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God, but also implying that, when kings shall humble themselves, the people shall do so likewise. It is to be remarked that this vision of the ark and those who worshipped there is not limited to a moment of time, but to the whole period from David to the end of the reign of Jeroboam: for, although John saw them at one view as beasts worshipping, and likewise the various persons around, yet it was as the record of their conduct, which he did not perceive until the seals were opened, when each beast was seen to usher in the soul of the person whose character and conduct it represented.

This description of the ark and acceptable mode of worship being concluded, the 5th chapter details the grant of the ark and covenant to the Lamb, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David; for it

appears that, as Saul had not kept the commandments of the Lord, it had been declared that “his kingdom should not continue;" therefore, an angel proclaimed with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the book (covenant) and loose the seals thereof? And no man in heaven or earth was found worthy to open the covenant, neither to look thereon” (ver. 2, 3), on which account John wept, but was consoled by an elder, who informed him that the Root of David had prevailed, and accordingly he beheld a Lamb (ver. 6) placed as it had been slain [emblematical of the crucifixion], " which came [figurative of the resurrection), and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne” (Jesus sitteth at the right hand of God). This appears to be the act and deed recorded in heaven corresponding with that on earth; for God at the same time made a covenant with David, to whom he declared, “thy throne shall be established for ever.”—2 Sam. vii. 16. David, therefore, with all Israel, removed the ark to Jerusalem (ver. 8), and they sung a new song, prepared for the occasion by David, who delivered it into the hand of Asaph (one of the principal singers) and his brethren, in which they gave glory to the Lamb for having redeemed them by his blood, out of every kindred, and tongue, and nation (ver. 9); and for having made them kings and priests unto God (ver. 10); in which all Israel, both saints and sinners, attracted by the influence and presence of David, gave glory to God and the Lamb in

ages

of

ages. ver. 11---14.

The 6th chaptercommences a detail of the consequences of the conduct of David and of the kings and chiefs to whom this covenant descended. Four of these are personally identified, and the mass of the righteous seen by the apostle. It is to be observed, before entering on the detail, that the seals represent the record of the ACTS OF Men, and the trumpets

b

THE DECREES of God connected with those acts; and also that the seal was opened by the Lamb, and the corresponding trumpets sounded at the end of each reign or period to which they refer (at least in vision to John, although their substance, matter, or content, was in continual progress during each period); so that the Lamb having received the covenant, when he had opened six seals, at length unfolds the seventh, when he himself appears—the Redeemer of past and future offences, to those who by faith had depended, or may depend, on his ONE AND ETERNAL SACRIFICE.

When the Lamb opened THE FIRST SEAL, the beast like a Lion said, Come and see. And John looked, and beheld David resting on a pure faith (ch. vi. 2), 'with the crown, or emblem of the eternal kingdom promised to him, on his head, and the bow in his hand, emblematical of the blood he shed, and for which he was not permitted to build the house of the Lord; thus showing that “none are righteous, no not one.” The corresponding TRUMPET SOUNDED, and proclaimed the record of the effect which David's righteousness by faith produced on the people.

When the Lamb had opened the SECOND SEAL (ch. vi. 4) the beast like a calf said, Come and see. And John beheld Solomon resting on a sin-dyed faith, with a great sword [theemblem of wisdom] in his hand, and the consequences and effects of his conduct were recorded. In his days righteousness flourished ; and, through his instrumentality, many were saved. But the trumpet sounding this shows that he continued not to fight the good fight of faith ; for in consequence of the sins of his latter days, when he turned from following the Lord, one-third of those abiding in sin perished. The SECOND TRUMPET sounded (ch. viii. 18), and proclaimed that a great king, burning with holy zeal (Solomon), was cast amidst sin; referring to the answer of God to Solomon's prayer: “I have heard thy prayer and thy supplication that thou hast made before me: I have hallowed this house which thou hast built, to put my name there for ever; and mine eyes and mine heart shall be there perpetually.”— 1 Kings ix. 1–3. And “the third part of sin became life;" referring to the chiefs and people of pagan nations who were converted by his wisdom, as follows:-QUEEN SHEBA, having heard of the fame of Solomon concerning the name of the Lord, and his acts, went to Jerusalem, and, finding that the reality far exceeded her expectations, she said to the king, It was a true report that I heard in mine own land of thine acts and of thy wisdom. Happy are thy men, happy are these thy servants, who stand continually before thee, and who hear thy wisdom. Blessed be the LORD thy God, who delighted in

and see.

thee, to set thee on the throne of Israel. And she gave the king a hundred and twenty talents of gold, and precious stones.--1 Kings x. 6—10. Also PHARAOH, king of Egypt, gave the city of Gaza to Solomon's wife.--1 Kings ix. 16. Also HIRAM, king of Tyre, sent to the king six-score talents of gold.—1 Kings ix. 14. And ALL THE EARTH sought to Solomon, to hear his wisdom, which God had put in his heart. And they brought EVERY MAN his present, vessels of silver, and vessels of gold, and garments, and armour, and spices, horses and mules, a rate year by year. Notwithstanding this, the trumpet concludes by publishing that “a third part of those abiding in sin were destroyed” (ch. viii. 9), which no doubt refers to the sinful conduct of his latter days. When the Lamb had opened the THIRD SEAL (ch. vi. 5), the beast having the appearance of a man said, Come

And John looked, and beheld (Rehoboam) resting on a dead faith, and holding in his hand a yoke, emblematical of the yoke he imposed on the people, when he said, “I will add to your YOKE ; my father chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions;" for which cause Israel rebelled against the house of David unto this day, and made Jeroboam king over them, and none followed the house of David but the tribe of Judah only.”—1 Kings xii.

THE THIRD TRUMPET sounded (ch. viii. 10), and there “fell from heaven a great angel burning as it were a lamp” (figuring that Rehoboam, one of the great lamps of Israel, had departed from his trust), and his name was Wormwood;” referring to the bitterness of Rehoboam's oppression, which was so great that the altar whereat he might have presided in peace was deserted, and idolatry of every kind was substituted for the worship of the true God. When the Lamb had opened THE FOURTH SEAL the beast like unto a flying eagle said, Come and see. Accordingly John looked, and beheld Jeroboam “ hovering over the shadow of faith ; his name was Death, and Hell followed with him, and he assumed an influence which produced discord and hunger, death and idolatry.”-ch. vi. 8. The FOURTH TRUMPET sounded (ch. viii. 12), and it was recorded that the righteous were smitten, the altars of God profaned, and the third part of the holy prophets were darkened [Jeroboam removed the priests the Levites, and filled their office from the lowest classes), and the extent of mischief done was incalculable by human understanding. In consequence of this an angel is seen, with a loud voice proclaiming, Woe, woe, woe, to those abiding in the flesh by reason of the other voices of the trumpets of the three angels, which are yet to sound! thus with a plaintive and threatening tone foretelling the trials that the human race should

saw

undergo in consequence of the conduct of the kings and rulers of this favoured people. [Preserve us, O Lord, from that schism which separates from thee; keep us from new and strange doctrines, which is idolatry. Keep us from self-love and vanity---keep us in humility and simple dependence on thee--keep us ever abiding in Christ Jesus, ever praying for the guidance and teaching of the Holy Spirit.]

When the Lamb opened the FIFTH SEAL John the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and the testimony which they held : crying with a loud voice, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not adjudge and restore our life to them that abide in the flesh ?”—ch. vi. 9, 10; thus supplicating God to save by his grace those who had been polluted by the apostasy of the subjects of Jeroboam, or hurt by the persecutions of Jezebel. “ White robes were given to every one of them,” for this righteous and charitable intercession ; but they were told “ that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellow-servants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.”-ch. vi. 10, 11. This accords with“ Let both grow up together until the harvest: and in the time of the harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them : but gather the wheat into my barn.”—Matt. xiii. 30.

The Fifth TRUMPET sounds (ch. ix. l), and an angel rushed down from heaven, having the key or custody of the idolatrous altar, and rent it, and poured out the ashes, from which arose a smoke, like that of a great furnace, darkening the sun and air. The idolaters then went forth amidst those abiding in the flesh, and they assumed an influence, as the scorpions in the flesh have influence, that is in deterring the sober-minded from following the plain and simple truth of God, by the sting which strange, selfish doctrine, or idolatry, produces ; but they were restrained or withheld from “ infecting the young and tender plants, either the trees” in the vineyard, drawing after them only such as “kept not the seal of God on their foreheads.”—verse 4. Yet such was the persecution of the saints and prophets of the Lord that men sought death and could not find it (verse 6), and desired to die and death fled from them [of these Elias was one-1 Kings xix. 1-10]. “As horses prepared for battle,” they trampled on the worshippers of the true God, and abandoned themselves to the most disgusting abominations ---verse 8. Their prayers were uttered as from throats of iron—the praise of their congregation was as the praise of instruments of war--and they professed many and divers faiths, in which they were instrueted

by their false prophets.--- er. 10. In all these destructive works they were headed and supported by the angel of the bottomless pit (idolatrous altar) Jeroboam [the destroyer], verse 11; for, although he did not live during the whole period which this trumpet announces, yet his principles governed the nation even till the Lord removed it out of his sight, as recorded in 2 Kings xvii. 21–23:—“And Jeroboam drove Israel from following the Lord, and made them sin a great sin. For the children of Israel walked IN ALL THE SINS OF JEROBOAM which he did ; they departed not from them, UNTIL THE LORD REMOVED ISRAEL OUT of his sight, as he had said by all his servants the prophets. So was Israel carried out of their own land to Assyria unto this day.”—THE FIRST WOE IS PASSED.

When the Lamb had opened THE Sixth SEAL (ch. vi. 12), at the beginning of the reign of Josiah, the above idolatrous practices were prevailing in Judah, the altar of God was profaned by idols, and the favoured race of kings had turned themselves from the covenant. This detestable apostasy had previously attained its climax in the reign of Manasseh, when the Lord declared, “I will remove Judah out of my sight as I have removed Israel, and will cut off this city of Jerusalem which I have chosen, and the house of which I said, My name shall be there.”—2 Kings xxiii. 26, 27. The young king, Josiah, was piously disposed, and ordered the temple to be repaired, in which work Hilkiah, the high priest, being zealously engaged, found the book of the Law, which he immediately sent to the king by Shaphan the scribe. The threats contained therein so alarmed Josiah that he rent his clothes (2 Kings xxii. 11), and, having enquired of the Lord for him and the people and all Judah (2 Kings xxii. 13), the Lord said, “My wrath shall be kindled against this place, and sHALL NOT BE QUENCHED; but because thou hast humbled thyself before the Lord when thou heardest what I spoke against this place, and against the inhabitants thereof—that they should become A DESOLATION AND A CURSE, and hast rent thy clothes, and wept before me.--I also have heard thee, saith the Lord; therefore thine eyes shall not see all the evil that I will bring on this place.”—2 Kings xxii. 17, 19, 20. [To avoid digression, John finishes this detail to the destruction of Jerusalem; and in the seventh chapter shows the measures which God had taken for this purpose, but which he only withheld for the sake of Josiah.] This produced “great fear among those abiding in the flesh,and occasioned mental distress to the righteous by whose tears, und prayers, and exertions, the ceremonial worship became life.”---ch. vi. 12. But this attempt to revive the

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