Music And Odours of Saints
Written by: Huntington, William Posted on: 12/07/2003
Category: Bible Studies
THE MUSIC AND ODOURS OF SAINTS
A SERMON, PREACHED AT PROVIDENCE CHAPEL, SEPTEMBER 2, 1787.
And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints." Rev. v. 8.
THIS chapter begins thus, "And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within, and on the back side sealed with seven seals." The glorious person here represented on the throne is, in my humble opinion, God the Father. The throne is not the throne of judgment; for although he has "prepared his throne for judgment," Psalm ix. 7, yet he is not seated upon that as yet, for the judgment day is not arrived; besides, the throne of judgment is given up to our blessed Immanuel; "for the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment to the Son," John, v. 22. Nor is a throne of grace here intended; for Christ himself is the throne of grace: "grace is poured into his lips, and God hath blessed him for ever," Psalm xlv. 2. "It hath pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell," Col. i. 19, that we might "receive out of his fulness grace for grace," John, i. 16. God has treasured up all grace in him, and nowhere else, for there is "salvation in no other name."
In the ark of Christ's body is every spiritual blessing deposited, as the hidden manna was laid up in the ark of the covenant; he is our sanctuary, our glorious throne, and our propitiation. As the law, and the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron's rod that budded, were laid up in the ark under the mercies seat, so in Christ is the magnified law laid up - "thy law is within my heart." Aaron's blooming, rod, which prefigured the church in gospel times, which is called a "royal priesthood," I Peter, ii. 9; and the "rod of an almond tree," Jer. i. 11; together with the golden pot of manna, which prefigured the comfortable grace of life, are all in their spiritual signification to be found and enjoyed in Christ Jesus. The ark of the testament is now opened in heaven; and to "him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone," Rev. ii. 17, which is the witness of God's spirit.
Thus the ark, with all its mysterious treasures, is now to be found in heaven; and blessed be God it is opened in the church, and poor sinners are led to see that the ark with all its contents, and the mercies seat thereon, prefigured the Lord Jesus Christ, who is our throne of grace, our propitiation, and our only mercies seat. It was on him that the sentence of the law was executed; it was of him that Justice got an infinite satisfaction; "justice and judgment are the habitation of his throne, mercy and truth shall go before thy face," Psalm lxxxix. 14.
The Saviour, as a throne of grace, was shewed in an obscure manner by the prophet Isaiah, where he is represented under the name Eliakim: "It shall come to pass in that day, that I will call my servant Eliakim, the son of Hilkiah, and I will clothe him with thy robe, and strengthen him with thy girdle, and I will commit thy government into his hand, and he shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to the house of Judah. And the key of the house of David will I lay upon his shoulder: so he shall open and none shall shut, and he shall shut and none shall open. And I will fasten him as a nail in a sure place; and he shall be for a glorious throne to his father's house," Isa. xxii. 21-24. In the above text you have Christ represented as the everlasting father of his people, he shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem; secondly, as a glorious throne to the household of faith; thirdly, as a nail fastened in a sure place, that every vessel of mercy may hand, their hopes and expectations on him for time and eternity; and fourthly, you have him held forth as a sovereign, having the keys of David; which are now found, not in the hand of Eliakim, but in the hand of Christ: "Write these things saith he [Christ] that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David; he that openeth and no man shutteth, and shutteth and no man openeth," Rev. iii. 7. Thus it appears, that not a throne of judgment, nor a throne of grace is intended here, but rather a throne of glory, upon which God the Father sat.
Of the book that he had in his right hand, which is said to be written within, and on the back side sealed with seven seals, I shall treat from the words of my text, where the Saviour is said to take the book.
In the second verse, "a strong angel with a loud voice is making proclamation - Who is worthy to open the book and to loose the seals thereof "Whosoever he be that can take this book had need of infinite wisdom to open the seals and disclose the divine mysteries; he had need be a friend to sinners, to dispense the blessings of it to them; he had need of an omnipotent power, to execute the vengeance it contains; for he that opens it must reward the just, judge the wicked, and destroy the world; and he had need of omniscience, to search the hearts and try the reins of men, to know how and where to apply them. For this wonderful book contains all things that shall come to pass in the world and church, till the "mystery of God be finished," and "time be no more."
And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon," verse 3. No man in heaven (not Christ himself if he is no more than man), neither the spirits of just men made perfect, nor any of the saints in a militant state, was able to open the book; "nor no man on earth;" either saint or sinner, wise or unwise, noble or ignoble, learned or illiterate neither was any under the earth" either damned souls, or damned devils, able to open this book, loose its seals, or look into its contents.
"And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon," verse 4. John saw the need of a mediator, a prophet, and an advocate; one to undertake as a mediator, make known the mysteries as a prophet, and plead the cause of the just as an advocate; and he saw no man in heaven, earth, or hell, that was worthy of either of these offices, or able for such an undertaking. He must be equal to God that does it, or he cannot transact with God for us; and he must be man also, or be cannot undertake for man. In short, he must be "God's equal" and "man's fellow," that takes the book. Christ can do it, for he thought it no robbery to be equal with God," Phil. ii. 6. therefore he can transact with God; and as he is "man"s fellow," he can transact for man, and sympathize with him, especially as he is "anointed with the oil of gladness above all his fellows," Psalm xlv. 7, who were to have "fellowship with him," I John, i. 3, by being "joined to him," and made of "one spirit with him," I Cor. vi. 17.
"And one of the elders said 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," verse 5. Here you have the terrible and powerful majesty of the Saviour set forth by a lion, called the "lion of the tribe of Judah," because 'tis evident that Christ sprang from that tribe, Heb. vii. 14, as touching his manhood; and yet this lion is the everlasting father of Judah with respect to his Godhead; hence Judah is called "a lion's whelp, that went up from the prey," Gen. xlix. 9, from being a prey to the lion of the bottomless pit, by faith in the lion of heaven, which is God: "The lion hath roared, who will not fear? The Lord God hath spoken, who can but prophesy?" Amos, iii. 8. Christ is here called the "root of David; because David derived his being from him as the God of nature and the creator of the world, "all things were made by Christ," Col. i. 16. David derived his spiritual life from him as the God of grace, "Christ is the resurrection and the life;" and David expected to be glorified by him as the King of glory; "thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and receive me into glory," Psalm lxxiii. 24. Hence the Psalmist so often calls him his Lord, his King, his Redeemer, his Saviour, and the King of Glory; "Lift up your heads ye gates, and be ye lifted up ye everlasting doors, and the King of Glory shall enter in," Psalm xxiv. 9. Thus Jesus as God is David's root, and as man be is David's offspring; "I am the root and the offspring of David, the bright and morning star," Revelations, xxii. 16.
"The lion of the tribe of Judah hath prevailed to open the book." This lion hath prevailed over the lion of the bottomless pit; over sin, the devil's essence; and over death, sin's "first born;" and over "destruction, the first-born of death," Job, xviii. 13. He hath prevailed, and led captivity captive; spoiled principalities and powers, and made a shew of them openly. This is the all-conquering lion that made the devil feel the rod of his strength when he dethroned him, and cast him out of sinners' hearts, destroyed his works, and marred his kingdom; and will at last destroy him with a dreadful destruction, and crush him beneath the feet of all his saints; as sure as Moses' rod, when turned into a serpent, devoured all the serpent, produced by magic or infernal art.
This lion hath prevailed, not only over the world and the devil, but he hath prevailed with God also in behalf of his people. By his obedience, he prevailed to disarm the law of its curse; by prayer, he prevailed with his father for us; by death, he prevailed with justice; by his resurrection, he prevailed over death; and as a mediator, high priest, and advocate, he must ever prevail in heaven; for all power, and all judgment, are committed to him he is ascended far above all heavens, enthroned, glorified, and set down at the right hand of the majesty on high," Heb. i. 3.
The "diadem of David is removed," and the crown put on the Saviour; all other crowns must submit to his, for all must be abased before him, and be obedient to him. He that humbled himself-he that was meek and lowly, must now be exalted, and "wear both the crown and diadem," Ezek. xxi. 26. And he proclaimed, through heaven and earth, the "King of kings and Lord of lords." Is this the case? Then oh, my soul, submit thou to his sceptre; take the oath of allegiance, and kiss the hands of this wonderful, all-conquering, and terrible majestic sovereign, as thou art commanded to do, "Kiss the Son, lest he be angry," Psalm ii. 12. and say, with a loyal and loving heart, "0 king, live for ever;" and this of him will be neither falsehood nor flattery.
"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 slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent forth into all the earth," verse 6. I shall not mention the lamb here, the beasts, nor the elders, as they are included in my text, but drop a few words upon the horns and eyes. By the horns you are to understand the majestic or kingly power of Christ; David was "anointed with oil out of an horn," I Sam. xvi. 1; hence he often speaks of "his horn," Ps. xcii. 10; and of "his horn being exalted with honour," Ps. cxii. 9; which horn signified the kingly power and authority that God had given him; and as the Saviour was to spring, from David, he is called a "bud" from his horn, who was to govern Zion for ever: "God hath chosen Zion, he has desired it for his habitation; there will I make the horn of David to bud. I have ordained a lamp for mine anointed; his enemies will I clothe with shame, but upon himself shall his crown flourish," Psalm cxxxii. 16, 17. This was fulfilled at the appearance of Christ; "Blessed be the Lord God of lsrael, for he hath visited and redeemed his people, and hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David; as be spake by the mouth of his holy prophets which have been since the world began," Luke, i. 68-70. Blessed be his name this is fulfilled; our mighty horn of salvation is exalted, and he makes all his people "kings and priests;" he "anoints us with his spirit," 2 Cor. i. 21; "crowns us with knowledge," Prov. xiv. 18; and "with loving-kindness and tender mercy" Ps. ciii. 4; "and we shall reign on the earth," Rev. v. 10; because we are upheld by his hand; "he has horns coming out of his hand, and there is the hiding of his power Hab. iii. 4.
But you will say, why is he represented as having seven horns? Every horn has its signification; ten horns are called "ten kings," Rev. xvii. 12. And Jesus Christ is a king in a seven-fold sense, represented by seven horns; he is anointed with the seven-fold gifts and graces of the Holy Ghost, and on his head are many crowns, as well as many horns: First he is "King of Glory," Psalm xxiv. 7. Secondly, King of Zion - "I have set my King upon my holy hill of Zion," Psalm ii. 6. Thirdly, He is, as Tidal was, King of Nations - "Who would not fear thee, O King of Nations," Jer. x. 7; he has power over all flesh, "that he should give eternal life to as many as the Father hath given him," John, xvii. 2. Fourthly, He is King of kings - "by him kings reign, and princes decree justice," Prov. viii. 15. Fifthly, He is King over sin; sin is said to "reign unto death," Rom. v. 21; but Christ hath destroyed that monster - "he was manifest that he might destroy the works of the devil," 1 John, iii. 8, and grace by him reigns over sin. Sin shall not have dominion over the saints, for they are under grace; and "grace shall reign through righteousness to life eternal," Rom. v. 21.
Sixthly, Christ is King, over Death-which is called the "king of terrors," Job, xviii. 14. "Death reigned from Adam to Moses, over all them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression," Rom. v. 14; but Christ ransomed his people from the power of the grave, and redeemed them from death; he was the plague of death, and the destruction of the grave, Hosea, xiii. 14, and "must reign till he hath put down all rule, all authority, and all power; the last enemy that shall be destroyed is death," 1 Cor. 15, 25, 26. Seventhly, Christ is King over devils, though against their will; he demolishes the kingdom of Satan, and translates sinners out of his dark dominions into his own kingdom, and into marvellous light, having destroyed him that had the power of death, that is the devil, Heb. ii. 14, and "led him captive," and will bruise him under our feet shortly.
Thus Christ is King of Glory, and the head of all principalities and powers; the King of Zion - King of nations - King of kings - King over sin, and sin's dominion - King over death - and King over devils; "and of his kingdom there shall be no end," Isa. ix. 7.
This wonderful lamb with seven horns is said to have seven eyes, which are the "seven spirits of God sent forth into an the earth." These seven spirits are not seven angels; for though the church be called "the apple of the Lord's eye," Zech. ii. 8, yet angels are never so called, that I remember; nor is the number of angels that attend the church of God confined to seven. Elisha had the whole "mountains round about covered with them at Dothan," 2 Kings. vi. 17; and Jacob saw such a number of them on the plains of Mabanaim, that he calls them "an host," Gen. xxxii. 2. They all minister to the children of God in turn; not a small number only - as it is written, "are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?" Heb. i. 14; and if all are ministering spirits, and all sent forth to minister, they cannot be so small a number as seven, seeing we read of "twenty thousand" at one place, Psalm lxviii. 17, and "twelve legions" at another, Matt. xxvi. 53.
But rather the Holy Ghost is intended; the number seven implying the perfection of Deity, he being a person in the Godhead, and equal to the Father and the Son; from whom, in conjunction with the Father and the Son, this revelation is sent to the churches, Grace be unto you, and peace from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven spirits which are before his throne; and from Jesus Christ, who is the "faithful and true witness," Rev. i. 4, 5. Or the Spirit's seven-fold gifts may be intended by the number "seven agreeable to ancient prophecy," "And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, and the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge, and of the fear of the Lord," Isa. xi. 2.
These seven eyes are quoted from ancient prophecy, which came to Joshua when the corner-stone of the second temple was aid; which was to point Joshua to Christ the chief corner-stone, that is set at nought of so many builders. "Behold the stone that I have laid before Joshua: upon one stone shall be several eyes. Behold, I will engrave the gravings thereof, saith the Lord of hosts, and I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day," Zech. iii. 9. This text I have often heard handled, and the seven eyes have been held forth as all sorts of eyes looking to Christ, some for help, and some out of envy. However, they are the eyes of the Lamb, and the eyes of him who is the stone of Israel. "For who hath despised the day of small things? For they shall rejoice, and shall see the plummet in the hand of Zerubbabel with those seven: "They are the eyes of the Lord [not men nor devils' eyes], which run to and fro through the whole earth," Zech. iv. 10. seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God, are said to be "sent forth into all the earth," Rev. v. 6; agreeable to the Saviour's promise, "It is expedient for you that I go away for if I go not away, the Comfortor will not come unto you; but if I depart I will send him unto you," John, xvi. 7; which, blessed be his precious name, he has. He has sent forth this "sevenfold unction" or "eye-salve," which is to "anoint our eyes that we may see," Rev. iii. 18. These seven eyes of the Lord are sent forth into all the earth, "that we who were once darkness might be made light in the Lord," Eph. v. 8. Upon the church of God there hath been, and still is, a large measure of the Spirit of God; and though not in all his fulness, yet in all his seven-fold operations, and to each living member of the mystical body of Christ, "a measure to profit withal." Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man, to profit withal. For to one is given by the Spirit the "word of wisdom," which makes a man wise in the mysteries of God, and wise to salvation through faith; "to another, the word of knowledge by the same Spirit," that he may take Christ for himself, whom to know is eternal life, and know how to speak a word in season to others; "to another, faith by the same Spirit," that he may believe to the justification of his soul, and strengthen the faith of others; "to another, the gifts of hearing by the same Spirit," for the good of the church, "that bodily and spiritual diseases may be healed by the great Physician to another, the working of miracles," that the apostles might by them confirm their mission and commission; "to another, prophecy," that a minister may forewarn the churches of evil to come, and strengthen them against them, and foretell them of good to come, and encourage their hope to expect it; "to another, discerning of spirits," that a minister may try those upstarts that say they are apostles or evangelists, and "prove them liars, if they are not," Rev. ii. 2; "to another, divers kinds of tongues," that ministers may overthrow the false constructions that erroneous men, or carnal scholars, have put upon the word of God; "and to another, the interpretation of tongues," that the pure, uncorrupted sense of scripture, may be handed down to us, instead of old wives' fables and country tales, that turn from the truth, and that hard or difficult parts of scripture might be made plain to our shallow comprehensions. "But all these worketh that one and the self same spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will," I Cor. xii. 4-11.
These are the seven eyes and the seven spirits of God, or the Holy Ghost, who is perfect God, in his seven-fold gifts and graces, who will never leave the earth, till the last elected soul that ever shall be called by grace or born again of the Spirit: for thus runs the covenant; "The word that I have put in thy mouth, and the spirit that I have put upon thee, shall never depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed's seed, from henceforth and for ever," Isa. lix. 21. Hence we may conclude, that the Spirit of God will never leave the earth, till the mystery of iniquity be revealed by his light; Antichrist consumed by him, as the breath of Christ's mouth; and "the mystery of God be finished, as he hath declared by his servants the prophets," Rev. x. 7.
"And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne," v. 7. Christ having come forth from the Father, and completed the work he gave him to do, he now was ascended to the Father, and drew nigh unto him. According to Daniel's vision, "he came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed," Dan. vii. 13, 14; which is a prophecy of the Saviour's coronation in heaven, which prophecy is fulfilled in this chapter, and confirmed in the next. "And there was a crown given unto him, and he went forth conquering and to conquer," Rev vi. 2. And we find that the coronation-anthem is sung in this chapter upon the reception of this book, "saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain, to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing," Rev. v. 12. It is "a copy of his kingdom" that he is here going, to receive, "in which he will meditate day and night," Deut. xvit. 18, 19; and order his throne, and manage his government with wisdom infinite, and rectitude divine, till his kingdom of grace shall be consummated in everlasting glory, and Zion's king be acknowledged the "king eternal, immortal, and invisible, the only wise God, worthy of all honour and glory for ever. Amen." 1 Tim. i. 17: "all authority and all power beside being put down," I Cor. xv. 24. This will then be acknowledged, and then we shall "speak of the glory of this kingdom, and talk of the power. His mighty acts shall be made known," when we are made "perfect in knowledge, and the glorious majesty of his kingdom," Psal. cxlv. 11, 12, shall be displayed in the eternal blessedness of his subjects.
I come now to the words of my text - "And when he had taken the book [sealed with seven seals], the four beasts, and four-and twenty elders, fell down before the Lamb, having, every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints." I will offer my thoughts under the following heads.
1st, What this "sealed book" is, which is here received by the Lamb.
2dly, What these "four beasts" are who appear in company with the elders.
3dly, Who these "four and twenty elders" are, that "fall down" with " the beasts."
4thly, The object of their adoration, "the Lamb," and why so called. it.
5thly, The music or melody of their "harps," and the cause of it.
6thly, What "their golden vials" are, and why called so.
7thly, and lastly, Describe their "odours," said to be "the prayers of all saints," and what a saint is.
First, What book is this which God the Father held forth and which none but the prevailing Lion of the tribe of Judah could receive and open. I answer, it is not the "book of the law." That the Mediator received, with all its commands, conditions, contents, and curses, before he entered upon his public ministry. "Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; mine ears hast thou opened: burnt-offering and sin-offering hast thou not required. Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me: I delight to do thy will, O my God; yea, thy law is within my heart. I have preached righteousness in the great congregation: lo, I have not refrained my lips; O Lord, thou knowest." Psal. xl. 6-9. This ancient prophecy had been fulfilled before this "sealed book" was delivered to him, which was not done till the Saviour had finished the work of redemption. "He is the Lamb slain" that receives this book; which shews that he had been crucified under the curse of the law, and entered the Holy of Holies with his own blood, before the delivery of this sealed book. In short, the Saviour had magnified the law, and made it honourable, by a life of perfect conformity thereto; he had preached it in all its spiritual meaning, as no other ever did, or ever will do; and by his making his soul an offering for sin, he had endured the curse of it, and thus delivered his own elect from the command of it [to do for life], and redeemed them from the curse of it [which condemns to hell]; and as a law magnified, and disarmed of its killing power, he keeps it in his own hand, that we may find access to God by a new and living way, "through the veil of his flesh" - without being arrested, captured, or cursed, by that fiery dispensation.
The law being thus magnified, and the righteousness of it "preached in the great congregation," the law in its spiritual meaning had been published by the Saviour, and made known in the world to thousands. Therefore this sealed book cannot be that; for this had not been revealed to the sons of men when John saw it delivered, as appears plain by the "seals being closed," which were afterwards opened in their order.
Nor is this book the "book of God's remembrance," which he keeps in behalf of them that fear the Lord, and speak often one to another, to whom God hearkens, and whose conversation the Lord bears; "and a book of remembrance is written before him, for them that fear him, and think on his name," Mal. iii. 1.6.
Nor is the black catalogue of sinners' ungodly deeds intended by this book, which is a book of remembrance also, which God swears he will never forget; "The Lord hath sworn by the excellency of Jacob" (that is, by himself), "surely I will never forget any of their works," Amos, viii. 7. Sin makes an awful impression on this book, as well as on the book of conscience. "The sin of Judah is written with a pen of iron, and with the point of a diamond; it is graven upon the table of their heart," Jer. xvii. 1. The point of this diamond will cut deep, when the dreadful eye of Justice makes the sinner's heart transparent, and the awakening flames of wrath make conscience susceptible of feeling. But all these books will be opened at the great decisive day, to the astonishment and eternal triumph of the just, and to the endless shame, confusion, and contempt of the wicked, Daniel, xii. 2; vii. 10.
Nor is the "book of life" meant by this book, in which the names and number of all the elect are enrolled, who are said to have "their names written in the book of life," Phil. iv. 3; "and written among the living, in Jerusalem, who are to be called holy," lsa. iv. 3; and all "whose name was not found written in this book, were cast into the lake of fire," Rev. xx. 15. But this book of life had been made known more or less by the ancient prophets, in a mysterious way; "and afterwards was spoken by the Lord, and confirmed to others by them that heard him," Heb. ii. 3. The book of life was published before the reception of this book in my text; and many had received the blessings of it, and cried out under the quickening influence, as Peter did, "To whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life," John, vi. 68. The Saviour owned himself that he had delivered this book: "I have given them the words that thou gavest me, and they have received them," John, xvii. 8. Yea, he had sent the Spirit to make it known, and apply the benefits of it: and he had commanded them "to preach all the words of this life; and life and immortality had been brought to light," in the minds and hearts of thousands, through the gospel; yea, all "that believed had passed from death unto life, and had everlasting life in them," which is the blessed contents of the book of life, and the reason why it is so called; many that "were dead in trespasses and sins had been quickened together with Christ, God having forgiven them all trespasses;" and John himself had been long a preacher of the word of life, and was at this time banished to the Isle of Patmos for it.
Seeing, this book is not the book of the law, nor the book of life, nor the book of God's rememberance, although there may be some of all these things in it; yet the above books of law and gospel cannot be said to be sealed, as this book is; for, as was before observed, they had been made known to thousands, both Jews and Gentiles. To be short, Christ had preached the law and obeyed both precept and penalty as a priest. He had preached the gospel of eternal life as a prophet, and was now going to ascend his throne as a king; and it is the book of his kingdom that he here receives, in which lies the whole of his government both of church and world; and hence he is represented as king, and conqueror, governing his subjects, and subduing his enemies throughout this book, until his kingdom be settled in heaven, and his vanquished enemies imprisoned in hell.
This book has an allusion to what Samuel did when Saul was anointed; "And Samuel said to all the people, See ye him whom the Lord hath chosen, that there is none like him among all the people? And all the people shouted, and said, God save the king. Then Samuel told the people the manner of the kingdom, and wrote it in a book, and laid it up before the Lord," I Sam. x. 24, 25. This sealed book of the Saviour's kingdom was laid up before the Lord; that is, in his secret purpose; and is now given to our elder brother, who is to reign over us: "When thou art come unto the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee, and shalt possess it, and shalt dwell therein, and shalt say, I will set a king over me, like as all the nations that are about me. Thou shalt in any wise set him king over thee whom the Lord thy God shall choose; one from among thy brethren shalt thou set king over thee; thou mayest not set a stranger over thee, which is not thy brother. And it shall be, when he sitteth upon the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write him a copy of this law in a book, out of that which is before the priests and Levites," Deut. xvii. 14-19. In this passage we have an account of a brother that is to reign over us; which blessed character Christ bears - "he is a brother born for adversity." He is to have a copy out of the law, and out of that which is before the priests and Levites; and it may be observed, that almost if not the whole of this sealed book is extracted from Moses and the prophets.
This book or copy of the kingdom, which is sealed with seven seals is the very book out of which my text is taken, called the Book of the Revelation, as appears from the first chapter, where it is styled, "The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he s
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