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mission which he gave to his only Son, who bare our infirmities and taught us the way of salvation.
Verse 8: "And when he had taken the book, the four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odors, which are the prayers of saints."
From these words it appears that all the heavenly host concurred and rejoiced in the glorious plan of man's redemption, The twenty-four elders testified their joy on the same occasion. For there is no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus.-Rom. 8: 1. The law hath no dominion over them; they are freely justified through faith in the Redeemer. Therefore they have every one of them harps, which signifies all is joy, all is harmony. They have golden vials full of odors, which the prophet beautifully explains as the prayers of the saints.
Verse 9: "And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof; for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood, out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation ;"
Verse 11: "And hast made us unto our God kings and priests and we shall reign on the earth."
From these words we may see that mankind were relieved from the burden of the ceremonial law. The song now sung was a new one; it was a song of adoration and praise to God for his redeeming love. God was now to be worshipped in spirit and in truth.-John 4: 2, 3. Mercy now becomes so great that it is extended to every kindred, tongue, people and nation. These words also show us the highly exalted state and privilege of every true believer.
Verse 11: " And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne, and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands; "
Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the
Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory, and blessing."
From these words we may, First, Behold the innumerable host of glorified spirits who surround the throne of God. Second, Their joint acclamations of praise for God's redeeming love, and Third, The gifts that the Redeemer was found worthy to receive-which are the seven Spirits so often mentioned in this holy book. These are power, whereby he conquered his and our enemies, and got the victory over death and the grave and trampled Satan's empire under his feet; riches, as he is rich in mercy to all who come to God by him; wisdom, as he is able to make them wise unto salvation; strength, to overcome temptation; honor, to be made heirs with him in the kingdom of heaven; glory, as he enables us to be accepted and made perfect; and blessing, in the enjoyment of God to eternity. Thus we may see what God in mercy has done for the restoration of fallen
In the remainder of this chapter, the whole creation are considered as showing forth God's praise for his great mercy in Christ Jesus. Even the four beasts have given their amen, or assent,
IN the beautiful language of prophecy, the will of God, before it is known, is compared to a sealed book. None in heaven nor in earth, was found worthy to open it, except the Ordained of God, who was mighty to save. He took the book out of the right hand of him who sat on the throne, and made known its contents to man, by first showing him the way to eternal life, and the broad way to eternal misery. Man being a free agent, he holds the reins in his own hands, under the metaphorical figure of a horse; as the rider, he conducts both as he pleases. Or, in other words, it is the principle on which he acts, be it good or evil. If he acts on a principle of purity, he receives divine assistance, and goes on his way rejoicing. But if otherwise, he gallops on his way to certain ruin.
Verse 1: “And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, Come and see.". First, John was an eyewitness to the introduction of the gospel. By its writings we are informed what a noise it spread among the Jews, even like that of thunder. Second, Christ being the power of God unto salvation, that power invites us to come and see.
Verse 2: "And I saw and behold a white horse; and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him ; and he went forth conquering, and to conquer." In this verse we observe, first, white being the emblem of purity,
this rider set out heavenward, on a pure principle. Second, he had a bow, or assistant, to help him in time of need. Third, a crown, as he knew his reward was sure.-2 Tim. 4: 8. He went forth conquering and to conquer for he in grew grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. 2 Peter 3: 18. Our Savior, in his sermon on the mount, assures us that: "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God."-Matt. 5: 8.
Verse 3: "And when he had opened the second seal, I heard the second beast say, Come and see." In this verse, Mercy calls on us to come; but see an evil principle arise, though the way of life lies open to us.
Verse 4: "And there went out another horse that was red; and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword." This verse exhibits a principle very different from the former; this is red, and of a sanguinary and fiery disposition. There was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth; by which we may see the man of pride, ambition, and vain glory, driving on to endless destruction. This evil is not confined to the warrior alone; it extends to all ranks and conditions of men, who are corrupted with it. Spiritual peace is destroyed by it. If the tree is good, so will be its fruit. Evil principles, like trees, when once firmly rooted, increase in strength and stature, and spread bad influences, like branches, and scatter their seeds in all directions, growing from generation to generation. If we confine this principle of evil to war, we shall find that war was not allowed of, among the meek and lowly followers of Christ, in the primitive church. But Christians now view it with studied silence. In the apostles' days, any kind of error introduced was denounced as false doctrine. These errors have since grown into established principles. For instance: that of transub
stantiation Mother of God Supreme head of a church and others. These are a few heads of this evil principle, which deprives the world of peace. Pride and ambition are the very opposite of meekness and humility, so strongly recommended by our Savior.-Matt. 5: 3—5. When we depart from the latter, we fall into the former, and on its impulse, kill one another. But the prophet's conclusion on this subject is very emphatic: And there was given unto him a great sword. A great one, truly. It slays in the cabinet, in the field, in the church, and even among the inferior classes of men. It not only kills the body, but also the soul.
Verse 5: "And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo, a black horse: and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand." The prophet here brings under our consideration another evil principle, which he foresaw would prevail among the professors of Christianity. For when the Lamb had opened this seal, a horse, representing another principle, also opposite the first, appeared. This one was black; the rider pretended that he was pure and holy, though he practiced hypocrisy, covetousness, and deceit. He kept within the bounds of human laws, and appeared righteous before men, for he held the balances in his hand; but, like Belshazzar, when weighed in the balances, was found wanting. See how the scribes and Pharisees were charged with being guilty of this wicked principle, and a woe of condemnation was denounced against them for it.—Matt. 23: 14, 31. In short, this evil principle, with all its accompanying train, would have no bounds, were it not restrained by efficient laws, both divine and human.
Verse 6: "And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny, and see that thou hurt not the oil and the wine." From these words we may see that