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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 xxï. 14; Is. ii. 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 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, thé 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,) 'Eyo xai ó noring er 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
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 yeypaupévov, 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 ωδήν καινήν ενωthe 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 μαθεϊν 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.
harpers upon their harps ; the same voice being the utterance of awful denunciation to the followers of the beast, and of praise and rejoicing to the followers of the Lamb. The voice of the God of Israel is said to be like the voice of many waters, Ezek. xliii. 2; and thunder is spoken of in Scripture (Job xl. 9) as the voice of God.
We suppose both the voice and the music of the harpers to have a prospective aspect, indicative of the nature of the revelation about being made: something of the character of a grand overture, or musical prelude, in a dramatic exhibition—something indicating a pause, and marking a distinction between the representations already made and those immediately succeeding.
* And they sung a new song,' &c. ;-or, they chanted a new ode. It is not said what were the words of this song, but we may suppose it to comprehend in substance the glad tidings of redemption ;
-perhaps the song of the Lamb, as distinguished from the song of Moses spoken of in the next chapter ; or perhaps these two constitute the same song. This song, however, was sung before the throne, and before the four living creatures, and before the twenty-four elders only. It is something taking place in the divine councils, but not yet supposed to be revealed on earth ;—something in accordance with the element of divine sovereignty, with the divine attributes symbolized by the four living creatures, and with the elements of the Old Testament dispensation, represented by the twenty-four elders. In effect, it may be what we commonly understand by the gospel itself, as revealed in the New Testament.
* And no man,' or rather no one, oudzis, “could learn that song ;' neither man nor angel-no created being except the one hundred and fortyfour thousand; that is, no one could leam the ode so as to sing it: all who heard it might understand it, but only a certain class could sing it. Vir tually, the song of redemption through the vicarious offering of the Lamb, can be sung only by the elements of revelation found in the Old and New Testaments, (the one hundred and forty-four thousand,) spiritually understood ; principles of the economy of redemption drawn from the sacred Scriptures, diffused as they may be amongst the mass of earthly elements, or found in a variety of human systems, but at last redeemed, brought out, and distinguished by their seal or characteristic feature. As with disciples none can feel the gratitude due to God for redemption but those who are sensible that this redemption is entirely of sovereign grace, so no principle of doctrine can contribute to the praise and glory of God, as the only Saviour, but such as is entirely unmixed with any principle of self-righteousness. These principles of doctrine are to be gathered only from the combination of Old and New Testament truths.
Vs. 4, 5. These are they which were Ούτοι εισιν, οι μετά γυναικών ουκ εμο. not defiled with women; for they are vir- λύνθησαν· παρθένοι γάρ εισιν· ούτοι εισιν gins. These are they which follow the oι ακολουθούντες το αρνίω όπου αν υπάγη. Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, (being) ούτοι ήγοράσθησαν από των ανθρώπων the first-fruits unto God and to the Lamb. inugan tơ geộ xai to apviq, xai év tom And in their mouth was found no guile: στόματι αυτών ουχ ευρέθη ψεύδος» άμωμοι for they are without fault before the throne yáo ciou. of God.
$ 328. “These are they which were not defiled,' contaminated, &c.The word rendered defiled carries with it the idea of something spotted ; from uolúva, to stain, or mark a white substance with another colour, (Donegan.) This appears to be a strong figurative expression of the perfect singleness and unmixed character of the principles represented by the one hundred and forty-four thousand ;-their perfect freedom from amalgamation, not being mixed even with principles otherwise harmless.
These elements are entirely pure, not admitting of any motive of service, other than that of gratitude for a free salvation. The figure is very much of the same character as that employed Rev. iii. 4: “ Thou hast a few names even in Sardis, which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white, for they are worthy,” ($ 86.)
These are they which follow the Lamb,' &c.—The Lamb is the element of propitiation : the way in which the Lamb goes is the way of salvation—the way of a free salvation. The principles represented by the one hundred and forty-four thousand follow in the same path ; they are all consistent with the leading principle, and all, as it were, walk in his steps—all conform to the same rule, and confine themselves to the same track. A characteristic peculiar to sheep, and to which there may be some allusion in the figure here adopted: as doctrines expressing and admitting nothing, having a tendency inconsistent with the element of propitiation, the leading principle of the economy of salvation.
* These were redeemed from among men;' —men being a figurative expression for the whole mass of principles in the earthly system, or in all human systems. Out of this mass these one hundred and forty-four thousand truths are redeemed-brought out and manifested to belong to the heavenly system.
· The first-fruits,' &c.,--specimens; also the first of the harvest. As principles of gratitude for unmerited favour may be considered the first-fruits of salvation by grace, so these elements of gospel truths are specimens as well as first-fruits of all truths peculiar to God's plan of redemption ; all having the same tendency to lay a foundation of love and gratitude towards the divine Benefactor and Giver of every good and perfect gift. As it is said, Rom. xi. 16, “ For if the first-fruit be holy, the lump is also holy," so it may be