Obrazy na stronie

of glory, and see there a covenant God and an allpowerful Redeemer; they can there behold crowns. and thrones prepared for them. Ah! when they shall be united with this glorious company, will they ever regret that they were disciples of Jesus?

1. Acknowledge your obligations to this Redeemer. Had the proclamation been made in heaven after the fall of man, "Who is worthy" to redeem him? angels must have been silent; none could rescue you except the Lamb that was slain; he has died for you; will you neglect his precious atonement? He is dear to every inhabitant of heaven, shall he not be dear to your souls?

2. When we think of the worship of heaven, let us lament our coldness, and languor, and weariness. Shall angels thus be moved by redeeming love, and shall we, who are so much more interested, be insensible? Oh! let us implore grace to imitate them; to unite with our exalted brethren in those ascriptions to Jesus which are so justly his due.

3. Finally since there are so many myriads in the world of glory, elevated and happy, though of no higher original than ourselves, let us seek the same honour and immortality; since our souls are capable of such dignity; since it is offered us by the great Redeemer; since he urges us to be happy; let us not madly renounce these joys, and rush to that world where, instead of the harp of the seraph and the hosannas of the redeemed, nothing will be heard but groans, and shrieks, and the sighs of everlasting despair.



No. V.

We resume those lectures on the Apocalypse, which have been interrupted by the peculiar services of the two last Sabbaths. You recollect that after a general introduction on the nature, the importance, and the peculiar language of prophecy, we considered the author of this book, and the time and circumstances in which it was written: we explained the splendid visions vouchsafed to the apostle; we illustrated the epistles to the seven churches; we contemplated the glory of the exalted Jesus; and listened to the rapturous and adoring gratulations of angels and the redeemed, when he received the book in which were inscribed the purposes of Providence, to open its seals and to execute what was there foretold. We have thus been brought to


which we are to explain in the present lecture.

The chief opposers of the kingdom of Christ, were the Jewish nation and the Roman empire. The former had already been punished for their guilt; the temple had been destroyed; the smoking ruins of Jerusalem displayed the indignation of the Almighty, and numberless Jews had been loaded with chains

and carried into captivity. At the time when the apostle was in Patmos, the strength of Satan against the church was collected in the Roman empire: It became the chief object of the judgments and mercies of God: it existed from the time of this revelation under three distinct forms; as an empire professing heathenism; as an empire professing Christianity; and as a state, after its division, upholding by all its power and arts a system of corrupt religion. The events that should occur to it and the world, are also foretold in three classes: under the seals heathenism is overthrown; under the trumpets the united Christian empire is punished for its corruption of religion; and under the vials the anti-christian hierarchy is visited with the severest woes for its false doctrines, its unholy conduct, and persecution of the saints; and at last, is utterly destroyed.

The chapter which now claims your attention, contains an account of the opening of the first six seals, and embraces the history of the Roman empire and the church from about A. D. 97, when John enjoyed these visions to A. D. 323; when the empire ceased to be heathen, and Christianity was established under Constantine.

When the

Ist Seal was broken and the roll opened, the apostle heard a voice loud and majestic as thunder, saying unto him, "Come and see." It proceeded from the first of the four living creatures whom, as you remember, we showed you to be symbolical of the faithful ministers of the Redeemer in all ages and in all parts of the world. It was he who had the appearance of the lion that thus spake : and his address, to the apostle shows us that it is our duty to observe the providences of God, and that ministers are bound

to call upon their hearers to observe the signs of the times. It is a duty that is pleasant and easily performed, when, as under the present seal, the extension of the kingdom of the Redeemer is exhibited to


The apostle beheld "a white horse, and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him, and he went forth, conquering and to conquer."

It is the blessed Saviour who is here presented with traits, similar to those by which he is painted in Ps. xlv. 3—5: “Gird thy sword upon thy thigh, O Most Mighty, with thy glory and thy majesty; and in thy majesty ride prosperously, because of truth, and meekness, and righteousness; and thy right hand shall teach thee terrible things; thine arrows are sharp in the hearts of the king's enemies, whereby the people fall under thee." Thus, also, he is represented in the 19th chapter of this book. "I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True; and in righteousness he doth judge and make war: and he was clothed in a vesture dipped in blood, and his name was called the Word of God." Rev. xix. 11. 13.

There is no difficulty in explaining the particular parts of this hieroglyphic. Jesus is represented as an illustrious conqueror, going forth to war: he has a crown, the emblem of supreme command, and of the victories already gained, and still to be gained by. him. He has a bow: the power of his word and spirit penetrates like sharp arrows into the hearts of his enemies. He is scated upon a white horse: the horse, from its beauty, strength, speed, and fitness for the service of man, in this and the three succeeding seals, signifies a dispensation of Providence. The nature of this dispensation is indicated by its colour.



On the present occasion it is white; not only to represent joy and triumph, but also purity, righteousness, and mercy. He who is seated on the horse is either he who regulates the course of Providence, or one commissioned by him. In this seal it is the glorious Redeemer; but in the other three, they are those sent out by him to afflict his enemies. He goes forth conquering and to conquer, passing successively from one triumph to another. You perceive then, what is here taught us: Christ had begun to subdue the nations to himself, and would still proceed till his last enemy should be destroyed.

It was verified in the wonderful spread of the gospel in this early period; in that astonishing extension of Christianity, for which the unbeliever in vain endeavours to find any adequate cause.

There is a peculiar propriety and beauty in commencing with this cheering view, lest the hearts of believers should be overwhelmed with sorrow at the prediction of those woes which awaited them; but assured of the ultimate triumph of their King, they can listen with composure to the annunciation of those judgments, which were soon to be poured out upon the Roman empire.

The victories of Jesus, hitherto exhibited, are unbloody; they consist in subduing the hearts of his enemies, and converting them into friends; but he will inflict vengeance on those who continue in rebellion. This is taught when the

.. Ild Seal is broken, and another roll opened. The apostle is called to examine it, by the second living creature bearing the appearance of the ox; reminding us of the labour and patience which become all, and especially Christian ministers, in times of pecu"ar suffering.

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