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will go in the strength of the Lord God, I will make mention of thy righteousness, even of thine only.”
Thus, then, we have seen some little of the character, comforts, and duties of the people of God. Their character : they have come out from the world, and are pilgrims through earth to a rest in heaven. Their comforts: they have the promises of a true, and unchangeable God, a God that cannot lie, for the ground of their hope. Their duties : being so sustained by everlasting love and; faithfulness, to acknowledge how good, and how true, is the God of their salvation, and to honor Him still, by implicit faith in all the word which He has spoken.
The Lord enable you, my Christian brethren, to take the comforts, and to maintain the duties, of your high calling. And then, how blessed the prospect of a time, when all the Church of God shall stand, like as Israel stood, when the words of our text were spoken to them, actually in possession of their promised land; all their trials over ; Jordan itself, even though with overflowing banks, safely passed ; the whole assembly of redeemed souls securely gathered into their Canaan of celestial joy.
What a glorious period will it be! Then indeed may the appeal be made, “Ye know in all your hearts, and in all your souls, that not one thing hath failed you :” and O how glad, how solemn, how thankful, shall be the response, “Salvation to our God, which sitteth on the
throne, and to the Lamb, for ever and ever. 'All glory to the power, and love, and faithfulness, that brought us in security to this good land. All praise to Him whose word, so gracious and so true, we rested on, and ever found it good; and now his promises are all fulfilled in our everlasting joy.
When that strain of praise and triumph shall be raised, God grant, beloved, that you and I may be there to swell the song!
REVELATIONS XXI. 5, 6.
AND HE THAT SAT UPON THE THRONE SAID, Behold I
MAKE ALL THINGS NEW. AND HE SAID UNTO ME, WRITE, FOR THESE WORDS ARE TRUE AND FAITHFUL. And He SAID UNTO ME, IT IS DONE. I AM ALPHA AND OMEGA, THE BEGINNING AND THE END. I WILL GIVE UNTO HIM THAT IS ATHIRST OF THE FOUNTAIN OF THE WATER OP LIFE FREELY.
And who is it that speaks in terms so august, and at the same time terms so gracious? It is the Lord Jesus Christ. He speaks from heaven. Brethren, let us lend an attentive ear to this his voice of majesty and mercy, conveyed to us by the inspired Apostle in our text May God the Holy Spirit give entrance to the Saviour's words into every heart !
The several topics in our text we shall best consider, by taking each in the order in which it is there presented to us.
And what is it that strikes us first? It is the high and sacred dignity of the speaker : the dignity of Him whose words St. John is recording. How is He described ? “He that sat upon the throne!”
What throne is this? The 11th verse of the previous chapter tells. “I saw a great white throne, and Him that sat upon it, from whose face the earth and heaven fled away, and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened ; and another book was opened, which is the book of life ; and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.”
The throne then, is the judgment throne: that tribunal from which “God shall judge the world in righteousness,” by Jesus Christ. It is Jesus that shall occupy the throne.
the throne. Hence his own words, when picturing the awful transactions of the last great day, “When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then shall He sit upon the throne of his glory.” The same then was the throne which St. John beheld. He saw it in vision. You and I, brethren, are to see it in reality. Behold, He cometh with clouds, and every eye shall see Him.” O would
O would you look up to Him then in peace ? Would you not be afraid before Him when He takes his awful seat? Listen now to the words which you shall hear, as spoken from his throne: listen now in faith, that you may listen then with joy.
“Behold I make all things new :"—these words, and their important meaning, are the next matter to be observed. Under what circumstances are they represented as spoken? We must refer to the context.
At the close of the previous chapter, as you have seen, St. John records his vision of the last and universal judgment. Then, with the beginning of this chapter, the judgment is considered as past. What follows ? “And I saw, saith the Apostle, "a new heaven and a new earth :" a new habitation for the saints of God, which is to appear after this present state of things, “the first heaven and first earth, are passed away.' So St. Peter declares of these heavens which are now, that they shall be dissolved, and that this earth shall be burned up; “nevertheless,” saith he, “we, according to his promise look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth right. eousness.” Immediately then upon this new order of things appearing, what did the Apostle further witness ? “I, John, saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband." This city signifies the Church. So it is afterwards explained. “Come hither,” said the angel," and I will shew thee the Bride, the Lamb's wife. And he carried me away, and shewed me that great city, holy Jerusalem. The Lamb's wife, and the holy city then are one. Now the Lamb, we know, is Christ: the Lamb's wife, we also know is his Church : the holy city therefore is the same, the Church, the whole collected body of the saints of God, those who sleep in Jesus, and whom God will bring with Jesus when he comes. This city St. John saw coming down, to be fixed in the midst of the new heavens and new earth. That is to say, the