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awe, submission, and faith, that became him in the high office he was called to fill. Nothing can be more self-evident than that the knowledge that was thus conveyed to him, and the sentiments with which he was impressed, were requisite qualifications for that office. Nothing can be more obvious than that the means that were thus employed to convey to him that knowledge, and inspire him with awe, faith, and love, were in the highest degree suitable to the grandeur of the divine Being, and the weakness of our nature.
The acts of God, of the Lamb, of the living creatures, elders and angels, described in the fifth chapter, were marked by equal greatness and beauty, and conveyed instruction equally to the prophet and to the readers of the prophecy.
The challenge of the angel-Who is worthy to open the book and loose the seals thereof?-indicated that the book was a symbol of the divine purposes that were about to be revealed; and that they were purposes that related to the redemption of mankind, and the offices of the angels, as God's messengers, to ours and other worlds. That no creature was able to open, or look on it, signified on the one hand that that which it contained had neither ever been revealed to a creature, nor could be discovered by a created intelligence; and on the other, that no creature had a right to any further knowledge of God's future designs in respect to the work of redeeming men than he pleased in his sovereignty to grant. It indicated, moreover, in the most einphatic manner, that the revelation that was about to be made, proceeded exclusively from God. It not only did not originate from angels or men, but they were neither worthy nor able to read, or look on the volume that contained it, till God opened it to their inspection ; and of this great truth, it was eminently proper that those in the divine presence, though of the loftiest ranks of creatures, and possessed of the largest knowledge of God and his ways, should manifest their full consciousness; as they did in the most impressive manner in their silence. They felt that no being but the Lamb who had died for mankind, was able or worthy to break the seal of God's purposes respecting the sway he was to exert over our world, and the boundless future of the work of redemption ; and this truth, it is
of the greatest moment they should see and feel who now having the book itself of the Revelation in their hands attempt its interpretation. Had Mr. Gascoyne comprehended this design of the angel's challenge, and the meaning of the silence of the redeemed and angelic hosts that followed, he would not have ventured on the presumptuous task he has, of fabricating for the actors and acts of this vision, offices that not only do not belong to them, but that are in the most palpable and revolting contradiction to their nature. John was permitted for a moment to fear that the book was not to be opened in order, probably, that the annunciation by the elder might raise him to a clearer and more intense realization that it belonged alone to the Redeemer to unfold and execute the divine purposes respecting our world. The taking of the book by the Lamb, was a sublime assertion and exercise of that prerogative, and its deli. very a like declaration of it by the Father, and manifestation of the oneness of their counsels. That this fact is of the greatest significance, and the knowledge of it essential to a just view of the office Christ fills, not only to men but to all his intelligent creatures, is indicated by the extraordinary manner in which it was thus exemplified and proclaimed by God and acknowledged in the chant that followed, by the living creatures and elders, the angelic hosts, and at length all other intelligences through the vast circuit of the universe. How profound was the sense of it that instantly burst from the lips of the living creatures and elders in tlie chant: “Thou art worthy to take the book and to open the seals thereof, for thou wast slain and last redeemed us to God by thy blood, out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; and thou hast made us unto our God kings and priests, and we shall reign on the earth.” What more lofty and emphatic expression can be conceivedl, of the feeling that the prerogative of revealing and executing the purposes of the Godhead respecting our world, could only belong to him who had died for it and had raised them to crowns and sceptres in his kingdom! What can transcend the greatness and significance of the testimony to this truth by the angelic hosts : “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory, and blessing:”-indicating at once their knowledge that the attributes of the deity were requisite to the office of Revealer, and that that office of propriety belonged to him who had assumed the nature of man, died for his expiation, and was to carry into effect the great scheme of redemption throngh eternal ages. And how sublime was the response to this testimony that came back at length from the distant realms of the universe ; indi. cating, that as the knowledge of Christ's person and work was communicated to various orders of intelligent creatures, they were universally to see and feel the propriety of his investiture with the office of Revealer to our world and to them, to which he was thus exalted. This great prerogative thus solemnly proclaimed by the Father himself on the one side, and seen, felt, and celebrated in so impressive a form by the universe of intelligences, must manifestly be of the greatest signiticance, and the knowledge and realization of it by creatures essential to their just understanding and appreciation of Christ's station and work. Were it not, it would not have been asserted, and exemplified, and acknowledged in such a form. The office of these sublime acts of the vision accordingly was, to invest this truth with a dazzling light and impress it on every reader of the pro. phecy with resistless power. A full sight and sense of it are essential to restrain from the presumption to which men are prone. Ilad it been duly felt, usurping priests and monarchs would not have arrogated supreme authority, as they have, over the revelation Christ has made; and interpreters, like Mr. Gascoyne, would not have attempted by arbitrary theories to set aside the true meaning of the prophecy, and substitute the dreams of their disordered fancies in its place. They only who comprehend this lesson, and feel it in the depths of their hearts, are prepared to receive the revelation in becoming submission, and discern and accept its sublime teachings.
Other important truths also are proclaimed by this great vision. It is apparent from the presence of the redeemed and the angelic hosts at the delivery of the book to the Lamb), and the opening of the seals, the sounding of the trumpets, and the other acts that followed, that the revelation was made to them as well as to John, and through him to men. As they, from their lofty intelligence and
freedom from error, must have had a perfect understanding of the principle on which the symbols are used, it is manifest that they had a knowledge at once of the great series of events which were foreshown. And as it was John's office to communicate what he saw to the churches of Asia, and through them to the race, so it was doubtless the office of the living creatures and elders to communicate what they saw to the whole body of the redeemed in heaven, of whom they were the representatives, and the office of the angels to make known what they saw to all the infinite myriads of their order throughout the universe, and all other ranks that are under their sway. That they have that knowledge is implied in the chant of acquiescence and homage that rang back from every intelligence in the divine empire at the delivery to the Lamb of the book in which the revelation was contained, that he might loose its seals and unfold its contents to the universe. And this indicates that the great measures of God's providence over our world, and the awful tragedies of man's wickedness, which are foreshown in the Apocalypse, are acted in the presence of his whole intelligent kingdom, and that the appointments and permissions of this vast tract of ages have ends of the greatest moment that touch his whole empire. For as the angels are continually visiting our world on errands of judgment or mercy, and the redeemed are continually receiving fresh accessions to their numbers from the earth, they are doubtless acquainted at every epoch with the events that take place on the earth, and aware of the point to which the fulfilment of the prophecy has advanced. And what they thus learn is communicated to all. This is seen from the chant at the sounding of the seventh trumpet, chap. xi. 15, the pouring of the vials, xv. 12, and the destruction of Babylon, xix. 1-9, in which the hosts of heaven are exhibited as aware of the whole course of God's administration over the world, and of the coming of Christ—with the attending events—which was immediately to take place.
Every act in this great scene, every assertion of God's rights, every display of his righteousness, every manifistation of his power, wisdom, and grace; and every exemplification of man, revolting or repenting, indulging the impulses of his evil passions, or yielding to the restraining, renewing, and sanctifying influences of the Spirit, thus carries intelligence to all worlds, fills the breast of every unfallen being with awe, trust, submission, and love, and thereby bears them on to loftier and loftier heights of wisdom, holiness, and bliss.
These visions thus fill an office of the greatest appropriateness, necessity, and beauty, as preparatives to the revelation that followed. They show from whom the prophecy proceeded. They indicate the concurrence of the Father and the Son in the revelation. They proclaim Christ's sole right and power to reveal the future of his rule over the earth to men and to angels, and the preclusion of creatures from that office. They show that the revelation was made to the redeemed in heaven, and the angelic hosts, as well as to men on the earth, and that all ranks of intelligenees throughout the universe are spectators of the great scenes that are enacted here. And, finally, they are fitted and designed to impress men with the bumility, awe, submission, and faith which the greatness, supremacy, and glory of God shonld inspire, and which are requisite to a true understanding of the prophecy, and appreciation of the righteousness, wisdom, and love the great scheme it unfolds displays. Had Mr. Gascoyne caught a glimpse of this, he would have been withheld from the revolting misconceptions and misrepresentations into which he has fallen.
ART. II.-DR. BARTH'S TRAVELS AND DISCOVERIES IN
TRAVELS AND DISCOVERIES IN NORTH AND CENTRAL AFRICA,
being a Journal of an Expedition undertaken under the Auspices of H.B.M.'s Government, in the years 1819-1855, by HENRY BARTH, Ph. D., D.C.L., in three volumes. Vol. iii. New York: Harper & Brothers. 1859.
Dr. BARTII relates in his first and second volumes noticed in the Journal two years ago, his journeys and explorations around Lake Tsad, and his discovery of the Benave, the eastern branch of the Niger. In this he narrates his expe