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lation, observing that “the minds of Christians serve “as altars, whence incense is truly and intelligibly " wafted to heaven, namely, prayers from a pure con“science;” which are the prayers of the saints. But as prayers, under the old covenant, could be offered only by the priests * ; so, under the new dispensation, they are accepted only through the intercession of the great High Priest and Mediator, for whose mediatorial presentation they seem deposited with the elders of the church t, these prayers and praises, (for the word TogEUXn implies both,) ascend to God, as incense, in the following hymns.
Ver. 9. A new song.] The covenant through Christ, and every thing appertaining to it, is called new in Scripture; of which, innumerable instances may be seen in the concordances, under the word new. In the passage now before us, is disclosed the mystery of the Son of God appearing to suffer as a victim ; a mystery ordained before the foundation of the world, yet revealed only in the latter times $; which patriarchs and prophets saw but imperfectly, and angels themselves " desired to look into $." It was wonderful and new, and the surprising benefits of it were extended beyond earth, “ to things in heaven ||." It is therefore celebrated in heaven, before its progress on earth is foreshewn; and by “a new song." This song is a hymn to the Redeemer, in which all, creation joins. The cherubim, as before, begin the
Numb, xvi. 40. 7 At the dedication of the tabernacle, the twelve elders or princes of Israel offered each of them a golden spoon, full of incense. Numb. vii. 10. 14. Daubuz.
Matt. xiii. 35. 1 Pet. i. 20. şi Pet, i. 12. I Tim. jii. 16. 1 Cor. iv. 9. 11 Eph. i. 10.
song; the elders unite their voices, their harps, and their incense. Such praises we now sing to Christ, in the ancient hymn called Te Deum. Such were sung in the early ages of the church, in the times immediately following those of this vision; whereof the younger Pliny gives testimony in his famous letter to Trajan*. Such were sung in the succeeding times of Origent. Such also in the days of Eusebius, who deduces the worship of Christ from the Hymns and Psalms of the Old Testament, through all the venerable fathers of the church, to his own times I. :
Ver. 10. Kings and priests.] See note, chap. i. 6. ETI Tūs vũs is not over the earth, but upon the earth, in which sense it is used continually. This proinise is fulfilled in chap. xx. 6. xxii. 5.
Ver. 11. Myriads.] So, an “ innumerable com“pany of angels,” in Heb. xii. 22; and in chap. i. 6. . all the angels of God are commanded to worship him. The appearance of this innumerable company, in addition to the heavenly band, is sudden, as described also in Luke ii. 14.
Ver. 13. Every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, aud under the earth, and on the sea, &c.] That is, the whole creation ; for it is frequently enumerated, under this fourfold division by the sacred writers g.
Ib. The praise and the honour.] The common translation leaving out the article, which is expressed in the Greek, in this and other passages, has not attained the sense of the original, which implies not only that praise, honour, power, should be ascribed
* Plinii Epist. lib. x. 17. + Cont. Cels. p. 422.
1 Eccl. Hist. lib. v. cxxviii. His expression is grand : toy Aggyon Tv Ott, toy Xgrolor, ivršos beodoryžoles.
$ Exod. XX. 4. 11. Ps. xxxv. 6. Phil. ii. 10.
. to God, and to the Redemer, in a general sense, but the particular and supreme praise, and the honour, and the power, which have been claimed by other gods “ which are no gods,” (Isai. xvii. 19.) and by men, (like Herod in Acts xii. 22, 23.) but which belong solely to the God of Heaven.
CHAP. vi. ver. 1-2. 1 Kai aidox, öte mvuče si And I saw when the | 1 And I saw when the
tò ágvíov uían ix Lamb opened one of | Lamb opened one of των επία σφραγί the seven seals; and the seals, and I heard, &wv, xj nxeox éros I heard one of the four as it were the noise of εκ των τεσσάρων living - creatures say- | thunder, one of the Siwy, aérola, as ing, as a voice of four beasts, saying,
pam Reorins "Eę thunder, “ Come and 2 Come, and see. And 2 xx xj Baéte. Kai 2 “ see;" And I saw, I saw, and behold, a
sidor, rj idd FTQ and lo! a white horse; white horse; and he deuxós, xj ó xa and he that sat upon that sat on bim had a Ghussa ir' add him having a bow; bow, and a crown was έχων τόξον και εδόθη and a crown was given given unto him, and xvrò sácara, rj unto him: and he he went fortli conIgnade vixão, rj iva went forth conquer quering, and to conyoxhen.
ing, and for to con quer.
• Ver. 1. As a voice of thunder.] The voice of the Lord from heaven is frequently spoken of as “a great, " a terrible, a glorious voice; even a voice of thun
" der *.”. Of this kind was the voice from heaven, described in John xii. 28. promising glorification to the name of Jesus; when some of the auditors said, that “it thundered, others that an angel spake to “him.”. Such also are the voices of the cherubim, of the near attendants upon the throne . Such was the voice of those heavenly ministers in Isaiah's vision; when “the posts at the door of the temple “moved at the voice of him that cried I." This awful voice from the throne is in other passages described as the “ voice of many waters.” And both these : images are brought together, to express the same :
idea; “ as the voice of many waters, as the voice of .. • “many thunders g.”
Ib. Come and see.] This invitation, proceeding from the cherubim, who surrounded the throne, and are close to the place of exhibition, seems to shew that the prophet is to be favoured with a near inspection of the images of future things. The call is repeated at the opening of every one of the four first seals, and not afterwards; which seems to signify that these four seals, like the four sides of the throne," each of which is guarded by a cherub, will be found to form of themselves an entire and and compact history. As the Lamb breaks the seat of each separate toll, the sheet, thus set at liberty, unfolds, 6 and discovers in a kind of painted delineation, (for how otherwise could the colours be known?) the four : horses in succession.
is : 2. Lo! a white horse.] The horse is: a noble animal, by the eastern nations used principally in war; : ..Ps. xvii. 13. xlvi. 6. lxxvii. is. ciú
***** See note, ch, v, 6. ; Is. vi? 4. & Rov. xix. 6."14 Il See note, on number four, cb. iv. 6. , .
so that in Scripture a horseman and a warrior are synonymous terms*. The description of the warhorse, in the book of Job, is highly poetical and sublime f. The white horse is a war-horse, for he carries his rider “to conquer.” In a vision of the prophet Zechariah, (chap. i.) a person is seen "riding on “a red horse, (muggos, fire-coloured,) and behind him “ were there red horses, speckled and white.” These appear, in the sequel, to represent the progress of heavely angels, in military array, sent forth through the natious, at the time of the Jewish captivity. The red horses, which lead the array, portend war and slaughter, such as had preceded the captivity. The white horses concluding the procession, denote, as the context shews I, the peace and happiness which were to follow. The speckled or parti-coloured horses were to express the intermediate transition. In the sixth chapter of the same prophecy, there is a similar exhibition of four chariots, drawn by red, by black, by white, and by parţi-coloured horses; which are explained to be “the four Spirits of the heavens, * which go forth from the Lord.” And they go forth for the same purpose; “ the black horses, denoting “mourning and woe, go forth to the north country,” to Babylon, where the Jews were then in bondage: but “ the white go forth after them;" the deliverance of the Jews, the restoration of their temple and religion followed under the victorious Cyrus. From this view of the application of the Scriptural imagery we may collect, that a man on horseback, exhibited in divine vision, denotes the going forth of some power in military array divinely commissioned, to effect changes upon the earth; and that the character of the change
• Jer, 1. 42. vi. 22. vii. 16.
+ Job xxxix. 19-26.