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come contaminated with the idolatry of the great city of Baby lor, that even Terah his father, tradition says, was a maker of graver: images. But God, in sovereign mercy and infinite goodiess, called Abraham out from a wicked and idolatrous worl!. lving in the wicked one, and preserved his church from toia} stinction. The holy prophet also had a clear and distinct revelation of the coming of the blessed Messiah, who took not on him the nature of angeli, but the seed of Abraham. 13. I saw in the night visions; and behold, one like the son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. 14. And there was given him dominion and glory, and a kingdem 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.
The prophet Daniel, began his series of prophecies, from the commencement of the Babylonian empire, an I comes down with the history of the church and the world, to the coming of the blessed Messiah. Ilis sufferings and death and exaltation. And his coming to set up his blessed peaceful reign upon earth, in the milleniel glory of his church, till the end of time. But the apostle John, the beloved disciple, not only begins at the four dation of the Church of God in the world; but goes back into the counsels of eternity and continues on the history of the church, and of the world, to the final restitution of all things. After directing the divine revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is the sum and substance of both the Old and New Testament who is the faithful and true witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Under the mystical rumber seven, every branch of his church is addressed in particular, till all the branches are merged in one; when the watchmen on the walls of Zion, shall see eye to eye, in the full blaze of the millenium. The apostle, like his brother Paul, had a view of the heavenly state, and of the eternal throne; and of Him who sat upon it. He also saw the pure and holy worship, the profound reverence, awe and humility of the church triumphant, (for heaven is a place of humility).Rev. IV. I After this I looked, and behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard, was as it were, of a trumpet talking with me; which said, come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter. 2. And imme diately I was in the spirit; and behold a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne. The throne of God was not encompassed with consuming fire and dreadful wrath to devour the poor guilty race of rebellious man, being sprinkled with the infinitely precious atoning blood of the Lamb, slain from the foundation of the world. All was mercy and peace in heaven, good will to men--the emblem of peace, the rainbow of the everlasting covenant, was always seen fresh and green, round about the throne. There was no flaming sword of Divine vengeance, for all the Divine attributes, and perfections, sweetly meet, and harmonize in the blessed Jesus. The infinitely holy, pure, and righteous government of God maintained. The holy law of God magnified and made honorable by our surety, our Emmanuel, The Three One God, glorified in the eternal salvation of poor sinners of our guilty, lost and ruin. ed race, and we made everlasting debtors, to free, rich and sovereign mercy and grace, through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. The poor perishing and dying sinners, saved from their sins, (not in their sins) sanctified and made meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light, by the irresistible influences of God the Holy Spirit.
3. And he that sat, was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight, like unto an emerald. 4. And round about the throne, were four and twenty seats; and upon the seats, I saw four and twenty elders stiting clothed in white raiment, and they had on their heads crowns of gold. The representatives of the church triumphant, dressed in the pure and white robe of the imputed righteousness of Christ, and made kings and priests unto God.
5. And out of the throne proceeded lightnings, and thunderings, and voices. And there were seven lamps of fire burde ing before the throne, which are the seven spirits of God. Ø. And before the throne, there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts (creatures of life, or living creatures) full of eyes, before and behind.'
Here the four living creatures, the four different dispensa• tions of mercy and grace, are represented by these four figures, as full of eyes before and behind. The first is the patriarchal church; for they were strong in the faith, giving glory to God. The lives which they lived in the flesh, they lived by the faith of the Son of God,the promised seed of the woman,by the eye of faith they looked to the promises, behind and before for the fulfilment of the promise made by the God of truth. They trere strong in this true and living faith, and were fitly represented by the Lion. The second living creature, or ceremobial dispensation was a yoke of bondage under the law. But under this dark dispensation the Jewish Church was alone the depository of the lively oracles of God. They received the moral law, and had also a mighty accumulation of divine light by the holy prophets of God. And had much clearer discoveries of the advent of the Blessed Messiah. the desire of all nations. His humiliation, his life of suffering, his death, resurrection, ascension, and inconceivably glorious exaltation. This dispensation of sacrifices, this yoke that some of the Judaizing teachers would have put on the Gentile church, which they nor tbeir fathers ever could bear, was very appropriately represented by the likeness of a calf or patient ox. The third living creature, the glorious and blessed light and liberty of the gospel. n Cor. jii, 15, 16, 17, 18. But even to this day, when Moses is read, the veil is upon their heart. Nevertheless, when it shall tarn to the Lord, the veil shall be taken away. Now the Lord is that spirit; and where the spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. Bat we all with open face beholding as in a glass the glo. ry of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory te glory, even as by the spirit of the Lord. 2. Tim 1. 9. 10.Who bath saved us and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world be. gan; but is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. The fourth living creature, is the Gospel Church in the millenium. The church will renew its strength and mount up with wings as eagles; shall see with eagle eyes, much more clearly, the pure light of the divine word that testified of the glorious and blessed Sun of righteousness. When it shall not be necessary for man to say to his neighbour: know the Lord, for all shall know Him, from the least to the greatest--this dispensation is fitly compared to a flying eagle.
The four states of the church of God, are living creatures, full of eyes within, by a true and living faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.--2. Cor. 4.18.While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen, are eternal.-Heb. 11. 9. 19. By faith, Abraham sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise--for he looked for a city which hath foundation, whose builder and maker is God. They confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth; for they that say such things, declare plainly, that they seek a country; but now they desire a better country--that is an heavenly--wherefore, God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.--39. 40. And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise. God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.
8. And the four beasts (living creatures) had cach of them
six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within; and they rest not day and night,saying,holy,holy,holy,Lord ,God, Almighty, which was, & is, & is to come. Evidently uttering the bighest ascriptions of glory, honor, adoration and praise, to the ever blessed, Three One, Co Eternal, Co Equal God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost.
9. And when those living creatures give glory and honor, and thanks to Him that sat on the throne, who liveth forever
10. The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat upon the throne&,worship him that liveth forever&ever;& cast their crowns before the throne, saying; 11. Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor, and power, for thou hast created all things and for thy pleasure they are and were created.-Eph. 2, 10. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hathbefore ordained that we should walk in them.
3. 9. And to make all men see what is the fellowship of this mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ.—Col. 1. 16. For by Him were all things created that are in heaven and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones or dominions, or principalities or powers: all things were created by Him and for Him.
17. And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.
18. And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the first born from the dead; that in all things he might have the pre-eminence.
19. For it pleased the Father, that in him should all fulness dwell.
The fifth chapter runs back into the counsels of eternity, and brings into review the book of God's eternal purpose of mercy and grace to mankind, sinners-by the sacrifice of his well beloved Son, in the fulness of time to be made of a woman,