Page images
PDF
EPUB

“are closed up, and sealed till the time of the "end.”

Danielis stiled a strong or powerful angel, because he was great and powerful at the court of the kings of Babylon, because he was powerful as an angel or messenger of God, having, in his prophecies published to men many great and interesting events. , The appellation of strong is emphatically given to him, Daniel x. 9. “ And said, O man greatly be** loved, fear not, peace be unto thee, be strong, “ yea be strong. And when he had spoken to “ me I was strengthened, and said, Let my Lord “ speak for thou hast strengthened me.” He is stiled a strong angel here, especially with respect to the loudness of the voice, with which he made this proclamation. A loud voice is expressive of the strength and earnestness of him who speaks, tends to rouse the attention of the hearers and can be heard by many of them and at a great distance. Accordingly these prophecies of Daniel, were what he defired earnestly to know, they roused the attention of mankind; and though published many hundred years before the days of John, yet during all that time, no man was able to unfold their true meaning. :

Verses 3d, 4th. — And no man in heaven, nor in the earth; neither under the earch, was able to open the book, neither to look VoL, I.

thereon.

Ch. V, thereon. And I wept much because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon.

The word cuteis which is translated no man, fignifies no being or no perfon. There is no word in the original which corresponds to man. The meaning of it is, that no created being, in whatever part of the univerfe he dwells, was able to open the seals, which were put upon this book, and to explain the true meaning of these short but comprehensive hints of Daniel. The apostle John 'was much distressed, at the thought that no person could open up the true meaning of these prophecies.

Verses 5th, 6th, 7th.And one of the elders faid unto me, weep not: behold the lion of the tribe of Judah, the root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof. And I beheld, and lo, in the midst of the throne, and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a lamb as it had been flain, having seven horns, and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent forth into all the earth. And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that fat upon the throne.

While the mind of John was thus distressed, he was informed by one of the elders, that a particu. lar person, well known by the title of the Lion of the tribe of Judah, and the Root of David, had prevailed to open the book and to loose all the seven seals. These names are both given to Christ, Genef. xlix. 9, 10. Isaiah xi. 1,-10. Thus it was declared to John, that Jesus Christ, should fully open up the meaning of these prophecies, under the gospel dispensation.

That he might not mistake the person, who was to unravel these myfteries, John is shewn him by vi. fion, ver. 6.; of whom he received information by an audible voice, ver. 5. It is not uncommon in prophetic writings, to give two accounts of the same person or thing, different in their circumstances, but ex... actly the same in their substance. This frequently happens in the book of the Revelation. Indeed it seems to be, almost, an essential part of the construction of prophetic writings. These writings are necessarily, dark and mysterious for the reasons afsigned in the commentary on chap. i. When, in such writings, two different descriptions of the same person or thing exactly agree in substance, such an agreement, if not a full proof, is at least a very strong presumption, that the meaning which we affix to both is the right one, and the one intended. Such an agreement in substance, affords a proof ve. ry similar to that which arises from two witnesses,

U 2

having

having deponed to the same facts, but in expreffions different from each other : Which is much stronger evidence than that which arises from two witnesses having deponed to a number of intricate facts, in the very famé expressions.

John saw a lamb, as it were slain. Jesus Christ is stiled a lamb, John i. 29,—-36. Acts viii: 3. 1 Pet. i. 19. Christ is so well knuwn in Scripture by the ap. pellation of a lamb Nain for us, that this symbol as clearly signifies Jelus Christ, as if his name had stood in its place. This lamb is said to have seven horns and seven eyes, which we are told is the hieroglyphic for the Holy Spirit. The seven eyes signify his perfect knowledge and wisdom, and the seven horns his divine power. These influences of the Holy Spirit proceeding from Christ, and extending over all the earth, form a beautiful description of Christ, now in heaven in his state of exaltation. It was not till he had been llain and had risen victorious from the grave, that he said to his apostles Matth. xxviii. 18, 19. “All power is given unto " me in heaven and earth, go ye, therefore, and “ teach all nations.” It was not till he was just a. bout to ascend into heaven, that he said unto them, Acts i. 8. “ Ye shall receive power after that the “ Holy Ghost is come upon you, and ye shall be " witnesses unto me, both in Jerusalem, and in all " Judea, and in Şamaria, and unto the uttermoit “ parts of the earth.” It was not until Christ ascended unto heaven, that the apostles, Acts ii. 4. " were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began "to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave $them utterance.

cended

The Lamb stood in the space between the throne and the four living creatures, which space was also between the throne and the elders. By this station he is represented as the Mediator between God and the Christian church. Both ministers and people have access to the throne of God only through the mediation of Christ, í Tim. ii. 5. “For there is one " God, and one Mediator between God and men, “ the man Christ Jesus.” John ii. 1. “We have “ an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the “ righteous." Heb. vii, 25. “Wherefore he is al“ so able to save them unto the uttermost, that ." come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to “ make intercession for them.”

Jesus received the sealed book from God in order: to open it to the Christian church. Hence this . book is entitled chap. i. verse 1. “The Revelation “ of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to “ fhew unto his servants the things which must. "" shortly come to pass.”

Verses 8th, 9th, 10th. And when he had taken the book, the four beasts, and four and twenty elders fell down before the

Lamb,

« PreviousContinue »