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And the four beasts had each of then « fix wings about him, and they were full 6 of eyes within, &c. Rev. iy. 8. - This inaketh it very plain, that by these beasts are understood the fix angels, bęcause he ascribeth unto every one of them six wings a piece. For the angels are de. fcribed with wings, both in the firft and
tenth of Ezekiel, before mentioned, and al. . fo in the sixth chapter of the prophecy of
Isaiah, where the feraphims are said to have six wings a-piece; tvo to cover their faces, two to cover their feet, and two to fly with. And they have two wings to cover their faces, because they are not able to endure the inconceivable brightness and glory of God, for he dwelleth in light that is inaccessible. They have two wings to cover their feet, because mortal men are not able to behold the brightness that is in heaven. For we read, that many have been astonished and dazzled with the glory and brightness of angels, so glorious creatures are they. They have two wings to fly with, to note their prompt obedience and readi. nefs to execute the commandments of God, as formerly was thewed. Moreover, the angels are said to have wings, and to fly fwiftly; because God by then doth fpeedily dispatch many purposes, a&ions and fervices here below; and for this cause the fcripture affirmeth, that she rideth úpon
the cherubims: that he dwelleth between
the cherubims; and that he maketh the 'clouds his chariots, and walketh upon 'wings of the wind.' For as earthly kings in their journey are carried in their molt sumptuous coaches, drawn by the most excellent horses, to dispatch great business, and many weighty affairs in their dominions; fo the visions in Ezekiel do thew that the immortal King is carried nioft swiftly in his chariot of triumph, drawn by cherubims, as it were by beasts, to direct and over-rule all actions under the sun. Moreover, these angels are said to be full of • eyes within,' Rev. iv. 8. to denote not only their fulness of knowledge, but also their inward light into all heavenly things; yea, even fuch as are most secret and hide; for they are of all other creatures most in. ward with God. None of his children know fo much of his council as they.Furthermore, the angels are here said to praise God 6 incessantly, day and night, 'saying, holy, holy, holy, Lord God Ali mighty, which was, which is, and which is to come, Rey. iv, 8.; where we may clearly fee, that the angels praise and worthip God in a burning zeal without weari. ness. For they are not as men, which through their great corruption, are full of . ..:*, H 2
dulness and weariness in God's worship; but they do always ferve him with inde. fatigable desires, and therefore are called feraphims, because they burn in the zeal of God; and cherubims, because their de light is to approach near unto him, and to be always about his throne, yea even in his chamber of presence. They do double and treble, this word holy and warble much upon it, because they know full well that he is righteous in all his ways, and holy in all his works, and that all his pros ceedings and judgments are even then weighed in the balance of justice and equity, when to man's sense and judgment of reafon, they feem nothing less. For his judgments are as a great depth which man's rcafon cannot found. Further, we see that when these beasts, that is, the angels, gave. "glory, and honour, and thanks unto God, * &c. the twenty-four elders also fell down before him, and worshipped him that liveth for evermore. Where we may fee, that both faints and angels, do jointly praise and magnify God, and him alone, even that God which liveth for evermore;
even that God which was, which is, and (which is to come, that is, the eternal and everlasting God. For the scripture faith, • Praise him, O ye faints, and praise him, - Oye angels, that excel in strength. And
the twenty-four elders cast their crowns before the throne, saying, Thou art wor
thy, O Lord, to receive glory and honlour, &c.' Wherein we see, that all the elect do empty themselves of all worthiness to have any glory; acknowledging that their crowns of glory are God's free gift, and that the praise thereof belongeth only to him and nothing to themselves. And indeed this is the right manner of worshiping God, humbly to ascribe all glory to him, and all shame to ourselves, to give all to him to whom all is due, and nothing to ourselves, who have nothing; for nothing can be given or taken out of nothing.
Now then, to conclude and wind up this fourth chapter, we do clearly see the fum of the whole is, that the door of heaven was opened unto John, and that he was · let in, and called up into the chamber of presence by a very loud voice, there to take notice of the future itate of the church, and that the person which thus called him was Almighty God himself, who is so glorious described of his throne, his troops and trains of saints and angels, as we have already heard. And all this is to commend and set forth the authority of this book, whose Author is so excellent, yea, superexcellent,
What the period himseltrone, his
CHAP. V. AFTER this vifion containing the glory 1 of the divine majesty was shewed unto John, that he might know from what fountain this prophecy was derived, now in this fifth chapter is taught and shewed by what means and by whose mediation, the knowledge of fuch hidden mysteries were revealed unto the church; namely, by the means and mediation of Jesus Christ, in whom only the councils and secrets of God the Father are opened, and made known unto men. For he is the great Prophet and Doctor of the church, which is come down from the bofom of his Father, and
hath made known unto us whatsoever he hath received of his Father, as he himself testifieth. And the church is commanded by 6 a voice from heaven to hear him, 6 and him alone. In
This fifth chapter containeth threethings, generally, Rev. v. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7.
First, A description of the book, which was in the right hand of Godine
Secondly, A description of Jesus Christ, who receiveth it at the right hand of his Father and openeth it.
Thirdly, A description of those most glorigus praises which are given to Christ by