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of life, which is in the midst of the para. dise of God.
Smyrna is promised in like case, that they should not be hurt of the second death. Pergamus likewise is promised to eat of the manna that is hid, and to have the white Itone of victory given them. Thyatira is promised to have power given them to rule over nations and to be lightened with heavenly brightness, like the inorning star.Sardis is promised to be cloathed with whitę array, that is, with heavenly glory, and to have their name continued in the book of life. Philadelphia is promised to liave a pillar made in the temple of God; that is, a firm and unmoveable place of eternal glory: Laodicea is promised to sup with Christ, and to fit with him upon his throne for evermore. Thus we fee what great and precious promises are made to all churches that fight and overcome in this their spiritual battle and conflict. . Concerning the conclusion, it is one and the same to all the seven churches. Wherein they are exhorted, that such as have ears to hear, should hear, ponder, and consider all the aforesaid praises and dispraises, adinonitions, reprehensions, threats, and promises. And it is therefore said, such as have ears, because there are very few to be found that have circumcised and fancti. fied ears, to hear and understand heavenly things. This is proper to the elect, this is but to whom it is given. And thus briefly and generally we see what was the present state of every one of the churches of Asia, unto which this prophecy was to be sent: so that by them we may fee in what state the universal church militant was at that time. For as some of these seven as yet itood firm, and others had much declined, so was it with all other churches."
s Hitherto concerning the first vision, containing generally the inscription of this book; John's falutation to the churches; John's new calling; the excellency of Christ which called him; and the present state of the church. Now we proceed to the lecond vision, contained in the next eight chapters to the twelfth, wherein is shewed, what should be the future state of the church in all ages; even unto the end of the world.
CHA P. IV. THE principle thing contained in this
fourth chapter, is a description of the person of God, the author of this book, who is most gloriously described of that
excellent glory that is in himself, and of his royal throne which he fitteth upon, and of his goodly retinue, and troops of saints and angels attending about his inost gloriour throne. Whereunto is added the diverse qualities, both of angels and saints, both in themselves and their own natures: as also in their manner of praising and worShipping of God. This is the general sum and sense of this chapter.
But for the better clearing and more full opening of, I will come to the words of the text, and open them as they lie in order.
• After this I looked, and behold a door was open in heaven, and the first voice. I <heard, was as it were of a trumpet, talksing with me, saying, come up hither, and : * I will shew thee the things which must be * done hereafter,' Rev. iv. 1.
These words, after this, have relation to the first vision spoken of before, as if he Thould say, after I had received the former vision, concerning the present state of the church, now I had another vision concerning the future state thereof; and therefore he faith, a door was opened in heaven,' that he might come in and see all these things which should be revealed to him.. For the opening of the door in heaven doth here signify the unlocking of heavenly
things unto John, or his entrance into them: for fo the word door is taken, 2 Cor. ij. 12.-Rev. iii. 8. After the opening of the door, he is called up with a loud voice, like a trunipet, saying, “Come up hither;' for although the door was opened, yet dare he not enter in till he was called and commanded to come in. For in these cases he doth not presume in any thing as of himself, without special warrant and direction, as the scripture faith, “No man taketh this 'honour unto himself, but he that is called
of God, as-Aaron was,' Heb. v. 4. The voice that calleth him, is like a trumpet that is loud and Thrill, that he might be stirred up more diligently to attend unto the contemplation of these great fecrets which should be revealed unto him. This voice commandeth him to come up hither: which sheweth that John was wrapt up in the Spirit unto the heavens to see this vi. fion. This voice promiseth to shew him 'things which must be done hereafter,' that is, that he should be made acquainted with the future state of the church, as already he was with the present itate thereof. ' And immediately I was ravished in the 'Spirit, and behold, a thronę was set in "heaven, and one fat upon the throne, Rev, iv, 2.
Upon this sudden and extraordinary cal. Chefe wong unto him.gec: Hers and glori.
ling by so heavenly and loud a voice, John was forthwith ravished in Spirit. For as the prophet Ezekiel was by the Spirit in the visions of God, carried from Chaldea to s Jerusalem; fo this holy apostle is carried by the Spirit in the visions of God into heaven, and by the same Spirit is made fit and capable of all these heavenly visions which should be shewed him. So that in all this we do plainly and clearly see, that John hath, as it were, a further calling and admittance from heaven to behold and fee these wonderful secrets which now are to be imparted unto him.
Behold a throne, &c.' Here beginneth the description of the most high and glori. ous majesty of God, who is described after the manner of earthly kings and judges fitting upon their thrones and judgment-seats. For he is King of Zion, and Judge of all the world.
And he that fat, was to look upon like « unto a jasper stone and a sardine, and “there was a rainbow round about the throne like an emerald,' Rev. iv. 3.
God, for his admirable glory and beauty, is here compared to two most precious stones. The one, which is the jasper, being of a perfect green colour, as Philosophers write: the other, which is the Sardinė, be ing of a most bright red colour. Nothing
rainbow : Rev.