Imagini ale paginilor
PDF
ePub

made for man's salvation. The third beast, with a face as a man, directs us to behold his infinite wisdom in the plan of universal nature. The fourth beast, like a flying eagle, is a beautiful emblem of that providential care by which the wonderful and extensive whole is preserved and governed.

Verse 8: "And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come." The four beasts had each of them six wings about him. This directs our attention to the amazing speed by which the divine will was accomplished in the six day's work of creation. And they were full of eyes within. This shows the beauty, light, magnificence and harmony which are displayed in the creation—there is no defect, no blemish to be found. "And God saw every thing that he had made; and behold, it was very good."-Gen. 1:31. And they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come. When we consider the amazing works of God, do we not see his great power day and night showing forth his praise ? Is there a man, saint or sinner, who does not by day and night experience his mercy ? Can any man look around him and not see his infinite wisdom, in all seasons, displaying itself? And can any mortal be so insensible as not to see his providential care over the whole of his creation, continually, in the government and preservation of it. As far as our limited conception can extend, is there any thing else that is making this incessant proclamation in praise of the eternal Jehovah beside these four already mentioned ? As to his omniscience and omnipresence, they are not so conspicuous in proclaiming his wonderful and kind works to us, his rational creatures, as is the act by which he condescended to make his abode with us if we abide in his laws.

Verse 9: "And when those beasts give glory, and honor,

and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever,'

Verse 10: "The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying,"

Verse 11: "Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory, and honor, and power; for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created."

It is plain from these three verses, that the true believers, whom I shall here call the offspring of the twenty-four elders, when they contemplate God's wonderful works in their creation or redemption, will prostrate themselves before the throne, and in imitation of the twenty-four elders, render to God that attribute of praise which is so justly due unto him, by saying,

"Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory, and honor, and power; for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created."

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

CHAPTER V.

In the former chapter, the prophet, in the most beautiful and lively figures, exhibited the attributes and perfections of the eternal Jehovah. In this chapter, the amazing extension of God's mercy, in the work of redemption through Jesus Christ, is opened to our view.

Verse 1: “And I saw on the right hand of him that sat on the throne, a book written and on the back side, sealed with seven seals." This book is the revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, and its contents were made known unto his servant John. See chapter I. It was written on the back side, which shows that what was visible, under the Mosaic Law, was insufficient for human happiness. It was written within, which shows that it contained that which would complete it. It was sealed with seven seals. These were to be opened by the Redeemer, who was or dained to show us the way to eternal life, and the wide avenues which lead to sin and death.

Verse 2: "And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and loose the seals thereof ?"

Verse 3: "And no man in heaven, nor in earth, nor under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon."

This strong angel represents the gracious promises made to the Jews concerning the Messiah, who was loudly pro

claimed by all the old prophets. The people believed these promises, and in his coming, and his presence among them. But, alas, they were ignorant that his kingdom was not of this world. They were insensible that his power was from on high, and that no mortal man, be his attainments ever so great, was able to open the book, or even to look thereon.

Verse 4: "And I wept much because no man was found worthy to open, and to read the book, neither to look thereon."

Verse 5: "And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof." John laments his own ignorance. He knew not the Redeemer's efficacy, but he was comforted when he considered the promise. It appears that even the disciples were ignorant of the nature of Christ's spiritual kingdom, until the day of Pentecost. Being then under the Roman dominion, they expected the Lord to appear and restore again the kingdom to Isreal. And he said unto them, it is not given for you to know the time and the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. But ye shall receive power, after the Holy Ghost is come upon you. And ye shall be witnesses unto me, both in Jerusalem and all Judea, and Samaria, and unto the uttermost parts of the earth.-Acts 1: 7, 8.

They were commanded not to depart from out Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father which said he, ye have heard from me.

When that happy day arrived, they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit of Jehovah gave them utterance. They then knew the Mediator's power and advocacy with the Father. They then became new creatures, and experimentally knew that their Lord and Master was to open the seals, and reveal the word of God to man.

Verse 6: "And I beheld, and lo, in the midst of the throne, and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns, and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God, sent forth into all the earth." In this remarkable verse, we have a great variety of considerations. First, the Messiah is represented as a Lamb, not slain, but as if he had been slain; which leads us to behold his glorious resurrection and ascen sion, and that death could have no dominion over him, for, "neither would God suffer his holy one to see corruption." Psalms 16: 10.

Second, It stood in the midst of the throne which shows how high God hath exalted him; for he hath made him a Prince and a Savior.

[ocr errors]

Third, It stood in the midst of the four beasts which may teach us to see the power, wisdom, mercy, and provi dence of God magnified in our redemption.

Fourth, It stood in the midst of the elders, whereby we may behold him as our High Priest and Intercessor, and also his affinity to his saints.

[ocr errors]

Fifth, It has seven horns, and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God, sent forth into all the earth. As God is a Spirit, who fills the universe with his glorious presence, we may in this verse perceive how various his operations are, as it pleased the Father that in Christ all fulness should dwell.-Coll. 1: 19. So here we see that as he came forth from the Father, and came into the world, so he left the world and went to the Father.-See John, 16. It is evident that these precious gifts he fully engaged. As he received them freely, freely he gives to all who truly believe and obey him, and sends, in a measure, these heavenly gifts unto all the earth, to his saints and faithful followers.

Verse 7: "And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne." In this verse God's infinite mercy is powerfully manifested, by the com

« ÎnapoiContinuați »