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to be honoured and worshipped in a double capacity as God and the MESSIAH. To prove this, it will be ne. cessary to examine what is implied by the symbols of which the vision is composed.
He who sat on the throne was the LORD or DIVINE WORD *, the brightness of his Father's glory, and the express image of his person. The four beasts, sym. bols of strength, courage, vigour, firmness, patience, perseverance, intelligence, activity, &c. represent according to prophetic language, the angelic natures. The four and twenty Elders seem to signify the ministers or church of GOD.-The seuled book, the secret decrees and purposes of God respecting the salvation of mankind. This book is described as impenetrable, so that neither, men nor the highest order of angels could unfold it. But Prophecy represented by an Elder gave hopes, that an excellent person of the family of David, described in a revelation made to the patriarch Jacob under the symbol of a Lion, to represent his invincible strength and fortitude, would conquer this difficulty.--At length this illustrious per, sonage presents himself before the throne, standing in the midst between it and the surrounding multitudes, not indeed like a Lion (for that symbol referred to ano. ther circumstance of his character), but like a LAMB which had been slain for sacrifice, of a very uncommon form, having seven horns and seven eyes, instead of two, as tokens of the wonderful degree of divine knowledge and energy which he possessed. On his advancing to the throne, the book was delivered to him by the glori. ous person who sat thereon, on which the heavenly host and the elders, or church of God, discovered that he, who on earth was called the Lamb of GOD, was appointed to make known the secret decrees of infinite wisdom and mercy, and that he was worthy to be a partaker of the worship paid to Him who sat on the throne ; they theres fore composed a new song, such as had never been sung in heaven nor on earth, in honour of the MeśSIAH, cal. culated not only for the angelic hosts and glorified spirits, but for every individual of the human race en earth, . in all future ages of the world.
* Heb. iii. I.
Though all this was represented in an imaginary scene, it conveys a lively and just idea of the Gospel Dispensation, and teaches us how to pay our adorations to CHRIST:
In the first place, we must worship him as the visible representative of GoD THE FATHER, and as the Exea cutor of the Divine Will to all created beings; by whom God made the world and all things in it, by whom God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, and sanctifying the MessiAH, that he might be worthy to offer hiinself as a sacrifice of atonement for the sins of the world.
We must also honour the LORD as the Messiar, be. cause, on account of his perfect obedience to the Divine Will; CHRIST is esteemed by the FATHER as worthy to be called his Son, and to partake of the adoration paid to the LORD (his WO'R 1)) to whom he was essentially united. And He justly demands our utmost gratitude and warmest thanksgivings, because he offered himself in our stead, and has washed us from our sins 'in bis blood; by which we are sanctified in the sight of GOD THE FATHER, who will accept us as a nation of priests, à holy people, for the sake of his merits, if we will be faithful and obedient, and make his Gospel the rule of our actions. Therefore with angels and arch-angels, and all the
company of heaven, let us laud and magnify the name of our blessed Redeemer, who is gone up on high, who has led captivity captive! evermore praising him and saying,
We ascribe to thee, O Lord, blessing, and honour, and glory, and power; for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.
Thou art worthy, O LAMB OF God, to receive divine power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing; for thou hast by thy perfect obedience made thyseif acceptable to THE FATHER, sanctified us by thy blood, and redeemed us from eternal death.
Glory and power be unto Him that sitteth on the throne of the infinite, invisible, incomprehensible God, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever * !
I think it must clearly appear to you, that this kind of adoration of the Son is perfectly consistent with the worship of the Father, and that the Father is ho. noured in the Son.
We will now see how the Apostles proceeded to act after their Lord's ascension.
THE DISCIPLES, ELECT ANOTHER APOSTLE IN THE
ROOM OF JUDAS ISCARIOT.
From Acts, Chap. i.
* The former part of the 1st chap. of St. John's Gospel, and the ist chap. of St. Paul's Epistle to the Hebrews, will, is read in this place, throw great light on the Prophecies and Revelations côn : tained in the two foregoing sections, and illustrate the doctrine here attempted to be inculcated. VOL. VI.
heaven) Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples, and said (the number of the names together were about an hundred and twenty),
Men and brethren, This scripture must needs have been fulfilled which the Holy Ghost by the mouth of David spoke before concerning Judas, who was guide to them that took Jesus.
For he was numbered with us, and had obtained part of this ministry.
Now this man purchased a field with the reward of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out.
And ii was known unto all the dwellers at Jerusalem: insomuch as that field is called in their proper tongue, Aceldama, that is to say, The field of blood.
For it is written in the book of Psalms, Let his habi. tation be desolate, and let no man dwell therein: and his bishopric let another take.
Wherefore of these men who have companied with us all the time that the LORD JESUs went in and out 1700ng us,
Beginning froin the baptism of John unto that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection.
And they appointed two, Joseph called Barsabas, who is surnained Justus, and Matthias,
And they prayed, and said, Thou, LORD, which knowest the hearts of all inen, shew whether of these two thou hast chosen,
That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place. And they gave forth their lots; and the log fell
apon Matthias, and he was numbered with the eleren? -apostles
ANNOTATIONS AND REFLECTIONS. The Apostles were originally ordained twelve, with a view, as is supposed, to the twelve tribes of Israel; and our Saviour informed them, that there were twelve thrones designed for them in heaven. As the matter was known to the world, the loss of one might have brought discredit upon the society; and it is likely, that amongst the things pertaining to the kingdom of GoDy on which our Lord discoursed with his disciples before his ascen. sion, he might direct them to fill up the vacancy. Peter therefore assembled a number of persons for the purpose, and thus began the Christian Church, of which our LORD prophesied that Peter should lay the foundation, CHRIST himself being the corner-stone..
In mentioning the perfidy of Judas, Peter remarked, that David had foretold this circumstance; and that it might also be collected from the Psalms, what destruc, tion wouid fall on so treacherous a person, what ignominy would blot his character, and the evil consequences which the crime of the apostate would occasion to his family t; part of these predictions the Apostles had seen remarkably fulfilled in the tragical end of Judas, and the appropriation of the sum he had so infamously ac. quired, to a purpose which would perpetuate the remembrance of his crime ; for the name of the field that was
* Note, The History of the Acts of the Apostles is attributed to St. Luke the Evangelist : it is supposed to have been written about the 03d year of the Christianæra, and may be considered as a continuation of his Gospel. Many of the first Chriscian writers bear testimony to its being genuine.
See Psalm cix.