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one heart and mind , but that at the close of it , a party spirit would be admitted , which was to be endeavoured to be diestroyed by exhortations to unity under the threat of the } ight of this church being extinguished . JLet any one upon comparing this
message with the writings of the New Testament , say , if the prophecy does tiot agree with its accomplishment , and if it is possible to place any other period of the history of Christianity which it would have so Well agreed with . Let us now turn to the prophecy .
Chap . iv . 1 , John is invited to look into futurity , and 2 , in a prophetic vision beholds a throne ; 5 , and Jesus gloriously enthroned on it 3 4 , surrounded by twenty-four ancients in priestly robes , with regal crowns on each side encircling him on the throne ;
5 , 6 , the usual accompaniments of the Divine Presence with the sea of glass before the throne ; 79 8 , and the cherubic standard of Israel displayed : a lion for Judah on the East , an eagle for Dan on the North , a man for Reuben on the South , and an ox for
Ephraim on the West ; whilst the army of Israel under their respective standards pronounce that he who was dead , but is now alive , and who cometh to judge the foorld , God ' s appointed ruler , is thrice holy and all-powerful ; 9—11 , whilst the army of Israel with their standard-bearers , ascribe honour
and glory to Jesus their ruler , the twenty-four ancients , or the united chiefs of the royal priesthood hi both dispensations , raise the chorus , " Worthy art thou , our Chief , with our God most holy , " To receive the glory , the honour and the power ;
* ' For thou hast formed the whole . " And they were and are formed according to thy will . " Comp . Eph . i . 10 , 20 , Coloss . i . 1 G . Chap . v . continues this grand scene , in which the whole army of Israel
have by acclamation approved of their general officer . 1 , the sealed scroll of futurity lien ou the light sidle of the throne of God , sealed Vvilh seven seals ; 2 , a messenger inquires who is worthy to ufrii-ol it ; 8 , 4 , and John weeps because none are found
Worthy ; but 5 , is cohifoited by one 6 f the ancients , Who tells'him who is ttfdt-thy ; 6—8 , Jesus theh descends from the throne , akid takes the book .
on which the twenty-four ancients again pay their homage , saying , * '* Thou art worthy to take the scroll , and operi its seals ; " For thou wast slain , and hast redeemed us to God by thy-bteod , " Ftfom every tribe , and language , and people , and nation : \
"And hast made us kings aijd priests to our God . " And we shall reign upon the earth . " To this sublime acknowledgment of the royal and priestly rank being derived from the superior virtue of their Leader , the army of God , under his banners , reply , in chorus , 6
* Worthy is the Lamb that was slain , * ' To receive power , and wealth , and wisdom , ** And strength , and honour , and
glory , and blessing . ' To this chorus the whole living and dead repeat in chorus , " To the Lamb be blessing , arid honour , and power , " And strength to the age of ages . " The four battalions of Israel , i . e .
the united church militant throughout the world , under their respective standards , exclaim , iC So be it ^ " on which the royal priesthood pay homage to their King . We see here the enjoined duty on the teachers of that day : whilst the artny of Jesus was collecting recruits in Palestine , and the whole civilized
wdrid , it was to unfold the vast political designs intended to be accomplished by the doctrines of the cross ; atid , that though Christianity was the most moral and virtuous of al ]
religions , yet that was not all , they tvere to prove to Christians the importance of their doctrines ^ lives and conversations ; they being the weapons by which God intended to subdue the
world . We are now conie to the Smyrna state of Christianity . The church of Ephesus was , as the name expresses it , the desired Church , that state which prophets and kings had desired to see , — the Messiah come . They had left their first love , and , not
repentiug , their lamp , ds foretold , was removed . No successors were giver * to the apostles , by whom miraculous powers could be conferred on the Christian . But he was left to pfove the truth of his religibn by its owit
44 Biblical Criticism . * — On ike Contents of the Booh of the Revelation .
Monthly Repository (1806-1838) and Unitarian Chronicle (1832-1833), Jan. 2, 1819, page 44, in the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (2008; 2018) ncse.ac.uk/periodicals/mruc/issues/vm2-ncseproduct1768/page/44/