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disciple's sense and conviction of this reality will be his gratitude towards the GOD of his salvation.
It is for this reason we apprehend, that is, to bring home to the mind of the believer a realizing sense of the benefits demanding his thankfulness and love, that the two systems of truth and falsehood are contrasted in this revelation ;—that the disciple may be not only convinced of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment, as he is already supposed to be, but that he may be taught also his own entire insufficiency in accomplishing the work of salvation for himself, and his consequent entire dependence upon the Lord his righteousness.
THE END OF PART I.
V. 1. And I looked, and lo, a [the] Και είδον, και ιδού το αρνίον εστηκός Lamb stood on the mount Sion, [ZION,] επί το όρος Σιών, και μετ αυτού εκατόν and with him a hundred forty (and) four thousand, having his Father's name writ, τεσσαρακοντατέσσαρες χιλιάδες, έχουσαι το ten in their foreheads.
όνομα αυτού και το όνομα του πατρός α
του γεγραμμένον επί των μετώπων αυτών. . $325. AND I looked, and lo'-This is a continuation of the seventh trumpet's sound; or rather, what is here seen is something existing simultaneously with what is related in the preceding chapter. While the two beasts are exercising their authority on the earth, the Lamb is standing on the Mount Sion ;—the succession is only in the spectator's perception. The apostle had been contemplating the ten-horned beast and his coadjutor in the plenitude of their power; he had seen, as the Psalmist expresses it, “ the wicked spreading himself like a green bay tree.” We may suppose his mind to have been almost overwhelmed by a feeling of despondency as well as of astonishment; when suddenly his attention is called to behold the remedial provision intended to counteract the evil influence so justly the subject of lamentation : as, when the eyes of the servant of the prophet in a moment of danger were opened, he saw “the mountain full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha,” 2 Kings vi. 14–17.
We have, in the scene presented by the opening of this chapter, an exhibition of a totally different character from that immediately preceding it; the prominent features of the spectacle being opposites of that just now contemplated : a Lamb, or rather the Lamb, according to our Greek edition, in place of the ten-horned beast ; a mountain instead of the sea, and a multitude with the name of the Father of the Lamb in their foreheads, instead of those bearing the mark of the beast ;—the six angels or heralds with the voice from heaven, subsequently described as interpreters of the divine will, being opposites of the false prophet or two-horned beast ;-as the heavenly region, in the midst of which their annunciations seem to have been made, is an opposite of the earthly element or system from which the false interpretation emanates. The mystery, the development of which is to be completed or finished in the days of the seventh angel, (Rev. x. 7,) being of this two-fold character—a mystery of truth, and a mystery of error ; a mystery of the system of grace and of the love of God on the one hand, and a mystery of the system of works and of covetousness, or of the love of self, on the other. The wo of this trumpet, as well as of the preceding, whether it consist in a development of the elements of truth or of the elements of error, is a wo to the dwellers upon the earth, with the exception of those standing with the Lamb upon Mount Zion. The revelation of course is not a wo in any respect to the dwellers in heaven ; that which is a wo to one class of beings or elements, is a cause of rejoicing to another class.
* And lo, the Lamb stood upon the Mount Zion.'—Whether we employ the definite article or not, it is very evident that the allusion is to the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world ; as it is said, Is. lix. 19, 20, When the enemy shall come in like a flood, (Rev. xii. 15,) the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him ; and Rom. xi. 26, “There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob.” The two beasts were seen rising from their respective elements, intimating something of a transitory character, having a beginning and an end. The Lamb on the contrary is seen standing, giving a permanency and unchangeableness to his position ; he was and is always there, although not always perceptible to human apprehension.
$ 326. • The Mount Zion.'--The article in this case may be intended to point out especially the spiritual Mount Zion ; this spiritual Zion being pre-eminently “ the mount of the Lord,” and “ the mountain of the Lord's house;" see Genesis xxi. 14; Is. ij. 2, 3. The literal Zion, or Sion, is said to be a mountain upon which the temple of the Lord was built in Jerusalem by Solomon, and where David built the city of David, over against, and north of, the ancient Jebus, or Jerusalem, which stood on the hill opposite to Zion, (Calmet.) It is probably to the spiritual Zion that the king of Israel alludes, Ps. xlviii. 2: “ Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is Mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King ;" —not the city of an earthly king, but of the King of Glorythe King spoken of, Ps. ii. 6, and cxlix. 2.
Zion and Jerusalem appear to be sometimes employed in Scripture, figuratively, as interchangeable terms or nearly equivalents ; but there is this difference between them, that Zion uniformly represents something unchangeable in its character. It is sometimes spoken of as suffering in a state of duress, but never as a thing subject to perversion ; while Jerusalem is at times chargeable even with abominations, Ezek. xvi. 2. Zion may be an equivalent of the new or true Jerusalem, or vision of peace—the covenant of grace; but never a figure of the old Jerusalem, or Jerusalem in bondage, spoken of by Paul as an equivalent of Mount Sinai, Gal. iv. 25. If Sion be figuratively put for the holy city, it must be so especially with reference to the foundation or rock upon which the city is built ; as the site of a city remains the same, although the city itself may be taken, or even destroyed by an enemy. Mount Zion is thus, we think, a figure of the divine purpose of grace upon which the whole plan of salvation depends, and from which the element of atonement or propitiatory sacrifice (the Lamb) emanates, or rather upon which it stands. This divine will or purpose is something immovable; it may be misrepresented, but this spiritual Zion is in its own nature unchangeable ; as it is said, Ps. cxxv. 1, “ They that trust in the Lord shall be as Mount Zion, which cannot be removed, but abideth for ever ;” and Is. liv. 10, “ The mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed ; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the Lord that hath mercy on thee."
As a mountain is an opposite of the sea, or of an abyss, so this Zion, or divine purpose of grace, may be taken as the opposite of a state of apprehension, resulting from the position of condemnation ; corresponding with the contrast drawn by Paul between the two mountains, Zion and Sinai, Heb. xii. 18-22. The Lamb, (the Lamb of God,) as the only efficient cause of salvation, is the opposite of the beast : as the image of divine righteousness, by the imputation of which this salvation is effected, he is the opposite of the image of the beast; as the imputed righteousness of God is the opposite of the imaginary righteousness of self. The divine element of propitiation is sustained by the purpose of sovereign grace,—the Word, the Logos, the overcoming principle of perfect sovereignty. The Lamb rests upon a mountain or rock; he is indeed identified with it, as the Son is declared to be identic with the Godhead, (John x. 30,) 'Eya xai ó nating fr šouer. Of both, the disciple may say with the Psalmist, “ The Rock of strength and my refuge is in God. He only is the rock of my salvation." The believer thus contemplating the atoning sacrifice of Jesus—the great element of propitiation for sin—resting as it does upon the immutable principle of sovereign grace, and exhibited in the manifestation of God's love in Christ, may be said to see in spirit, with the apostle, the Lamb standing on Mount Zion.
· And with him an hundred and forty-four thousand, having his Father's name written in their foreheads; '-or, as our Greek edition has it, his name and his Father's name.
The difference is not material, as both we apprehend constitute one name, which the participle yeypauuévov, in the singular, also implies. This select number we presume to be that spoken of Rev. vii. 4; elements of doctrine peculiar to the combined testimony of the Old and New Testament revelations, ($ 175.) We do not suppose them to represent disciples themselves, but the relation of these principles personified is analogous with that between the disciple and the divine purpose of mercy. The one hundred and forty-four thousand sealed, depend for the evidence of their truth upon the fact that, with the element of divine propitiation, they stand or rest upon the purpose of sovereign grace as upon the foundation afforded by a rock; the disciple depends for his hopes upon the fact, that the same element of propitiation, with all its attendant principles of redemption, rests upon this same sovereign purpose of free unmerited favour.
These principles of the gospel truth, as we conceive them to be, carry with them a certain prominent characteristic, equivalent to a name impressed upon the forehead of a human being. This characteristic is called a name of the Father, or of the Father and Son: we presume it to be the new name inscribed upon the pillar in the temple of God, Jehovah our righteousness, ($ 100 ;) every element of doctrine thus distinguished, possessing the prominent feature of tending to exhibit Jehovah as the only righteousness of his people.*
Vs. 2, 3. And I heard a voice from Και ήκουσα φωνήν εκ του ουρανού ως heaven, as the Voice of many waters, and φωνήν υδάτων πολλών και ως φωνήν βρονas the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the Voice of Harpers harping with της μεγάλης, και η φωνή, ήν ήκουσα, ως their harps: and they sung as it were a κιθαρωδών κιθαριζόντων εν ταις κιθάραις new song before the throne, and before αυτών και άδουσιν ως οδην καινήν ενώthe four beasts, [living creatures,] and πιον του θρόνου και ενώπιον των τεσσάρων the elders: and no man can learn that ζώων και των πρεσβυτέρων» και ουδείς ήδύsong but the hundred (and) forty (and) four thousand, which were redeemed from
νατο μαθείν την ωδήν, ει μη αι εκατόν τεσthe earth.
σαρακοντατέσσαρες χιλιάδες, οι ήγορασμέ
νοι από της γης. . $327. 'And I heard a voice,' &c.—The voice from heaven, as in contradistinction to the voice from the earth, may intimate a revelation of truth in its proper spiritual sense. There is some difference here in the Greek readings. According to our common version, we might suppose two voices to be heard, one the opposite of the other : the voice as of many waters, and as of great thunder, or the language of denunciation ; and the voice of harpers, or the language of praise. But, according to our Greek edition, the reading should be, “And the voice which I heard,' that is, the voice from heaven, so strong and so intimidating, was as the harping of
* If the seal of these select ones were described to be the impression of a mark only, we might suppose this characteristic feature to be that of exhibiting especially the love of God, as it is said God is love; or it might be the mark of a tendency to the formation of the grateful sentiments peculiar to a system of salvation by grace ; but as the mark is stated to be a name, the name of God and also of his Son, we cannot apparently do otherwise than suppose it to be the name above referred to-being as such also an opposite of the name of the beast.