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mitted into his presence. Good, likewife, is the report of the gospel. It has a powerful effect upon those who receive it by faith. It is abundantly sufficient to convince them, of the comparative insignificance, of all that they most admired and esteemed in this world. From that hour, they become strangers and pilgrims upon earth. They set out, in the way which God has prescribed, in hopes of seeing him who is greater than Solomon; and the report they have heard of him, is their subject, their song, and their joy, while they are on their journey, and their great support, under the difficulties they meet with on the road. What then will it be to see him as he is ? As yet, the one half is not told them. Or, at least, they are not yet capable of conceiving the half, or the thousandth part, of what they read in the scripture, concerning his wisdom, his glory, and his grace. We weaken, rather than enlarge, the sense of such a passage as this, by our feeble comments. We must die, before we can understand it. To the bulk of mankind, Wuit the great teacher, death; is cold, is dangerous advice. If they are not taught by the gospel, while they
live, the teaching of death will be too late. Dreadful will be the condition of those, who cannot be convinced of their mistakes, till repentance and amendment will be impracticable. But death will be a great teacher, indeed, to a believer ; he will then know more by a glance, and in a moment, of the happiness he is now expecting, than by all he could collect, from the enquiry and experience of a long course of years, in this world.
The scenery of this chapter, if attentively considered, is sufficient, to snatch our thoughts from the little concernments of time, and, to give us some anticipation of the employments and enjoyments of heaven. Come, all ye that are wearied and burdened with afflictions and temptations, look up, and for a while, at least, forget your sorrows! The Lamb is upon his throne, surrounded by a multitude of his redeemned people, who, once, were afflicted and burdened like yourselves ; but now all tears are wiped from their eyes. They have a song, peculiarly their own, and are represented, as taking the first and leading part in worship and praise. The angels cannot sing their song, they were not
redeemed to God by his blood; but they are interested in the subject. Their highest views, of the manifold wisdom of God, are derived from the wonders of redemption. Therefore they join in the chorus, Worthy is the Lamb that was pain, to receive power, and riches, and wisdom and strength, and honour and glory, and blessing. If you have a humble hope, of bearing a part, in this immortal song, will you hang down your heads like a bulrush, because you have the honour of following your Lord, through many tribulations, to his kingdom?
The number of the angels is expressed, in. definitely, ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands; myriads and millions; to intimate to us, that, with respect to our capacities and conceptions, they are innumerable. Their number is known to him, who telleth the number of the stars, and calleth them all by their names *; and to him only. The scripture intimates a diversity of ranks and orders among them, Thrones, doininions, principalities, and powers; but as to particulars, there is little said, that might gratify our curiosity. It is enough, for us, to * Pf.cxlvii. 4.
know that the highest of them, and that all of them, worship him who is clothed in our nature. My text expressly informs us, that the object of their worship is the Lamb that was sain. Not that the humanity of Christ, which is but a creature, is, simply and formally, the object of their worship. But they worship him who has assumed the human nature into personal union with himself; God manifest in the flesh, God in Christ. Though the world censure or despise us, for honouring the Son as we honour the Father *, we have here a good precedent, as we have, in many places of scripture, the warrant of an express command. Whether men are pleased or not, we will, we must, worship the Lamb that was flain. To animate our devotion, let us thankfully consider, Why he was llain, and How he was slain. .
1. Why he was pain. The redeemed say, For us. He loved us, and washed us from pur fins in his own blood f. They were finners and enemies. They were Naves to fin and Satan, yet he loved them, and died to redeem them. It is by virtue of his blood and death, that they are now before the throne. * John v. 23.
+ Rev. i. 5.
Nothing less than his death, could have made them duly sensible of their misery, nothing less, could have relieved them from it. He was lifted up upon the cross, that by the powerful magnetisin of his dying love, he might, in the hour of his grace, draw their hearts to himself*. This was the design, this was the effect of his fufferings. A crucified Saviour, though a stumbling-block to the felf-righteous, and foolishness to vain reafoners, was, to them, the power and the wisdom of God, for falvation. They looked ụnto him, and were enlightened, they trusted in him and were not ashamed. By faith in his name, they obtained peace with God, they renounced the ways of sin, they warred the good warfare, they overcame the world, and were, at length, made more than conquerors. For his fake, they endured the cross, and despised the shame. They met with bad treatinent from the world, but it was from the world that crucified himn. While they were here, their characters were obscured, by their own imperfections, and by the misrepresentations and repraaches of their enemies. But now their reproach is re* John xii. 32.