« הקודםהמשך »
which was, and is, and is to come. And when those living creatures give glory, and honour, and thanks, to him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever, the four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and wor. ship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory, aid honour, and power: for thou hast created ali things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created," —Rev. iv. «And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, ealed with seven seals. And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and 10 loose the seals thereof ?Rev. v. 1, 2
Not man nor angel can scrutinize the purposes of Jehovah. Infinite wisdom is not to be measured, any more than Almighty power can be withstood ; the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and goodness of God is not to be fathomed; and all futurity lies open to none but the Omniscient. The Book was closed with seven seals; and no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was found to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon. Angels and archangels, who dwell in light, and not in darkness, though swift, as if with six wings, to execute the will of God, and to fulfil the office of his messengers, and though quicksighted in spiritual discernment, and gifted with bright vision, as if full of eyes, to see the works of the Lord, and the wonders he hath done, in a manner compared to which our sight is now as blindness, were yet unequal to the task: and no man in heaven was able to open, to read, to touch, or even to look upon the Book, in which was written the things that shall be hereafter, and which he who sat on the throne of heaven held in his own right hand. “And I wept much," says John, “ because no man was found worthy to open and to read the Book, neither to look thereon. And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the Book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.”—Chap. v. 4, 5.
It pleased the Father that in Christ should all fulness dwell. All things were created by him and for him. All things that the Father hath are his. In him are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. All the angels of God worship him. To him the Father hath given power over all flesh. And he who is the author of nature, the light of the world, the Lord of angels, and the Redeemer of his people, prevailed to open the Book, for He was worthy.-“ And I beheld, and lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, 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. And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne. And when he had taken the Book, the four living beings and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints. 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. And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne, and the living creatures, 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 honour, 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 honour, and glory, and power, he unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb, for ever and ever. And the four living creatures said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever.”—Rev. v. 6—14.
Such-involving a power not possessed by any created being, and a wisdom that passes the ken of angels, and enough, of itself, to call forth the loud hosannahs of the host of heaven,-is the opening of that book, which some, called interpreters, have made the plaything of teir fancy, which many, called Christians, have profaned into a licence for jesting, and which all sceptics have held as the butt of their scorn.-But the word of God standeth sure, like the sun in the heavens, untouched by the clouds that float in our atmosphere, and untainted by the putrid exhalations that rise from the earth.
The brightness of the sun is not extinguished or diminished, though it be hid from our view; but the revolution of the night brings round the day, and the light shines where before there was darkness. And however dark and inexplicable by the human understanding the Book of Revelation may have been, it is no less full of significancy, because we cannot comprehend its meaning, till the revolution of ages shall finally bring to pass all those things of which John saw the image and the end.
The retrospect of past history now shows us a long series of momentous events, since the time of the heavenly vision. Many of the things that were to be, have already been. But as the sun is often obscured with clouds after it has arisen, the darkness comprehends not the light; and from causes inherent in the mind, like mist rising from the earth, our perceptions of God's holy word are often dim and indistinct. There is a veil, a cloud, upon the heart. And the eye of the mind is as tender an organ, and its perception as easily disturbed, as that of the body. And difficult to be comprehended, and darkly to be seen, as are the ways of God, by man, who had lost the knowledge of him who dwelleth in the light, it is not to be wondered at, that men should have missed the meaning of the Revelation of the things that were to be thereafter, till the very things should be accomplished, and the predicted time be come that the judgments of God should be manifest. Observation is the only guide; ingenuity would only deceive. All that the human lips can tell, is to repeat what the Lord hath spoken; and all that the hand of man can do, is to point to the things that have been done upon the earth. And if ever genuine hurnility be a virtue, or proud arrogancy a crime,if ever there be an occasion and a time, as there can never fail to be, for abjuring all vain boasting and rendering unto God the glory, it is with a humble heart, and with a trembling and uplifted hand, that it behoves any erring mortal to enter on the grave, but not hopeless, task of interpreting any portion of that Book, which is the theme of angelic praise, and the Revelation of Jesus Christ.
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 living beings saying, Come and see. And I saw, and behold a white horse, and he that.sat on him had a bous; and a crown was given unto him, and he went forth conquering and to conquer.-Chap. vi. 1, 2.
The scene throughout is laid in heaven; and the things seen were to pass upon the earth. On that night in which he was betrayed, and in his last discourse to his disciples, Jesus said, I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit, when he, the Spirit of Truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you. All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore, said I, he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you. Were any supposition warranted, it might not, from hence, be the most unreasonable to imagine, that in shewing things to come, the fate and interests of his church, which he died to purchase, and lives to purify, would be the first object for Jesus to reveal, and for the apostle to record. In shewing the things that were to be thereafter, as well as those that were, the precedence might well pertain to the things that are Christ's; and the first sign from heaven, might well signify his church. But independent of any such presumption, the figure speaks for itself; and many scriptures shew what it is, and what alone it represents.
On the opening of the first seal, the object seen was immediately in view, and I saw, and behold a WHITE horse. Whatever the symbol might represent, whiteness is the mark appropriated as its own. The term white occurs in seventeen other instances, in the book of revelation, and with the exception of two, descriptive of angelic purity, it can only be applied in every one of them to Christ or to his church. Nor can this be a sole exception: for the same figure, under the same character, or designation, is again introduced, towards the close of the revelation, in a manner that can be descriptive only of Christ and of his church. As the Lord Jesus himself was seen in the vision by the apostle,-his head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow ;*_even as on the mount of transfiguration,