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only, as I think, clear, from the common use of the New Testament, but from certain passages of the book itself. For example, the opening of it (i. 7): “Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him : and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him : even so. Amen." And the conclusion of it (xxii. 17): “And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come.” Ver. 20 : “ He who testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly: Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus." Now if the book did not concern the coming of the Lord, why would it thus open and conclude with solemn invocations for him to come? But if the subject of it be, to lay open the time, manner, and circumstances of his revelation, then it is well opened and concluded with a solemn averment from Christ's own mouth, that he would quickly come; and a glad response from the Prophet's mouth, that he would so quickly come. There is another passage in the book, which casts light upon the title : it is written in the xth chap. ver. 7: “ But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.” This is the only part of the book where a mystery is spoken of: but a revelation always implies a mystery; and in the very name Revelation, the idea of a mystery is contained all throughout. The perfecting of the mystery, therefore, in the days of the seventh angel, when time shall be no longer, is, I take it, nothing else than that the thing taken in hand to be opened in this book, is then completed. Now, if we look at the context of that passage, we find that it contains the descent of Christ from heaven to earth, and his taking possession of earth and sea, in the name of the eternal God who created them. The mystery, then, which is perfected, is the mystery of his manifestation; and this book is the evolution of the mystery, is the steps and progression of the Divine purpose, to reveal his Son, with power and great glory, which is not fully perfected, until the seventh angel shall have blown his blast. Jehovah said unto our Lord, “ Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.” This book contains the acts of Jehovah, by which Christ's enemies are made his footstool, after which Christ sitteth no longer

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at his right hand, but cometh to rule in the midst of his subjugated enemies. There was a long time to intervene before the grand object of the church's faith and hope was to appear: none of the Apostles were permitted to know the times and seasons; but the Spirit in them did ever witness to the coming and kingdom of the Lord, whereof they preached the good news; and the same Spirit did seal their disciples until that day of the redemption, and did become unto them for an earnest of that inheritance; but, until the great disclosure of this book, there were no marks or signs by which the progression and the approach of that great hope of the world might be recognized. God who changeth not, and the Holy Spirit who speaketh only the unchanging truth of God, had from the beginning conceived, fixed, and determined the times, and the seasons ; but the mystery thereof he openeth according to the fitness of the times, and consistently with the responsibility and discipline of the church : For example : He did not tell unto Jacob when he went down unto Egypt, that he and his children were going down to the house of bondage, although he had told this to Abraham from the beginning of the covenant ; neither did he tell to the children of Israel that they were to wander forty years in the wilderness, and perish there when he made the covenant with them at Sinai, but did reserve this communication till they had ten times contradicted and provoked him, and then it was told as a judgment. In like manner he did not tell unto the Jewish people that for two thousand years the Gentiles were to possess Abraham's covenant when they were cast out, but did reserve the burdensome tidings till after they should have rejected Christ and his Apostles. And as in all these former instances, the communication of evil tidings unto the church was reserved until the evil had been revealed in her, for which they were announced as the chastisement; so, in this last instance of a communication to the church, it was not until she had much offended God with her backslidings, heresies, and schisms, as we see in the seven epistles to the Asiatic Churches, that the Lord

forth this book which postponed for a long season, or rather revealed the certain and appointed time at which the Lord is to appear. In the Acts and Epistles which are the only documents of the primitive church, the coming of Christ is the great, and I may say only, object of the church's prospective faith. But there it appears as a mystery, glorious, but undefined; full in their view, but undetermined in its distance; the measure of which, and the fearful things which were to happen to the church before, and upon


his appearing, were reserved for communication until they could be communicated in the way of a judgment and vexation unto the church for her many provocations of God. In this way it is, that the unfoldings of God's purpose are made consistent both with the discipline of his church, and the responsibility of every man. And what I have said with respect to the revelation of the purpose by inspired men, I say likewise of the opening and preaching thereof by uninspired, but gifted ministers, (i mean, gifted with the gifts of the Spirit, communicated to the faithful minister by the laying on of hands). The matter preached to any generation of the church, while it is the constant truth of God, consisteth of things new as well as old, whereof the new brought out of the treasury do bear a certain proportion in the way of discipline and responsibility to that generation of the church unto which they are communicated.

That this is the true account of the name and title of the book, I have no doubt. It is a point which I have perfectly ascertained, and upon which I am fully convinced; not indeed without much examination, and I do not wish you to receive it without the like consideration. They misrepresent me who say that I dogmatize and arrogate authority beyond my place, as if I spake in my own name and not in the name of Christ. It is not good so to withstand and vilify a brother, as I hear that some of them do ; speaking maliciously, or else ignorantly. Boldly indeed i do speak (adding to my faith boldness), because I speak from the heart the things which I have believed ; my conscience also bearing me witness. But I am always ready to give a reason of the hope that is in me with meekness and with fear : nor do I wish to overbear any man's conscience. Therefore, when I state to you that this name and title of the book signifies Jesus Christ revealed, Jesus Christ manifested, I leave it for you to consider those passages which I have read, and so to come to the same conclusion by the blessing of God and the teaching of his Spirit.

The name of the book is therefore the opening of Christ, the disclosing, the unveiling, the discovering of Christ. Now before going any farther, I shall draw one or two inferences from this first head. If the intention of the book be the unvailing or uncovering of Jesus Christ, it certainly must be a book of the very last importance for men to study ; for what is there that concerns a Christian, but Jesus Christ? for in him are hid all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. I know nothing of myself, I can know nothing of myself, I hope nothing of myself, I cannot say I know God, but in Jesus Christ. I know nothing of God, but according as I see him in the person of Jesus Christ ; I know nothing that is to come, or that is past, or that exists around me, but through the same interpretation which Jesus Christ is of God's fulness, --for all things were created by him, and all things were created for him, and in him all things consist. If then the person and offices of Jesus Christ be that which all preaching, and all hearing, and all understanding and research into Scripture are conversant with, surely, when God has written a book expressly for the purpose of unveiling and discovering him, it is a very bold thing for any person to say that book is not profitable for inen to search into; that the book is so difficult that it is in vain for men to search into it. For any one thus to speak, is to say that God undertook a thing for the good of the church, but failed in his good intent; he gave it to Jesus Christ to shew it unto his servants, and yet his servants have no profit or pleasure from it. For you to say that this book doth not unveil Christ but rather hide him, for you to doubt of its profitableness, for you to believe that it is a matter of uncertainty whether you will derive knowledge of Christ from it, is as much as to say that God has been defeated in his object; that God has not attained his wish; that he was trying to unveil Christ unto man, but it is a very doubtful thing whether he has unveiled him or not to any one. To entertain such doubt, such unbelief, and to follow such practices, is; I say, very irreverent distrust, and wicked disobedience of God. And here I may observe in passing,—for I always love to confirm what I say by my own experience,-that let other persons think and state what they please, truth constrains me to declare, that I have got more insight into the person and offices of my

blessed Lord, from the study of this book, than from the study of all Scripture besides : in very truth, it has proved to me the unveiling and discovering of the Lord Jesus Christ. To me it has been the Gospel, not indeed of his flesh, (the Gospel of the days of his flesh being written in the four Evangelists), but it has been the Gospel of his glory: it has discovered to me my Lord glorified, and shewn him to my soul as the great Bishop of souls; and as the great Head of the church, for the consolation of the church, it has shewn him also to my flock; and to myself, the minister over them, it hath shewn Him as the universal Bishop. And to many who are not of my flock, I have been enabled to demonstrate out of this book, that the Lord Jesus Christ hath been exalted of God to be the Prince of the kings of the earth; who doth himself, or the Father for him doth, bring about all the revolutions of the kingdoms, to the end of reducing all rule and dominion under the Man Christ Jesus, of putting all enemies under his feet. Here also we have seen him setting destruction in array against the apostacy of Rome; and while we behold infidelity advancing with giant strides to the supremacy of the kingdoms, we can look on undismayed, because we see herein written, that it shall speedily go into destruction, being overcome by the Lamb, and those who are with him, who are called, and faithful, and chosen. Truly hath it proved itself in my experience, and the experience of my people, to be a full disclosure, and complete opening of Jesus Christ, whose work, since his ascension until this day, is here discovered ; and his better work, when he shall come again in the glory of his power, to be honoured in his saints, to deliver the world from its oppressors and destroyers, and to bring it at length to pass that all nations shall be blessed in him, and all shall call him blessed. I do assure you, that it has been to me and my flock the book of the Gospel of Christ in risen glory; as the four Gospels are of Christ in fallen flesh. The Gospels are the revelation of Christ's work in the days of his flesh. calypse is the revelation of all things which he is doing in heaven. In the one I have seen God manifested in the Man humbled : I have seen in the other God manifested in the Man exalted. I have seen in the one God manifest

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