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awful event, and of the general consternation which will seize upon all who are conscions of deserving the anger of their God and SAVIOUR.
6th. The person who was represented to the Apostle's imagination upon a white borse, was undoubtedly the same whom he had before seen as the LORD". He is here described as crowned with many crowns, in token of his universal dominion. The name was written on them, of which no man but himself knew the full import, was, as we afterwards read, the Word of God. This cir. cumstance implies, that there are mysteries in his nature beyond the comprehension of human reason. But by this name men may honour and worship him, and he may also be addressed as King Of KINGS, and LORD OF Lords, since he has doninion over all the kings and princes of the earth, and all the powers of heaven. The sword in his mouth is an emblem of his doctrine, and the rod of iron signifies that he is the executor of the divine wrath. The armies of heaven which followed him denote his faithful servants, their wbite garments denote their innocence and purity.
- 7th. The white throne is a representation of the judgment-seat of CHRIST; the general collection of the dead from the earth, the sea, death, and hell, implies, that the resurrection will be universal. What becomes of the souls of men while they are in a state of separation from their bodies, is not particularly revealed to us; neither is it essential to our salvation to know. It is most agreeable to our idea of their spiritual nature to suppose, that from the time of their departure, they are happy or miserable, according to the lives men have led on earih; and the scripture intimates, that they are re.
* Ece Sect. liii.
served for a still greater portion of happiness or misery, to which they will be consigned when they are again united to
their bodies. The wicked will then be plunged into an, abyss of inconceivable and eternal roin and torment, while the good will follow their blessed Redeemer to those happy regions which, in condescension to the facūlties of the human mind, are in the next extract described as a new heaven and a new earth, in the midst of which God will pitch his tabernacle.
8th. In order to shew, that the Almighty would manifest his glorious presence, and renew all things in the person of his ETERNAL WORD, the vision describes him who sate on the throne, as declaring with the utmost solemnity, that He would make all things new; and, that the Apostle might know him to be the same Divine Being whom he saw in a former vision, he assured him that he was Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end ; that is, He who had existed with the FATHER from all eternity, and who should remain for endless ages unchangeably the same.
How comfortable is our Lord's gracious promise to those who thirst after immortal happiness, and overcome the temptations of the world! How awful his threaten. ings to obstinate sinners !
gth. What a beautiful picture was presented to the imagination of the Apostle, of the happiness of the Saints in heaven +!. “A multitude, consisting of all the wise, the holy, and the just of all nations, ranks, and conditions, joined in one blessed society, each happy in himself, and participating in the felicity of the rest."
« All that is meant by the white robes and palms, we cannot at present understand ; but as they are used among all nations as ensigns of joy and victory, they are ondoubtedly employed here, to represent that distinguished felicity and honour to which human nature shall be then advanced."
By the answer of the Elder we may understand, that there is a state of rest and repose for all who shall
patiently endure tribulation, provided they have "i washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb;' that is, have had recourse to the
grace. “From that blood which was shed for the remission of sins, flow both the atonement of human guilt, and the regeneration of human nature. Human nature had fallen too low to be capable of raising itself; it could not regain its primitive innocence, and was still less capable of raising itself so high as to mingle with Angels. Heaven must either have been covered from our view by perpe. tual darkness, or only beheld from afar as an inaccessible region, if Christ had not interposed ; but now it is open to all who will embrace his Gospel, and faithfully adhere to him."
We further learn from this vision, “ that the mani. festation of the Divine presence shall be a signal for the renovation of all things; when that Sun of Righteousness shall break forth from the cloud which now conceals him, sorrow and sin, and every evil thing shall flee before the brightness of his face: for neither guilt nor misery can remain where God dwells."
10th. This vision intimates, that the triumph of Omnipotence in the establishment of CHRIST's kingdom in heaven, according to his eternal purpose, will excite in the whole church of God (represented here by Elders) the profoundest veneration and gratitude,
nith. This song of triumph is here inserted, because it is a pattern for our own adoration, being suited not only to the angelic host, but to the faithful upon earth. Besides, it teaches us to worship Him who sat upon the throne, as God. The voice from the throne we may consider as that of our blessed Redeemer, who, as Mediator, excites men, by his Gospel and the Holy Spirit, to offer those praises which are through him transmitted to the FATHER. What magnificent ideas are raised in our mind, from the description that follows! an innumerable multitude joining with one voice in the most exalted praise and thanksgiving, and exulting with holy transport and joy for the marriage of the Lamb. By the mar. riage of the Lamh is meant, the reception of the faithful into the heavenly kingdom of the MESSIAH. The fine Linen, which is here called the righteousness of the Saints, we may understand from a former passage, was not clean by nature, but washed in the blood of the Lamb. The marriage-supper of the Lamb, is the felicity prepared in heaven for all who will obey the invitation of the Gospel.
From the Angel's forbidding John to worship him, we learn, that no created being is a proper object of adoration: it would be an act of idolatry to pay that kind of worship to the MESSIAH which the Scriptures suggest to us, unless we had a regard to his union with the FATHER. The Angel on this occasion called himself fellow.servant to the Apostle, and one of his brethren, be. cause he spake by the spirit of prophecy, and was, like other prophets, employed to bear testimony of things relating to the MESSIAH: the spirit of prophecy is called the testimony of Jesus, because all the prophecies, from the very beginning, have a reference to the dispensation of God's grace through him: they first
testified to the world, that GOD would send the Messtan, and served afterwards as witnesses to prove Jesus to be He.
12th. We are here called upon, in the most solemn manner, to observe the contents of the Book of R
Revela. tions; the reason why they claim our particular attention we may gather from the nith extract because they are the true words of God, which shall as surely be ful. filled, as the Prophecies of the Old Testament have been in relation to our blessed Lord's life and ministry on earth.—They are, indeed, in many respects at present obscure, but there are satisfactory explications * of va. rious parts of them, written by learned authors, which, by those who have made themselves well acquainted with such parts of Scripture as relate to Faith and Practice, may be read with pleasure and advantage ; for the Revelations are not given to us as a sealed book, which it is sinful to pry into, but as a repository of pro. phecies, which will become gradually intelligible, as the events to which they refer take place. The time for the completion of some of them was at hard when they were first revealed to St, John, and the same may con. tinue to be said by others, till they are all fully com. pleted. And in respect to our Lord's second coming, though many years and ages may revolve before the end of the world, yet, in one sense, he will quickly come to each individual of the successive generations of mankind; death soon puts a period to our state of probation; after which no opportunities will be afforded us of reforming what has been amiss. If we have polluted our minds with presumptuous sins, we shall then have no means of purifying them : if we are clothed with the righteousness
* Particularly Bishop Hurd.