« PrécédentContinuer »
ture. The meaning of the passage, however it may best be expressed with perspicuity, is briefly this: “ I saw in the midst of the throne, “and of the four animals, and in the midst of the
Elders, a lamb continuing set, for placed, or appointed]us one having been for that had been] sa
crificed.” That is, a lamb placed in, or standing, remaining, abiding, continuing in the RELATION of a sacrifice :--the expression referring solely and exclusively to the official performance of a legal requirement, and having nothing to do with standing as opposed to sitting, or any reference whatever to posture. The LAMB, however, is in the midst of the throne ; and though the pro
; priety of the symbol requires that, in reference to Jesus the A and 1 (the Alpha and Omega), in the character of the LAMB, posture should not be mentioned for lambs do not sit on thrones -he may, for any thing that appears to the contrary in this chapter, be the individual who, in some other character, is called the Kathēmenos,--the sitting one. The evidence on this point, afforded by the Apocalypse, we must inspect; but previously thereto it is necessary that we should ascertain some other particulars con, nected with the throne, in the midst of which he was seen by John.
$ 5. Of the Scene of the Vision.
The scene of the vision, according to the views most generally entertained on this subject, is laid in heaven (that is, in heaven above,] because John saw " a throne set in heaven;" but it is allowed by many that, in the description given of this throne, there is a reference to the Tabernacle and Temple service. The throne which John saw is believed by some to have reference to the Mercy-Seat, and rightly so, for around the throne are twenty-four seats, answering to the twenty-four chambers of the Chiefs of the priests, twelve on the south side and twelve on the north side of the priests' court—that which immediately surrounded the sanctuary; and to these seats are attached twenty-four elders, answerable to the twenty-four Chiefs of the twenty-four courses of the priests. Here also there is a glassy sea, answerable to the brazen sea placed before the sanctuary, and, consequently, before the seat ; likewise the Cherubims which spread their wings over the mercy-seat in the holy of holies, sufficiently indicated by the description given of the four living creatures ; and also seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, answering to the seven lamps of the seven-branched lamp-stand, placed before the
veil in the holy place. From this last circumstance we learn, that the place in which John saw these things, in vision, was connected with, or a portion of, the same place in which he saw the seven lamp-stands (ch. i. 12.)-for the one are the lamps of the other,—and from this we learn also, that the Epistles to the seven Churches were dictated in the sanctuary.
I have no intention in this place to enter on a particular description of the symbols beheld by John, or of the things symbolized by each respectively; but our subject requires that we should ascertain one point, on which expositors (at least such as I have seen) have bitherto talked in rather general terms, namely, What the inspired writer means by, ey to oúpavo—not “ in heaven,” as commonly rendered, but--" in the heaven," in Rev. iv. 2. ? It is very generally believed that, in vision, John was transported to heaven above to witness the scene that was laid before him. The presence of the Article here intimates, however, that the Writer had before been speaking of the same place to which he applies this term. Monadic Nouns, it is true, often take the article without previous mention, but never, I believe, except when used in their proper sense, which no one will affirm can be the case with this Noun in this place. In fact we have seen from John's mention of the lamps, that
he is still speaking of the place that contained the lamp-stands, in which he saw him who “be“came dead but liveth for evermore, who has the keys " of Death and of Hades.” The relation which subsists between the burning lamps and the stands which support them, proves this fact; though it is rendered less apparent than it would otherwise be, in some of the translations, by the employment of the term “ candlesticks” for “lamp-stands,” in ch. i., but retaining “lamps” in ch. iv. ; for burning lamps have precisely the same relation to their stands or supports, that burning candles have to their candlesticks. Was John, then, in heaven (in the sense in which this term is usually taken) when he saw the seven golden lamp-stands? No: he intimates nothing of the kind. So neither was he in that heaven--even in visionwhen he saw the throne; but be informs us that now, on hearing the same voice which he had heard before as of a trumpet, (See ch. i. 10.) he became év typúlati, “ inspired,” and in this state he be
πνεύματι, held the throne stationed, or set, i, e. already set (he did not witness the operation of its setting or placing) in the heaven. He also states another circumstance respecting the place which he calls "the heaven :” he saw in it an entrance, or doorway,-not a door but a lúgo (wbence comes our English word thorough-a thorough-fare), and we must not confound the two ; for in strict lan
guage a door is that which closes or shuts up the θύρα Or entrance. This entrance, ανεωγμένη, (a Participle Preter Pass.) had already been opened, before John saw it, and, from the manner of the narration, it appears that the throne was seen through the door-way; for the circumstance of this door-way or entrance having been set open, seems to be stated as a thing necessary, before John could see the seat and the Kathēmenos, otherwise it is impossible to discover a reason for the mention of this door-way, as at all necessary to the narrative. Now where a door-way is mentioned, the idea of an apartment or apartments naturally suggests itself to the mind; and, if John saw this seat, through the opened entrance, he must have been in one apartment and the seat in another--an arrangement that accords perfectly with the Tabernacle, and afterwards the Sanctuary in the Temple, which consisted of two apartments, commonly kept apart by the veil which covered the entrance (the Cúpa) from the holy place (the outer apartment) into the most holy place, or holy of holies (the inner apartment) In the holy place stood the seven-branched golden lamp-stand, or the seven lamp-stands all united to one foot; and these were what John first saw in vision, when inspired, on the Lord's day, in the Island of Patmos. At this time he saw not the mercy-seat,--the veil therefore was