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wings and wheels of the cherubim ingly. For, after the triple ascripwere full of eyes round about; and tion,“ holy, holy, holy !" the living in Revelation, the hieroglyphics of creatures magnify the Self-existent, the Church were full of eyes before, who was and is and is to come, the behind and within. Eyes in pro- Eternal. phetic language denote the power of 20. 9-11. " And when those vision concerning spiritual things. beasts give glory and honor and The sight of celestial spirits is of “thanks to him that sat on the things in heaven and on earth, and throne, who liveth for ever and respects all the providential arrange- ever, the four and twenty elders ments to which they have ministered fall down before him that sat on and shall minister : it is perfect in the throne, and worship him that regard to all their services, so that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their whole body is full of light. their crowns before the throne, The hieroglyphics of the Church saying, Thou art worthy, O Lord, have a retrospective and prospective ' to receive glory and honor and view; and especially a spiritual dis- power : for thou hast created all cernment of the holiness of God, things, and for thy pleasure they as exemplified in his dealings to- are and were created.” There is ward each, and all the way by a beautiful propriety in the fresh which he led them in providence and adoration of the 24 elders, when the grace to himself, and all the inward Church, which they had been the operations of the Holy Spirit where- means of gathering, testified of its reby he worked in them mightily to covery to the paradisiacal apprehenwill and do his good pleasure; from sion of the glory of Jehovah. Well which vivid recollections they swell may they renew their worship of the chorus of praise, as they medi- his personal glory, and cast at tate the combined attributes and his feet their crowns of rejoicing, perfections exercised for their re- gemmed like Paul's with the spirits demption, sanctification and final
won to God by each prophet and salvation by the three co-equal per- apostle ;p for He only is worthy as sons of the godhead; which, if the Mediator to receive from his Fafour living creatures symbolize the ther (in order to bestow on his Israelite Church, would be expressed people) glory, honor, and power ; by Jehovah Elohim Shaddai.
inasmuch as 'he created all things, The exulting acclaim of the se- and for his pleasure they are and raphim (Isa. vi) was directed to
created :"—Words used by ward one another, as they ascribed John i, 3, 10, and by Paul, Col. i, glory to him while considering his 16-18 in reference to Jesus Christ. being and godhead. But in Re- Delightful ascriptions of praise ! velation the Church adores him in Blessed vision of our Immanuel on reference to the unity displayed in the throne of his glory, as living trinity, for the accomplishment of Dispenser of blessings, occupied those purposes for which almighty with the best interests of his repower was needed, and by which deemed, and alone worthy of the he was proclaimed Jehovah Elohim mercies restored for his sake to the El Shaddai,—the all-sufficient in believing remnant of a fallen world, justice, power, wisdom, mercy, love even glory, holiness and dominion, and goodness, and that everlast lost by the first Adam and restored
p 1 Thess. ii, 19.
in the second! Hence Immanuel' chap. iv, 1, with chap. i, 10, we find is here glorified as Creator of the the voice to be that of the Son of new creation, which is become the Man; and his promise to shew future Church triumphant in heaven, and events accords with chap. i, 1. he is worshiped 9 as a Priest upon He was to look upon, &c.” and his throne for his Church, and as therefore visible : but the Father is God by the incommunicable attri- visible only in the person of the Son, bute of self-existence from ever- " who is the King of glory, and the lasting to everlasting.r
express image of his Father's per
'son;" and who alone renders visible CHAPTER v. the invisible, and who says,
that hath seen me hath seen the FaWith what vivacity is the scenery ther:" i.e. as much as mortal can of the FIFTH CHAPTER brought be receive of the manifestation ; for “ fore us! Here the action of the book man hath seen (or can see) God at begins.
But a difficulty occurs which re- Again, he who sits on the throne mains only to be candidly stated and is encircled by the rainbow; as in left. The Writer trusts, that, in parallel visions of the Son of God.s explaining Revelation by its own Still, without stating the Father's light alone, some satisfactory views presence on the throne, (except it be may be unfolded; yet never can the understood that He never removes finite mind comprehend all that the thence in respect to his dealings infinite mind has revealed ; nor go with the children of men,) yet the beyond the point up to which the person who sat on the throne held Holy Spirit is pleased to guide it. the book in which futurity was deThere it becomes us with all hu- pictured to man; and the Mediator, mility to sink into our own nothing
stood in the midst of the ness, and adore the depths we cannot
”*—surrounded as before by fathom and the heights we cannot at- the elders and the living creatures, tain to; but which should not deter us in his characteristics of the Lion of from meditating as deeply, and soar- Judah, the Root of David, and the ing as ligh, as we are enabled to do. Lamb of God—took the book. It is
The first words of this chapter- manifest that the act of one taking it " And I saw in the right hand of from the right hand of the other inHim that sat on the throne a book, fers the presence of two persons; &c.”-indicate a continuation of the and to be at that right hand is the vision and its scenery for the pur- post of our merciful High Priest and pose of adding those particulars, on Intercessor,t who prevails with the account of which the representation Father to bestow all needful knowwas vouchsafed. Now by comparing ledge and gifts on his redeemed.
* There is a difference of espression in reference to him who sat on the throne, and to the Lamb who " stood in the midst of the throne,” compare iv, 9, 10; v, 6, 7, 13; vi, 16 and vii, 10. But while this difference expresses the distinctness of persons in united supremacy, it does not set aside the reasons formerly given from parallel Scriptures why the Son appears to be meant throughout chap. iv. Again in v. l, he promised by the divine prescience to shew things future: and chap. v, 5 he prevailed to open the book in his mediatorial character.
r Heb. vii, 25 and
Compare Ps. lxxii, l, ll with Phil. xii, 10, and Matt vii, 11. xiii, 8. $ Ez, i, 28.
t Heb. viii, 1.
The only further remark ventured for the purpose of disclosing these is that John, as a Hebrew seer and visions of futurity. Man vainly frets prophet, was accustomed to con- about them, as did John; but cantemplate the perfect unity of both not discover what concerns the next persons in whatever concerns the moment, except as it is partially covenant of grace and their equal revealed to the spiritual eye by
this supremacy on the throne,
Revealer of secrets, Rev. xxii, 1–4. He was accustomed righteous Advocate, who hath prealso to such a peculiarity of lan- vailed to open and loose the seals guage respecting it, as occurs Zech. of the awful volume.* Daniel had ii, 8; xii, 10; xiv, 5—" They some glimpses of it vouchsafed to shall look on me whom they have him; but though Gabriel was compierced and mourn for him.-The manded to give him understanding Lord my God shall come, and all of some of its mysteries, he was • the saints with thee,' &c. The
The ordered to shut up the words and mental transition from one to the seal the book till the time of the other person in the divine Unity, end."u
end."u When that time should did not require in a Hebrew seer
knowledge would be into be signified by words. The creased and the wise understand ;' vision in this chapter resembles
chapter resembles which refers to the book then sealed. that in Dan. vii, in that the Son Now He, who in the united of Man came to the Ancient of natures is above all creatures, doth days who sat on the throne ; &c. nevertheless open the book as the just as here the sealed book is taken
taken Lion of the tribe of Judah, and the by the Lamb out of the right hand Root, (i. e. origin and sustainer) of of him that sat upon the throne. David ; in which observe, that the
v. 2. John was made sensible of nationality of the people who are to the angel's inquiry, “ Who is worthy have the first dominion” is for his to open the book ?” that the alone sake never forgotten :
Salvation worthiness of the only Mediator is of the Jews,” because He took between God and man might be on Him the seed of Abraham, and avouched; for no man in heaven or sprang from the tribe of Judah earth, i.e. no created being in the ' and the family of David.” universe, has merited to disclose the Verses 6, 7 indicate his having contents of the sealed book. No prevailed by the merit of his blood, eye but that of God can of itself under the anointing which he rebehold things to come.
Christ is ceived as man from the sevenfold God, or he would not “ be able to influences of the Holy Ghost, who is open or look on the book," (v. 4) inseparably one with him in the di
* From this roll the Spirit of prophecy had given various extracts, as it were, to Moses and the prophets, respecting those particulars which they were commissioned to reveal in various ways to their own and each succeeding age, Thus the whole is given in the Bible,“ line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little.” So that if mortal mind could gather all up into one view, we should see the scheme of revelation as it regards all mankind for the glory of God; though worlds on worlds—eternity pasti eternity to come !--would still remain beyond our ken. But who is sufficient to hang all the prophecies on just that part of the vast frame-work of this Revelation to which each properly belongs ? When his kingdom shall come, those who will be raised up in spiritual bodies, like Jesu's glorious body, will delight with all angels to look into these mysteries.
u Chap. xii, 4, 9.
vine nature, and sent forth from the being filled with the Eternal Spirit, Father and the Lamb. He, who on omniscient and omnipresent !-Oh earth walks amidst the seven golden Lamb of God, that takest away the candlesticks, stands in the midst of sin of the world, we worship thee the throne of God, (the attitude de- as God over all, blessed for ever! noting that he is executing his Verse 7 agrees with chap. i, 1. For Father's will,v) surrounded by the as it is there stated, that God gave living creatures and the elders, the revelation to Jesus Christ to show wearing the appearance of “ a Lamb to his servants ; (i.e. in the economy as it had been slain," or offered in of grace, wherein each person of the sacrifice. For the value of this covenant Three has his peculiar sacrifice, thus presented before God office ;) so here he came and took continually, our high Priest receives
the book out of the right hand of all power in heaven and earth for him who sat on the throne. his people's benefit. Yet have I V, 8. For this the living creaanointed my king upon my holy hill tures and the elders,” the Israelite of Zion.*”—This plenitude of power Church with her priests under both is denoted by his seven horns, which dispensations, (to whom God said are the symbol of dominion ;and of old, Ye are my witnesses !") the seven eyes, (a symbol of spiritual mingle in perfect concord of praise vision,)x denote that, as prophet of before the Lamb, ail being made his Church, he is anointed by the Spi- kings and priests unto God,“ every rit without measure ; an expression one” having his harp attuned to join which declares his infinity, since only the choral symphony; and golden he who is infinite can receive with vials full of odors, even the prayers out measure the influences of the
offered by those separated unto God infinite Spirit. Those eyes raining on earth. These are acknowledged heavenly influences, as upon Peter ; as sweet incense in heaven itself, those eyes, as a flame of fire; those all accepted, and all remembered eyes discerning the thoughts and in- and answered in the beatific vision : tents of the heart, searching the reins for He put their tears into his bottle, of the children of men ;
and wrote in his book of rememinto all the earth :" consequently brance the repentance they evinced.y omniscience and omnipresence, the
Observe !all honour the Son even attributes of the godhead, are ascrib- as they honour the Father. So also ed to “s “ the Lamb slain.
What a Phil. ii, 9-11. glorious object! In the midst of But it is "the remnant that esthe throne of deity, surrounded by caped of the house of Judah, that the elders and the Church, stands its was to take root downward and sacrificial Lamb, as its High Priest, • bear fruit upward, the elect of King and Prophet; having, as its Israel,” † from out of every kindred, Mediator, plenitude of power, and nation, &c. among whom they were
* See the Hebrew in Psalm ii, 6, which confines that prophecy to Messiah : for David was not anointed in Zion ; and Solomon's reign could not be characterized by verse 9.
x 2 Chron.
v Isa. iii, 13; Dan. xii, 1; Acts vii, 56. w Luke i, 69; Heb. iii, 4. xvi, 9 ; Zech. iii, 9; iv, 10. y Ps. Ivi, 8, 9
po If Isaiah xxxvii, 4, 31, 32, be thought to refer only to a past deliverance, Isa. x, 20–22 and xi, 11-16 certainly refer to that yet future, when the Lord shall set his hand a second time for the recovery of the remnant from all the tribes, as from Egypt first. (so Isa. xi, 16.) See also Jer. xxiii, 3–8; xxxi, 7, 8; Amos ix, 1115 ; Mic. ii, 12, 13, iv, 7 and v, 7, 8; Zech. viii, 11-13; Ps. ix, 27, 28.
“scattered in the cloudy and dark deemed of Israel are symbolized in day,"z that are symbolized by the chap. v, as glorifying God for that living creatures.
redemption. They were “the first Comparing however this vision fruits 'unto God and the Lamb." with chap. xiv, 1–4 the difficulty After the four heathen empires are returns, whether they do symbolize brought forward in chap. vi, the the Israelite Church, or the elect Gentile multitudes gathered out of Gentiles; because the 144000 of the them are, with scriptural exactitude, twelve tribes sing a new song before introduced in chap. vii. the four living creatures and the Is it any help toward solving the elders, and are thus distinguished difficulty, that in Isa. lxvi, 5—23 from them. (See chap. vii, 4, and a part of restored Israel is selected xiv, 3.) Indeed this song of to bring their brethren back to deMoses and of the Lamb is said to clare the glory of God to those be one which none could learn but Gentiles, who up to that period will the 144000 redeemed from out of not have heard his fame or seen his the (Roman) earth. Such was the glory ?-Again, is it a help, that in song prepared for literal Israel - in
in Ezek. xliv, 10 to 16 the sons of Zathat day :” for in Isa. xii, 4, they doc are selected from the Levites declare his doings for them among to draw nearest to his table, enter the peoples, and are the remnant into his sanctuary and offer the for whom the highway to God is offerings, &c. I think this may be cast up, as it was in the day they the solution : nor let any hesitate came out of Egypt. So in Rev. XV, about the renewal of sacrifices; for, 1–4 they are distinguished from as literal Israel was chosen to offer the nations who shall worship God, those which were prefigurative of and seem to be the same as the the only true sacrifice which has living creatures, one of whom gives been offered once for all ; so the the seven vials to the angels,—and Spirit of God by Ezekiel positively with peculiar propriety, because appoints others, after the return of they pour the wrath de
the glory of Jehovah to dwell in creed for Israel's wrongs.a In the midst of his people, and which chap. vii, 9 the number of elect may be deemed commemorative of Gentiles is indefinitely great; where that one atonement by which all the as the number from all the tribes mercies of God were recovered for of Israel is appropriately specific, his people. v. 4. The very propriety of this Verses 9, 10 suggest two remarks. circumstance, in regard to both, in- First, the substance of the new song dicates who they are.
is, Glory to the Lamb for shedding Who then are these 144000 ? his blood for the ransom of his what portion of them are symbolized people. Thus Jehovah in view of by the living creatures? and why dis- his everlasting counsel for Jacob tinguished from them in chap. xiv, and Israel” declares, “ I have blotted where they are represented as sing. out your transgression,"bi.e. by the ing the same song as in chap. XV ? blood of the covenant.c Observe All were redeemed; and all the re- the words “ us,” and “out of.” All
7 Isa. lxv, 9, 22; Ezek, xxxiv, 5—31. a Zeph. ii, s-11. xliv, 22.
c Lev. xvii, 11 with Zech. ix, 11 and Heb. x, 29.
b Isa. xliii, 25 and