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they will better underltand the meaning of the fifth and lixth chapters. Firit it is to be understood that John saw these great and glorious things by way of vision.
Now I would have the reader to understand, that visions are hard to be interpreted by one that never saw them.
Yet as far as the revelation of faith can open them, I shall do it, which I know is more than any man in the world can do at this day, or shall hereafter, to the world's end.
Therefore if the reader doth but understand the spiritual substance, andmeaning of John's visions, though not every particular circumstance, I say, it will give full satisfaction to the mind of man as to the scriptures, and to their eternal salvation.
The first thing that John faw in his vision, it was a door opened in heaven : Now I would have the seed of faith to understand that there is a door belonging to heaven, and a door belonging to hell.
Therefore called in scripture the gates of heaven and of hell, as Christ said unto Peter, I have given thee the keys of heaven and of hell.
So likewise when the five foolish virgins came to the door where the bridegroom was, but the door was shut upon them, so that they could not come into that eternal marriage.
So that there is a door belongs to heaven, also there must be somebody to
open this door.
It is much like unto a king's Palace, where no inferior person can see into it, except the door-keeper do open the door.
There is no earthly king's palace but hath a door to it, neither can any man fee into it, except the door be opened.
Now as there is a door of earthly substance which may be seen and felt, belonging to every earthly king's palace, the palace being earthly also, though decked and set forth very gloriously
to the eye of sense and reason, because it belongeth to reason's kingdom ;
So likewise there is as real an heavenly palace above, and beyond the stars, where Christ the king of heaven doth fit upon his throne.
Also there is a door belonging to it of a spiritual and heavenly substance, which may be seen, felt, and understood by the eye of faith, as the other is by the eye of reason.
Therefore it is said in scripture by the apostles; we speak the tbings which we bave seen, which we have beard, which we bave tasted, which we havic handled, of the word of life.
So that there is as real a spiritual substance to be seen, tasted, and handled by the feed of faith in the mind, as there are temporal things by the feed of reason.
Likewise Christ is called a door himself, and he hath the key of David, who openeth and no man shutteth.
And this is he that opened the door of John's understanding, and let him fee in a vision the glory of heaven, and him that fate on the throne, as you may fee in' verse. 2. For as soon as ever John had heard the voice, that is, as foon as ever the door of his understanding was opened, the door of heaven was opened also.
And the door of heaven being opened, there was presented, in a vision, to his fight, few things that must be hereafter.
Now what those things which must be hereafter are, they are signified in the vision in the chapters following;
For the voice which talked with John in the vision, bad him come up hither,. and I will shew the things which must be hereafter.
And immediately John was in the spirit, that is, he was so ravished and wrapt up in his spirit with the fight of heaven, and the glory thereof in the vision, the door of heaven being opened, that he was as Paul was, whether in the body, or out of the body, he could not tell.
For John did see things unutterable, for indeed the things of God's becoming flesh, and fuffering death, and the glorious effects thereof, they are unutterable; that is, the tongue of man cannot explain it, not as it is in itself.
But men that have written the Scriptures, and have had visions and revelations of these heavenly things, they have expressed them to the capacity of man, as they could by words.
So that men might believe the things of God, which are spiritual and eternal, by words of mortal men like themselves.
As men do understand one another in the things of this world.
And the gift of interpretation of scriptures, which was written by revelation and vision, I say it is more profitable to man than the fcriptures themselves.
For what profit is it to a man to read another man's revelation or vision, and know nothing of it himself? Therefore interpretation of fcriptures the best, and most profitable gift unto the seed of faith now a-days, to lead them unto their eternal rest.
Therefore to unfold something more of John's vision in verse, 2. And immediately he was in the spirtt, and behold a throne was set in heaven, and one fate on the tbrone.
And in verse 3. he tells what he was like that fate on the throne ; and in verse, 4. he faith, And round about the throne were four and twenty seats, and and upon the seats John saw four and twenty elders fitting, cloatbed in white raiment, and they had on their heads crowns of gold.
And in verse 5. There were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.
And in verse, 6. And before the throne there was a fea of glass like unto chrystal, and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beafts full of eyes before and behind.
And in verse 9. And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face like a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle.
Verse 8. And the four beasts bad each of them fix wings about him, and they were full of eyes within, and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, boly, boly, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come. Verse
9. And when those beasts gave glory, and honour, and thanks to bim that fate on the throne, who livetb for ever and ever.
I shall give a short interpretation of these things afore-mentioned. In verse 2. John saw a throne in heaven, and him that sat thereon.
You may remember how I have shewed before, that there are thrones in heaven, as there are here in earth, and there is a throne in special for the king of heaven, as there is for a king here on earth.
And he which John saw to sit upon the throne in heaven, it was no other but the Lord Jesus Christ, as aforesaid.
... Though John doth set him forth in verse 3. That be was to look upon like a jasper, and a fardine stone, with other glorious expressions, which is only to set forth the glory of him that sat upon the throne.
And in verse 4. Round about the throne were four and twenty seats, and upon the seats were four and twenty elders fitting, cloatbed in white raiment, and they bad on their beads crowns of gold.
It is much like unto the throne of an earthly king; for an earthly king hath many feats for his nobility to sit on round about the throne, where he seats himself.
And the nobility do sit in those seats, according to their degree and place.
Likewise the nobility have crowns of gold, upon their heads, though not so absolute crowns of gold as the king himself.
Yet they have a resemblance and likeness of crowns, signifying that they are of the blood royal.
So is it in heaven, the four and twenty elders being of the blood royal, coheirs unto the kingdom of heaven, they have seats to lit upon round about the king's throne.
And as for the four and twenty elders what they are, I have opened at large in the Interpretation of the eleventh of Revelation,
Therefore I shall not speak of them here: but as for their being clothed in white raiment, the meaning of that is this :
They were cloathed in their minds, while they lived in this world, with the righteousness of faith, which purifies the heart; and not by the righteousness of the law; for by the deeds of the law shall no desh be justified; but by the righteousness of faith is every true believer justified.
And these four and twenty elders being justified by faith, in the blood of the Lamb, they may be said to be cloathed in white raiment.
That is, they are pure and white in their souls, by being washed in the blood of the Lamb, by faith, as aforesaid.
They have no guilt of sin upon them at all, &c.
And in verse 5. it is said, That there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.
The meaning of those seven lamps which burned before the throne, I declare they were the seven churches of Asia.
That is, the fouls of the true believers, which were of the feven churches of Asia, were those feven lamps which burned before the throne.
And the seven spirits of God are those several gifts of grace, which he gave to the seven churches of Asia, as aforesaid. And that grace of faith and love, which God gave to the seven churchs of
Afia, it burneth in the lamps of their souls, before the throne of God to eternity.
For every foul is a lamp for the fire of God's love to burn in, if there be but oyl in your lamp, that is, if there be but faith in the heart.
It will be a glorious place for the candle of the Lord, which is the spirit of God, to burn in, and happy will that man be that hath his lamp burning before - the throne of God, as these feven churches of Asia shall.
For this I would have the seed of faith to understand, that John speaketh of thing's to come as if they were in present being. 6 For visions and revelations speaketh of things at a distance, as if they were in present sight.
Because God and faith knows that time will be swallowed up into eternity. Therefore it is that John doth say in his vision, that he saw such and such things already, when as the things which he speaketh that he faw, were not accomplished at that time, nor many of them not as yet.
But however they will be accomplished, because God is truth, and will not frustrate the faith of his prophets, apostles, and saints.
But according to their faith it shall be unto them.
So much concerning the seven lamps and the seven spirits of God, I suppose the feed of faith may understand the true meaning of it.
CH A P.
chrystal, and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind.
Here you that have faith, may see that there is in heaven, above the stars, a chrystal sea like unto glass, or a sea of glass like unto chrystal; that is, the glorious water or sea above the stars is set forth by those things which are most pure, and most esteemed of by the reason of man here in the kingdom of this world, but as certain as there is a sea and waters in this world,. else the creatures therein could not live. - So likewise there is a sea and waters above the stars, though of another nature, differing from this here below, yet they are real substances as these are.
But because mortal men cannot declare, nor make known the nature and subítance of them, neither can mortal man understand it, if it could be declared.
Therefore the Revelation of John calls it a sea of glass like unto chrystal, because chryftal is highly esteemned of by the reason of man.
But however, it is for certain that there is a sea and waters above the stars, let it be like what it will.
For this I would have the reader to understand, that the things which are, were not made of things which do appear, according to Paul's words, then of necefsity they must be made of things that do not appear, that is, of things above the stars, from whence the original of all life came.,
But in what condition things were, and are in their heaven, no man can tell, but by faith.
Therefore if the revelation of the fpirit of faith will call the waters above the stars A sea of glass like unto chrystal, who shall gain say it?
Neither is it to be looked upon as an allegory, as many do vainly imagine, but a real spiritual substance.
For this must be understood by the reader, that God created or made all creatures of something ; he had matter and substance to make every creature of.
He did not make living substances of an allegory, that is, as if we should say God made all things of nothing; For an allegory is nothing, and of nothing comes nothing.
Yet the vain imagination of wise and learned men have not been ashamed to say, that God made this world of nothing ; but I shall let that passé | Again, what should be the meaning of the four beasts full of eyes before and behind ?
These four beasts which John saw in his vision in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, I declare they were four good beasts :
That is, they were four good kings; and if there were four thousand good kings, yet they are all reckoned but into four: all good kings are included in these four.
These four beasts do signify the four monarchies, that is, all the good kings that acted well, and had faith in the true God, under the four monarchies, are called by the Revelation of John, the four beafts full of eyes before and behind.
Now what particular persons these four beasts were, the Revelation of John gives no light into :
But this I say, that king David was one of these four beasts, he being the first beast, that was like a lion, he being of the tribe of Judah, from whence the scepter should not depart until Shiloh' come.
This Shiloh being Christ, the root of David, he is cailed The lion of the tribe of Judah, as may be read in Revlations v. 5. And David being of the tribe of Judah, and he being chosen king by the Lord Jesus the Almighty God, he was the Creator.
Who afterwards became a child, as Isaiah faith, and so called The Son of David, of the tribe of Judah.
When as indeed he was David's lord; he was David's lord as he was the Creator:
But as he took upon him the feed of the woman, which is the nature of man, he became a little child, and so God became flesh;
And he being of the tribe and lineage of David, as he is a Redeemer, he may be, and is called the son of David.
And what ever David did in point of war, it was justified by Jesus Christ, as he was his Lord ;
For it is said in scripture, That David walked with a per fest heart before the Lord in all things, only in the matter of Uriah.
And David being the first king that wrought righteousness before the Lord in all his war, and he being of the tribe of Judah, he is called by the Revelation of John the first beast that was like a lion
For he acted as in the person of Christ, who is the lion himself of the tribe of Judah, as Jacob did prophesy when he blessed his fons.