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and before the four beasts, and which were redeemed from the
begun the prelude on those instru- sing the new song of redeeming love ?
they are virgins. These are being the first-fruits unto God they which follow the Lamb and to the Lamb. whithersoever he goeth. These 5 And in their mouth was were redeemed from among men, found no guile: for they are
go a whoring after their gods, and do of the dependence and gratitude of sacrifice unto their gods, and one call the people. They denoted that the thee, and thou eat of his sacrifice; harvest was ready to be gathered in; and thou take of their daughters unto and it was certainly expected that the thy sons, and their daughters go a whole harvest would be gathered. The whoring after their gods, and make Jewish Christians were “the firstthy sons go a whoring after their fruits unto God and the Lamb,” or, as gods. Thou shalt make thee no St. James says, (i. 18:) “A kind molten gods;" Exodus xxxiv. 14–17. of first-fruits of his creatures.” Jesus, See also Lev. xx. 5, 6; Deut. xxxi. when he rose from the dead, became 16; Psa. lxxiii. 27; Ezk. vi. 9. “the first-fruits of them that slept ;' As the hundred and forty-four thou- 1 Cor. xv. 20, 23; that is, his resursand kept themselves pure from false rection was the proof and pledge of religion and crime, they are said not the subsequent resurrection of all to have been defiled. Follow the men ; for St. Paul so regarded the Lamb. — They are said, too, to have resurrection of Christ. « But now is followed “the Lamb whithersoever Christ risen from the dead, and behe went.” This was a condition of come the first-fruits of them that slept. discipleship. 6. He that taketh not For since by man came death, by his cross, and followeth after me, is man came also the resurrection of the not worthy of me;" Matt. x. 38. dead. For as in Adam all die, even Again : “My sheep hear my voice, so in Christ shall all be made alive;" and I know them; and they follow | 1 Cor. xv. 20—22. We see, then, me ;" John X. 27. | Redeemed from that Christ's resurrection was the among men. — They were redeemed pledge and proof of the resurrection from among men. 6 Ye are bought of all men. He was the first-fruits (says Paul] with a price : therefore from the dead. The early Christians glorify God in your body, and in your were the first-fruits of a general har. spirit, which are God's;" 1 Cor. vi. vest. All the rest of God's moral 20. Thus the believers were re- creation will eventually become what deemed from among men, — they they were. They were the sample and were brought out, made separate, and the pledge of it. For, as Paul says, became a peculiar people zealous of “If ihe first-fruits be holy, the lump good works. The first-fruits unto [i. e., all that remains) is holy;" God and the Lamb. So the Jewish Rom. xi. 16. The first-fruits were Christians were in truth. They were holy, for the revelator testifies, “In the earliest converts to Christ. The their mouth was found no guile; gospel was first preached to the Jews; for they are without fault before the and although the great body of the throne of God.” Such were the firstpeople rejected it, yet some believed fruits; such shall be the general haron the Son of God; and they were, vest. of course, the earliest converts, or 5. No guile. — Guile here is put for " the first-fruits." The figure is a deceit. Blessed is the man (says beautiful The "first-fruits” the Psalmist) unto whom the Lord were certain small portions of the imputeth not iniquity, and in whose harvest, gathered as soon as they spirit there is no guile;" Psa. xxxii. were fully ripe; and they were offered 2. Again: “What man is he that to the Lord, in the temple, as a sign desireth life, and loveth many days, without fault before the throne unto them that dwell on the of God.
earth, and to every nation, and 6 And I saw another angel fly kindred, and tongue, and people, in the midst of heaven, having 7 Saying with a loud voice, the everlasting gospel to preach Fear God, and give glory to
that he may see good ? Keep thy therefore, refers back to viii. 13, tongue from evil, and thy lips from where we read of an angel flying speaking guile. Depart from evil, through the midst of heaven. The and do good; seek peace, and pursue angel mentioned in the verse before it;” Psa. xxxiv. 12–14. When Jesus us, flew in the midst of heaven, and saw Nathanael coming to him, he bence is called another, in reference was struck with his honesty and sin- to the former. [ In the midst of cerity, and said : “Behold an Israelite heaven ; - i. e., he proceeded in the indeed, in whom is no guile!” John most public manner, having the ever. i. 47. But the most remarkable pas- lasting gospel. | Everlasting gospel. sage, and the one which it is the most - The gospel is “an everlasting cov. necessary we should quote in connec- enant, ordered in all things and sure,” tion with this subject, is 1 Pet. ii. 22, 2 Sam. xxiii. 5, and hence is called where, speaking of Jesus, the apostle the “everlasting gospel.” says: “Who did no sin, neither was grass wi:hereth, the flower fadeth: guile found in his mouth.” We have but the word of our God shall stand but little doubt that the Apocalypse forever ;” Isa. xl. 8. | Every nation, was written before the epistle of Pe- and kindred, &c. The gospel having ter, and that Peter had seen it, and been preached to the Jews, and haylearned this phraseology from it. We ing been rejected by the great body have mentioned other instances of of that nation, the apostles turned to Peter apparently quoting from the the Gentiles with the heavenly mes. Apocalypse. † Without fault. sage ; Acts xiii. 46–49; xxviii. 28. Similar_language often occurs in the This preaching the gospel to the GenNew Testament. Zacharias and tiles is described by the angel “havElizabeth “were both righteous be- ing the everlasting gospel to preach fore God, walking in all the com- to them that dwell on the earth, and mandments and ordinances of the to every nation, and kindred, and Lord blameless ;” Luke i. 6. See, tongue, and people.". This must be also, Eph. v. 27; Phil. ii. 15; 2 Pet. intended to describe the preaching of iii. 14; Jude 24. O that Christians Christ to the Gentiles, who were might all live up to these descriptions! called upon to fear God, and give T Before the throne of God. - To do glory to him, for the hour of his judg. a thing before God, or before the ment had come. throne of God, is to do it seriously, 7. Fear God. That is, reverence heartily, solemnly, as if standing in him. Fear does not here signify the very presence of God. To be terror, nor any feeling inconsistent without fault before the throne of God, with the purest worship of God, be. signified to be faultless in the sight cause it is joined with worship, and of God, in his estimation, or judg- with giving glory to God. It is not
“Pure religion and unde- therefore slavish fear; but that true filed before God and the Father,” Jas. filial fear, or reverence, which is the i. 27, means a religion that was pure beginning of wisdom. It is perfectly and undefiled in his sight.
consistent with love; but the holy 6. Another angel. – No angel had passion of love cannot exist towards been spoken of previously in this con- an object which we dread.
« There nection. The word another here, is no fear in love ; but perfect love
him : for the hour of his judg-1 ment is come: and worship him casteth out fear : because fear hath that they should seek the Lord, if
He that feareth, is not haply they might feel after him, and made perfect in love ;” 1 John iv. 18. find him, though he be not far from | The hour of his judgment is come. - every one of us ; for in him we live, Mark the fact, that the hour of his and move, and have our being; as judgment came simultaneously with certain also of your own poets have the preaching of the gospel. The said, For we are also his offspring. same angel that goes out to preach Forasmuch then as we are the offthe everlasting gospel to them that spring of God, we ought not to think dwell on the earth, also proclaims that that the Godhead is like unto gold, or the hour of God's judgment is come ; silver, or stone, graven by art and and at the same time that the judg- man's device. And the times of this ment is come, he calls on men to ignorance God winked at; but now worship God that made heaven and commandeth all men everywhere 10 earth, &c. What judgment can this repent: because he hath appointed a be except the judgment of the world day, in the which he will judge the by Jesus Christ under the gospel world in righteousness, by that man reign? It is referred to in xv. 4: whom he hath ordained : whereof he " Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and hath given assurance unto all men, in glorify thy name? for thou only art that he hath raised him from the holy : for all nations shall come and dead;" Acts xvii. 24–31. There worship before thee; for thy judg. are striking points of resemblance ments are made manifest.” Was there between the passage now quoted and any judgment set up simultaneously the passage we are considering, viz., with the opening of the gospel, or the verses 6, 7. First, observe the subject setting up of Christ's kingdom in the of the preaching of the gospel to the world? Most certainly there was. Gentiles. The angel flying through Let the reader re-peruse what we the midst of heaven is commissioned have said on this subject, xi. 18, and to preach the gospel to “every nation, let him observe carefully what we and kindred, and tongue, and peoshall say on xx. 12, 13. Suffice it to ple ;" ver. 6. Paul says God “comsay, here, that if the sacred writers mandeth all men every where to rereveal any fact with distinctness, it is pent.” Second, observe the fact, that this, viz., that the books were opened | God is announced as the Creator of and that the judgment of the nations all things. The revelator calls on was begun when the kingdom of
“worship him that made Christ commenced. The events were heaven and earth, and the sea, and simultaneous. So Paul, in his address the fountains of waters.” Paul says: to the Athenians, (which we quote,) "God made the world, and all things speaks of the two events as simulta- therein." Third, observe the fact, neous : “God that made the world, that the judgment and the proclamaand all things therein, seeing that he tion of the gospel are joined as it is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth respects time. The revelator says not in temples made with hands; the hour of God's judgment is come, neither is worshipped with men's I in connection with the proclamation hands, as though he needed anything, ) of the gospel,
“God seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, commanded all men everywhere to and all things; and hath made of one repent, [i. e., he said, Repent, for the blood all nations of men for to dwell kingdom of heaven, or the gospel, is on all the face of the earth, and hath at hand,] because he hath appointed determined the times before appointed, a day in the which he will judge the and the bounds of their habitation; I world in righteousness.” Fourth,
that made heaven, and earth, of waters. and the sea, and the fountains 8 And there followed another
observe this judgment is by the Lord I have spoken, the same shall judge Jesus Christ. The revelator repre- him in the last day;" John xii. 48; [or sents it to be under the reign of gospel day, for that is called the last Christ; for it was at the same time day; Isa. ii. 2; Micah iv. 1; 2 Tim. with the proclamation of the ever- ii. 1; Heb. i. 2; 1 Pet. i. 5, 20; lasting gospel; and Paul says God 2 Pet. iii. 3; 1 John ii. 18; Jude 18.) “will judge the world in righteous. In certain cases, where it is said ness by that man whom he hath Christ shall judge men, it means his ordained, whereof he hath given assur- principles shall judge them, Christ ance unto all men, in that he hath being put metaphorically for the prinraised him from the dead.” This is ciples of his gospel, as Moses is put clearly a reference to Jesus Christ ; for the principles of the law. “ There and he said, “For judgment I am is one that accuseth you, even Moses, come into this world ;" John ix. 39. in whom ye trust. For had ye beThe day God had appointed in the lieved Moses, ye would have believed which he would judge the world in me: for he wrote of me. But if ye righteousness by Jesus Christ, was believe not his writings, how shall ye the gospel day, referred to by Paul in believe my words ?” John v. 45–47. the words, “Now is the accepted Here evidently Moses is put for his time, now is the day of salvation ;” principles. He accused the Jews by 2 Cor. vi. 2. Lastly, observe the what he had said in his writings. motive which is advanced in each Again : “They have Moses and the case why men should repent of their prophets ; let them hear them ;” Luke errors and sins, and worship God. xvi. 29. “If they hear not Moses The revelator says: “Fear God, and and the prophets, neither will they be give glory to him, for the hour of his persuaded, though one rose from the judgment is come;" and Paul says: dead ;" 31. Once more : “ For Moses "God commandeth all men every- of old time hath in every city them where to repent, because he hath that preach him, being read in the appointed a day in the which he will synagogues every sabbath-day;" Acts judge the world,” &c. &c. From all xv. 21. It must be evident to all that these facts, there can be no dispute, Moses is here put metaphorically for that both the apostle Paul and the his principles. revelator were speaking of the call to 8. Another angel. - Different from the Gentiles, to turn from their idols, the one mentioned ver. 6. Both their errors and their sins, and wor- these are to be ranked among the ship God, the Creator of all things, angels of proclamation. See our because the hour, or time, of his classification under Rev. v. 2. judgment had come, the time in Babylon is fallen, is fallen. — All the which he would judge men in this power of the dragon, the beast, and world (John ix. 39] by the great prin- the false prophet, was combined to ciples of the gospel of the Lord Jesus arrest the spread of the gospel. But Christ. his judgment is not a per- notwithstanding all they had the sonal judgment; Christ is not visibly power to do, the gospel flourished. present; the mediatorial throne is not The church on mount Zion (viz., the an outward, tangible throne; it is a Jewish converts to Christianity) rejudgment by the principles of Christ, mained firm in their devotion io the which is now going on wherever the Lamb, and the gospel was sent out, gospel is known. " He that rejecteth and prospered wondrously among the me, and receiveth not my words, hath Gentiles. The spread of it could not one that judgeth him; the word that I be arrested. On the other hand, the