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tian church; nor that the precise number of twelve thousand shall be sealed in any one of them. That number, like the other parts of the hieroglyphic, is symbolical. It is made up of the number twelve multiplied into a thousand. Twelve is taken from the twelve apostles, on whose doctrines the Chris. tian church is built ; and the thousand is taken from the thousand years, in which the servants of God shall reign with Christ on earth, chap. xx. 4, 6. which is the millenium state of the church. Hence the twelve thousand sealed ones are all those individual Christians in every particular church, whose religion is modelled on the doctrines of the apostles of Jesus, who, in some degree, resemble the purity of the worshippers of God in the millenium state, and also in the internal joys of religion, in fome degree partake of their happiness. They are those perfons, who under God, are the instruments, in e. very preceding age, of bringing about that state. Accordingly, when the millennium ftate is introduced in this book, these sealed ones again appear in the precise fame number of 144000, chap. xiv. 1. And in chap. xxi. 16, 17. the dimensions of the walls and city of the new Jerusalem, the symbol of the millennium ftate, is made up of the same numbers, and refers to the same persons, as shall be shewn in the commentary.
These 144000 sealed servants of God, out of the twelve tribes, signify, that from the time in which
Christianity was established by law, in the fourth century, to the commencement of the millennium, in the year of Christ 2000, the true church of Christ on earth, shall not be any one, constituted church visible to the world; but shall consist of many individual Christians, whom the Lord knows to be his servants, and who naming the name of Chrift, depart from iniquity, in many different churches. That this is the real state of the church of Christ during that period, is evident from some following vifions, as Thall be shewn in the commentary upon them. · Not only is the general number of all the fealed ones mentioned; but also, the particular number of those who were sealed in each tribe. By this minuteness it is intimated, that not one real Chrif. tian shall escape the notice of God, and that the providence and grace of God shall not be awanting to a single one of them.
This representation of the church of Christ during this period, exactly corresponds to what every candid and intelligent observer of what passes in the world, must perceive to be in fact the state of the Christian church during this time. Since the days of Conftantine, where has there been a vifi
ble constituted church, modelled in every part up· on the divine standard of inspired scripture? Since
the first three centuries of the Christian æra, no such visible constituted church hath appeared ;
and the world hath no reason to hope to see ano. ther such, until the millennium, when the kingdom of God shall come, and his will shall be done , on earth, as it is in heaven. And where is the Christian church, built upon the foundation laid by Christ and his apostles, though the whole superstructure is not, in every part, executed upon the divine plan, in which there are not many individual true Christians, many honest and good men, many whom the Lord knows to be his servants, and who name the name of Christ, and depart from iniquity?
Let this situation of the church of Chrift give a check to bigotry, and let it teach us mutual charity and forbearance. Let us divest ourselves of that bigotry, which makes some men confider none as Chriftians, except those, who are members of the fame church or sect with themselves. While fuch men say, “I am of Paul, I am of Apollos, I am of “ Cephas," let us say, we are of Christ. And let us love with brotherly affection, all who in finceri'ty love our Lord Jesus Chrift; though they and we may be members of very differently constituted churches. Let the imperfections, which are to be found in every constituted church, teach mutual forbearance to them all. Let the many wise and good individuals, which are to be found in every one of them, teach us mutual charity and brotherly affection. Let us esteem and love every good
man. Let us regard as the sealed servants of God, all whom the Lord knows to be his, all who name the name of Christ, and depart from iniquity, so far as we can know them to be such, in whatever constituted church they worship and serve God. Let the many imperfections which still cleave to every constituted church in the world, and on account of which there are so many opposing churches and sects in it, make us look back with respect on the grand fimplicity of the Apostolic church; and forward with hope and exultation to that glorious period, when in this world there shall be one fold and one shepherd; when all jaring and contending churches and sects, not even the Jewish one excepted, having become of one faith, one heart, and one way, shall be included in one pure · universal, and triumphant church.
Verses 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th. After this I beheld, and lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palins in their hands; and cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which fitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb. And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders, VOL. I. Hh
and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God, saying, Amen : Blessing, and glory, and wifdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen.
This second part of the third vision represents an enlarged and glorious state of the Chriitian church, which shall succeed immediately to the preceding one represented by the sealed servants of God. Through the whole of this book the close succefsion of one event to another is always expressed by this phrase “ After these things,” as in verse ist. “ After this," as in this verse,
In this hieroglyphic the servants of God are not represented as scattered individuals known to God in each tribe of Israel ; but as a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues. They are not merely known to God; but they publicly stand before, that is, worship God and Christ. They are visible by their garb, their white robes. They are no longer in a persecuted state, or in a state of warfare; but they are in a state of victory and triumph; for they have palms in their hands, the symbols of victory and triumph, and the songs which they fing are expressions of triumph. They ascribe their deliverance from, and victory over