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Blessing, and honor, and glory, the Lamb, for ever and ever. and power, be unto him that 14 And the four beasts said, sitteth upon
the throne, and unto Amen. And the four and twenty
the earth, is a common periphrasis of to teach any particular theological the Hebrew and New Testament wri- tenet. It was not the design he had ters for the UNIVERSE, (ta pan, or in view. He was seeking to show ta panta, the ALL, the WHOLE.)” the praise of which Christ was wor. But further, when John is speaking thy; and he represented all beings in of those redeemed on earth, he says the universe, especially those who they came "Out of every kindred, had been, and who were to be, reand tongue, and people, and nation ; deemed by him, as joining in his ver. 9. But not so here in ver. 13. praise. One can scarcely conceive There is no reference made to the why he should have done this, why OUT OF; the WHOLE (to. panta) are he should have used the expressive represented as praising God and the language he employed to represent Lamb. Mark the language : “Every all intelligent beings, if he had becreature which is in heaven, and on lieved, as some Christians in this day the earth, and under the earth, and do, that a large portion of those for such as are in the sea, and ALL THAT whom Jesus died will never, either ARE IN THEM, [there is an intentional in time or eternity, receive any benavoiding of the out of,] heard I say. efit from his mission. Supposing the ing, Blessing, and honor," &c., &c. revelator to have entertained the
Why should John summon less opinions of the Calvinistic divines, than all intelligent beings? Can any is it probable that he would have reason be assigned? Would his plan used the language which he did use? have been rendered any more perfect if they were engaged in a work by summoning a part only of the of the imagination, to describe the human race? Those who maintain honor that Jesus shall receive, would that his language had respect to a they summon all intelligent beings, part only, ought to feel themselves without distinction, and represent able to establish the following three them all as joining in ascriptions of points: First, they should show, that praise to Christ? It is highly im. the language employed by John was probable. It seems to us very unreasuch as a man would naturally use sonable to suppose that the revelator in speaking of a part of the human did not intend to embrace all intellirace. Second, they should show, that gent beings in his description; the for a part to be called on to praise whole form and force of his language Christ, and not the whole, was more tend to show that he did mean to consistent with the plan which John embrace them all. then had in his mind, than if the 14. The four beasts said, Amen. whole had been thus called on. And They responded most devoutly to the who will undertake that ? Third, worship rendered by every intelligent they should show, that for a part to creature. [ Four and twenty elders be called on, and not the whole, was fell down, &c. This is the conclu. more consistent with the character of sion of the grand scene which the the Lamb of God, and the objects for revelator's fancy had conceived. All which he labored as the mediator heaven and earth, indeed the whole between God and men, than if the universe, are described as worshipwhole had been thus called on. We ping, in the most devout and solemn do not suppose, that John's purpose in manner, him that liveth forever and the passage we have considered was ever. Liveth forever and ever.
elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth for ever and
opened one of the seals,
This phraseology may be applied to first voice which I heard, was as it were the Father or the Son. In this case, of a trumpet talking with me ; which we think Jesus was intended.
said, Come up hither, and I will show
thee things which must be hereafter ;"! CHAPTER VI.
iv. 1. The whole of the fourth and
fifth chapters are taken up with In the fifth chapter we had an John's imaginary description of the account of the book sealed with seven dwelling-place of God, the court of seals, (ver. 1,) which the Lion of the heaven, the appearance of the Lamb, tribe of Juda (viz., Jesus Christ) the praise rendered to him, &c. &c.; “prevailed to open, and to loose the so that it is not until we come to the seven seals thereof;" ver. 5. In the sixth chapter, that we find the de. chapter before us, we have an account scription of the things that were to be of the opening of the seals, and of the hereafter. They were future in the events which were revealed thereby. time of John ; but yet not far distant. There is, however, this exception, that They were “shortly to come to pass.” after the opening of the sixth seal the We have said that we have now events described in all the seventh come to the prophetical part of the chapter took place, and the opening Apocalypse. It is a prophecy in the of the seventh seal is not made known form of allegory, like that of Daniel. until we come to the eighth chapter, And there is one remarkable fact, ver. 1. The whole account, it must which ought to be most deeply imbe remembered, is allegorical. By pressed upon the reader's mind, viz., the opening of the seals, one after that the facts disclosed in this section the oiher, is intended, we think, the of the Apocalypse are the main or making known of the events to the principal facts which were disclosed revelator. He was permitted to by our Lord in his memorable proph“come and see” what was “shortly ecy of the destruction of Jerusalem, to come to pass.” As he had been recorded by Matthew, Mark and previously ignorant of these events, Luke, but most fully by the first the book in which they were said to named. The revelator scarcely re. be written was a sealed book to him. cords a fact, in regard to the destrucThe contents were hidden; and the tion of Jerusalem, which may not be events being then future, no man found in our Lord's prophecy The could reveal them, — no man could style is different, although our Lord break the seals, - no one could do it did not neglect, in his description, except the Son of God. The time the use of metaphor. The revelator, had come for breaking the seals, and however, carries the metaphorical for making the events known. We style much further ; it spreads into are now to proceed to the description the allegorical, in his hands; and his of the things future, -- the prophetical images are to be ranked among the parts of the Apocalypse. In i. 19, boldest and loftiest ever conceived. John was directed as follows: "Write To show how strictly he followed our the things which thou hast seen, and Lord's prophecy, let us take notice of the things which are, and the things the events which our Lord foretold. which shall be hereafter." At the These events were as follows: beginning of chap. iv. the revelator 1st. The PREACHING OF THE GOSPEL, said, “ After this I looked, and behold, and its prevalence among all nations. a door was opened in heaven; and the I" And this Gospel of the kingdom
and I heard, as it were the noise 2 And I saw, and behold, of thunder, one of the four beasts, white horse: and he that sat on saying, Come and see.
him had a bow; and a crown shall be preached in all the world for metaphors. The horse is a noble a witness unto all nations, and then animal, and was employed by the shall the end come;": Matt. xxiv. 14. ancients, as well as the moderns, in
20. Wars. “And when ye shall war. Job's description of the war. hear of wars and rumors of wars, see horse (in the 39th chapter) is highly that ye be not troubled; for all these poetical, and of great power. A man things must come to pass, but the starting on any expedition, in the end is not yet ;" Matt. xxiv. 6. days of the revelator, would most 3d. Famines; and,
probably take a horse to ride upon; 4th. Pestilence. « And there shall and hence the going forth of a horse be famines, and pestilences, and represented the commencement of an earthquakes in divers places ;” Matt. expedition, and its progress in the xxiv. 7.
world. John, perhaps, obtained the 5th. The darkening of the sun and metaphors of his four horses from moon, and the stars falling from heaven, Zech. i. and vi. In the latter chapter &c., &c.; Matt. xxiv. 29, 30.
the phet has four horses, of differAs we progress in our examination ent colors, to represent different expeof the chapter before us, it will be ditions. The nature of the expedi. seen whether these are the subjects tion, whether it be for good or for which are treated of therein.
evil, is to be determined by the color 1. I saw. - The revelator's vision of the horse. White being the sym. still continued. [ The Lamb. — He bol of joy, felicity and prosperity, and saw the Lamb open one of the seals. white horses being used by victors on The Lamb had prevailed to open the their days of triumph, are the symbol seals; i. e., he had obtained power to of certain victory and great triumph do it, and he had made it manifest upon that account. He that sat on that he had that power; v. 7, 8. him. — Who it is rides on the white T One of the seven seals. He opened horse of the Apocalypse, may be one of the seven seals, and John learned by consulting Rev. xix. 11heard a voice, like as of thunder, 16: “And I saw heaven opened, and which was that of one of the four liv- behold, a white horse ; and he that ing creatures, (Rev. iv. 6,) saying to sat upon him was called Faithful and him, “Come and see ;" i. e., there is True, and in righteousness he doth something further for thee to know.judge and make war. His eyes were Thunder, by a very natural meta- as a flame of fire, and on his head phor, was regarded by the ancients as were many crowns; and he had a the voice of God. See John xii. 28, name written, that no man knew but 29. The sound thereof comes from he himself. And he was clothed with heaven; it is full of majesty; and a vesture dipped in blood : and his we know of noting on which men name is called The Word of God. might more radily fix as a repre. And the armies which were in heav. sentative of wod's voice, than this. en followed him upon white horses,
2. A white horse. — John, in this clothed in fine linen, white and clean. connection, introduces four horses, And out of his mouth goeth a sharp whose colors were white, red, black, sword, that with it he should smite and pale; verses 2, 4, 5, 8. We shall the nations : and he shall rule them proceed to ascertain what these four with a rod of iron : and he treadeth horses represent; and we shall follow the wine-press of the fierceness and the laws by which we ought to be wrath of Almighty God. And he governed, in interpreting scriptural | hath on his vesture and on his thigh
was given unto him: and he the earth, and that they should went forth conquering, and to kill one another: and there was conquer.
given unto him a great sword. 3 And when he had opened 5 And when he had opened the second seal, I heard the the third seal, I heard the third second beast say, Come and see. beast say, Come and see. And
4 And there went out an- I beheld, and lo, a black horse ; other horse that was red: and and he that sat on him had a power was given to him that pair of balances in his hand. sat thereon to take peace from 6 And I heard a voice in the a name written, KING OF KINGS, to take peace from the earth. This is AND LORD OF LORDS." The certainly the metaphor for WAR. “ word of God” is precisely what Hence it is said, “They shall kill John called Jesus; Gospel i. 1; 1 one another; and there was given Epis. v. 7. It was Jesus, then, who unto him a great sword,” showing us sat on the white horse ; and he had a the second particular which we have bow, the sign of strength and vic- proved was mentioned in Matt. xxiv., tory, and a crown, the sign of roy- viz., war. [Take peace from the earth, alty. And he went forth in his king- or from the land.- Here, not the whole dom, conquering and to conquer. See earth, but the land of Palestine, is Psa. xlv. 3–7. Here is described specially denoted, which was entirely the introduction of the kingdom of overrun with war in a few vears after Christ, and the establishment of the the Apocalypse was written, agree. Gospel among men. Jesus rides ably to the prophecy of our Lord; forth as King of Zion, with the sign Matt. xxiv. 6. of power, royalty, and victory. This, 5. Third seal. – When the third then, being descriptive of the going | section of the roll, or third seal, was forth of Jesus as King in Zion, and unfolded, the third beast said, “Come the progress of his kingdom in the and see." There is a symmetry preworld, agrees with one of the signs served here; the first beast speaks which Jesus said should precede the of :he opening of the first seal, the destruction of Jerusalem. " And this second of the next, and so on. And gospel of the kingdom shall be what did he see ?'T A black horse. preached in all the world, for a wit- Black is the sign of affliction, disaster ness unto all nations; and then shall and anguish. The object of the rev. the end come;" Matt. xxiv. 14. elator was to represent famine. But
3. Second seal. — The opening of no color would exactly represent the second seal called out a remark that; and therefore the usual color from the second beast; and he, like for dismay and mourning was sethe first, said to the revelator, “Come lected. But to make the metaphor and see." Another sheet was un- the more definite, the rider, upon the rolled, and the revelator saw further horse, bears a sign in his hand. TA signs.
pair of balances.
And what do these 4. Horse that was rel. - After hav- represent ? Everyone knows that ing described the introduction and balances are used wherewith to assuccess of the gospel, (mentioned in certain the weight of any article ; Matt. xxiv. 14,) the revelator saw, on we shall discover, in the next verse, the opening of the second seal, an- that the balances were the sign of otherhorse, not white, but red, the scarcity. sign of blood and slaughter. 'And 6. À voice. - Some voice came power was given him who sat thereon from among the four beasts. TA
and We quote
midst of the four beasts say, A (the fourth seal, I heard the voice measure of wheat for a penny, of the fourth heast say, Come and three measures of barley for and see. a penny; and see thou hurt not 8 And I looked, and behold, a the oil and the wine.
pale hørse : and his name that 7 And when he had opened sat on him was Death, and hell measure of wheat for a penny. - Gro- seals there was no beast to respond, the tius and others have observed, that a whole four having been consecutively chanix of corn, the measure here brought forward. mentioned, was a man's daily allow- 8. A pale horse. There seems to ance, as a penny was his daily wages; be a reference here to Ezek. xiv. 21, so that if his daily labor could earn where the prophet speaks of God no more than his daily bread, with sending fourscore judgments upon out other provision for himselt' or his Jerusalem, viz., “the sword, and the family, corn must needs bear a very famine, and the noisome beast, and high price. But whatever may be the pestilence, to cut off from it man the capacity of the chænir, which is and beast.” Paleness is the sign of difficult to be determined, as it was weakness, sickness, fainting. [Name different in different times and coun- | that sat on him was Death. tries, yet such care and such regula- again Dr. Hammond : “ It was a pale tions about the necessaries of life horse and a rider thereon, signifying imply some want and scarcity of great death or mortality, whether them. Scarcity obligeth men to ex- by extraordinary ways of death, the actness in the price and measure of sword and famine, or by that ordi. things. In short, the intent of the nary known way of pestilence, fol. prophecy is, that corn should be pro- lowing (as it ordinarily doth) upon vided for the people, but it should be these two, and sweeping away many, distributed in exact measure and And these three horses, in the last proportion. — (Bishop Newton.) See three rolls, that is sword, famine, Whittemore on the Parables, p. 261, and death, or pestilence, (all named for further information on these sub- together in this matter, Mait. xxiv. 7,) jects.
See also Campbell on Gos., should destroy the fourth part of the Dis. viii., p. i., sec. 4. Dr. Hammond land of Judea, men and beasts, or says, “ The scarcity of corn is such, else should make such a vastation that the price of a man's day's labor that the wild beasts should increase, will buy no more than is wont to be and be too strong for the inhabitants thought sufficient for a man's food in there. And all this but a forerunner a day; and if he eats that all himself, of the far greater destructions that there is nothing left to provide for should afterwards be wrought among wife and children,” &c. &c. Wheat, them at the siege of Titus.” So far barley, oil and wine, were with the Dr. Hammond. | Hell followed with eastern nations of antiquity the chiei him. — The word here translated hell supports of life. Here, then, we have occurs in the Apocalypse four times; a description of FAMINE, which was i. 18; vi. 8; xx. 13. 14. In all these mentioned in Matt. xxiv. as one of cases it is associated with death. the signs preceding the destruction The expression is particularly strong of Jerusalem.
in the verse before us, “bell followed 7. Fourth seal. Here is the same with him.” Under the two preced. symmetry as before ; the fourth beast ing seals, the revelator had described gives out the invitation at the open- war and famine, fruitful sources of ing of the fourth seal, “Come and death. His object in the metaphor
At the opening of the other we are considering was to show how