMAINING " ARGUMENTS produced by Mr. Wardlaw, to prove the sun 66 preme divinity of Jesus Christ,” that he may do full jus66 tice to the evidence of the Trinitarian doctrine, and omit 66 none of its prominent and palpable evidences.” (Page 240.)
John Å. 30. On this text see pages 13_145 of this volume.
Phil. ii, 6. “ Who, being in the form of God, thought “ it not robbery to be equal with God.”
Mr. Yates declares himself “ satisfied, after attending 6 carefully to the ingenious argumentation by which Ham66 mond, and a few others, have attempted to justify this " translation, that it cannot possibly be deduced out of the 6 original words of St Paul;" and that “ the literal translation 6 of them is, · Who, being in the form of God, did not es56 teem it a prey to be as God.'”_" Since," he adds, “ there is “ an evident necessity for some supplement in the last clause, " and the substantive verb (ervoe) to be," is seldom used
66 in the New Testament to denote mere existence, we may 65 properly insert the word honoured, and read to be honour6 ed as God. The meaning of the apostle may be thus ex66 pressed; ver. 5,-8. Imitate the condescension and be66 nevolence of Jesus Christ, who, although he resembled 6 God in the possession of extraordinary power and wisdom, “ did not grasp at divine hongurs, but humbled himself to w the performance of servile offices, and, in obedience to the 66 will of his Father, submitted unto death, even the painful 66 and ignominious death of the cross.” (Pages 242, 243.)
I embrace the present opportunity of stating my views of this passage a little more fully than it seemed proper to do in a public discourse.
1. Mr. Yates's interpretation of being in the form of “ God,” is the same with that of Unitarians in general: Jesus “ resembled God in the possession of extraordinary 6 power and wisdom.”_“He did not grasp at divine ho6 nours," must mean, that he did not pervert the power with which he was endowed to the purpose of his own aggrandizement and glory; that he did not, that is, contravene, in the exertion of that power, the end of his míssion. This, then, proceeds on the supposition of the possibility at least of his having done otherwise ;-on the supposition of divine power having been placed so entirely at his discretion, that he might, had he been so inclined, have used it for his own honour, in opposition to the honour of him that sent him.' Let this supposition, then, be fairly examined. We cannot allow it to be qualified by any condition; as of the Almighty withdrawing the communicated power, should any symptom have appeared of an impious inclination to pervert it. For, in that case, it was not at his discretion, any more than at the discretion
of other prophets. And, if the supposition be not thus qualified, how gross is the absurdity which it involves the power of God placed at the discretion of a creature, who has it in his option, whether it shall be employed for the Divine purposes, or against them. The possibility of the latter is clearly involved in the Unitarian hypothesis : and if this be hypothetically possible, we are warranted, for argument's sake, to suppose it realized ;-in which case, we shall have a creature wielding Almighty power against the Almighty ;-the infinite God absolutely outwitted by the agent to whose discretion he has transferred his power!
2. Though “resembling God” “ he did not esteem it a 6 prey to be as God.”—I have no particular objection to Mr. Yates's explanatory supplement,—" to be honoured as God.”66 He approves of my translation to be on an equality with 56 God,' and admires the remarks by which I have vindicated 66 it:"-now certainly to be « on an equality with God” means, to be on an equality with him as to the honour and the homage due to him from his creatures. But it will not be very easy to reconcile the sentiment that Christ 6 did not esteem it a prey to be honoured as. God,” with his own explicit declaration, “ for the Father judgeth no “ man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son; 6 that all men should honour the Son even as they honour of the Father: he that honoureth not the Son, honoureth 6 not the Father that sent him;" John v. 22, 23.—When Mr. Yates, indeed, quotes this passage, (page 222.) he accompanies it with this comment; “ that all men should ho“ nour the Son, as (that is, because ) they honour the Father.” But a Unitarian " that is” is not of sufficient authority to command immediate acquiescence, and to silence every suspicion that the original word (rabws) is to be understood in its more dircet and proper meaning, which is, in the same or, in like manner as :-“ sicut, prout, velut.” Heder. Lex.
3. I think it appears from the frequency with which the Scripture speaks of Christ as a servant, receiving and executing a commission, &c. that his “taking upon him 66 the form of a servant,” means, agreeably to this prevailing phraseology of Scripture, his voluntarily assuming this relation to the Father-his actually becoming a servant-appearing among men in this character or capacity :-in which case, “ the form of God” must have a corresponding signification, and mean his existing in the character or capacity of Deity. This view receives further confirmation from the other phrase here used, “ he was made in the likeness of « men,” which very obviously means his becoming in reality a man.Compare Rom. viii. 4. ! 4. It is sufficiently clear that his “ being”: (or subsisting, imagXW) 6 in the form of God”-stands here in contrast with his “taking, or assuming, the form of a servant.” He subsisted, then, in the form of God," previously to his assuming “the form of a servant.” When, then, did he assume the form of a servant? If he was a mere man, it is not easy to say either when or how.--Indeed, if he was a mere man, or 'a mere creature, however exalted, it is difficult to conceive how he could at all, with propriety, be said to assume the form of a servant. ' No creature can properly be said to assume, or take upon himself, the station, or work, which the supreme God is pleased expressly to assign to him.
- But if he subsisted previously as God, he took the form of à servant when he "was made in the likeness of men," and came to accomplish a work given him to do.
5. In admitting that woa bey means “ on an equality with " God," Mr. Yates dissents from the more common Unitarian interpretation, which makes this phrase correspond