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Rev. v. 9, 10. “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; and hast made us unto our God kings and priests : and we shall reign on the earth.”
There is such harmony, beauty and knowledge, in every part of the word of God, that the bible student, whose heart is interested in the same, has often, while reading, been led to stop and admire the order, wisdom and light which burst upon his enraptured vision, at the unfolding of the figures and truths which until that moment, perhaps, lay in darkness, doubt, and obscurity, and seemed to be wrapt up in a mysterious veil that almost makes the reader quail and come to the conclusion that he is treading on forbidden ground; but, perhaps, in an unexpected moment, the inspired penman, seemingly having anticipated our ignorance or darkness, throws out a spark of that live coal which had touched his lips, and our darkness is dispelled, ignorance vanishes before the fulness of knowledge of the word of God, and we stand reproved and admonished for our stupidity and ignorance in the figures and truths before explained. Our text is a brilliant spark of that fire which is upon the altar between the cherubims, and gives us a clear ray of light to discover the allusion of the figures contained in the fourth and fifth chapter of this book. It is conveyed unto us by way of a chorus, like the angels' song at the birth of our Saviour in Bethlehem of Judea. It explains to us in a divine song what the four beasts are, and gives a key to unlock the mystery of the twenty-four elders, and clearly shows who opens the seals of the book. I shall, in illustrating this subject, inquire 1. Who they were that sung this new song ? II. Show the song and the occasion of it, and III. Speak of the reign and the place where.
the Roman emperors, represented by the calf. The third state of the church was in Constantine's day, when the church enjoyed privileges as a man, and became independent, and like a natural man, proud, avaricious and worldly. The fourth and last state of trial was when the anti-christian beast arose, and under the scourge of this abomination the church having two wings given her, like the wings of an eagle, she flew into the wilderness where a place being prepared for her she is nourished from the face of the serpent a thousand two hundred and three score days. Rev. xii. 6, 14.
This of course would include the whole christian church until Christ's second coming, when anti-Christ will be destroyed, and the church delivered from all her foes, and brought into her New Jerusalem state, where John now sees in his vision the whole family of the redeemed singing the grand chorus as in the verses following our text.
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 thousands and thousands of thousands.” In this vision John has the same view which Daniel had in his vision. See Daniel vii. 10. Daniel saw the same throne, and the same numbers stood before it, which proves, almost beyond a doubt, that Daniel's vision carries us into the eternal, immortal and glorified state ; for John in the next verses carries us into the eternal state of the righteous.
12th verse, “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. And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, blessing, and honor, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb forever and ever. And the four beasts said, amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth forever and ever.” Nothing can be more evident than that John here saw the whole family of the redeemed, as they will be after the first resurrection; for he gives the several situations of every part of the whole family as they actually were, that is, in body or the situation of their bodies at that very time when he was writing, “every creature,” that is in person, in their bodies as they will be after the resurrection. Not all mankind,
forward and believe in the promises of God, and have a view of the glory that shall be revealed at his second coming. With eyes within, they could look into their own hearts and see the remaining corruption and hidden depravity that lies lurking in every corner of the soul, and by this means put off the old man with his deeds. They are represented by John as being praying souls, “and golden vials full of odors, which are the prayers of saints." Every one had these vials, says John. "How then, I ask, can the prayerless man or woman think to join this celestial throng ? « Having every one of them harps,” showing that all of them would have new hearts, be born of God; so they would be enabled to sing in the New Jerusalem state the new song.
These are the characters and persons which John saw represented by the four and twenty elders and the four beasts. I shall now
II. Show what we may understand by the new song and the occasion of it.
The prophet John had been led by the Angel through seven different stages of the church, by the vision of the nystery of the seven stars and seven golden candlesticks, inder the name of the seven churches of Asia, which Jught to be understood symbolically down to the time when the judge stands at the door ready to enter into the supper of the great God, when all wicked flesh will be destroyed, and till the marriage supper of the Lamb arrives, when all the righteous will be raised, enter into the glorified state, and live and reign with him on earth. Then it is perfectly natural that after we had read the history of the church through all her trials, persecutions, and imperfections, we should be led to see her deliverance on the other side of the banks of Jordan, or beyond the power of death, and to hear a part at least of that new song which no man can sing unless he is redeemed from the earth.
In the second and third chapters of Revelation, we have the history of the church, as I have endeavored to show in my lectures on the churches. In the fourth and fifth chapters we have a view of the glorified state, and the characters given of those who will enjoy the privilege of that state, the song which will employ the golden harps, and the place where. The characters I have already given. The song is represented as a new song. It is new because it is sung only in that state where all things are