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8. "And the four beasts had each of them six wings. about him and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day or night, saying, Holy, holy, holy Lord God Almighty; which was, and is, and is to come.

9." And when those beasts give glory and honour and thanks to him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever,

10. "The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying,

11. "Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created."

Every circumstance pertaining to this sublime vision is pregnant with signification, and requires the most reverent attention.

It is a glorified vision of the tabernacle in the wilderness, and represents the whole collective church of God, Mosaic and Christian.

The throne (the mercy-seat between the cherubim on the ark*) set in heaven signifies the supreme and

in a way plainly shewing that he considered the words μorxos μοσχος and ravρos as synonymous, because calves (as the word is here also mis-translated) were not animals of Jewish sacrifice. "Of living creatures they offered only these five kinds, bullocks, goats, sheep, turtles, pigeons." (Lightfoot's Temple Service, chap. 8.) And, as Calmet observes (article, Bull), whenever we read, in any translations of the Scriptures, of -ox, or bullock, used in sacrifice, we must understand, a bull: for which see Lev. xxii. 24.

* The throne represented the ark which was placed in the Holy of Holies; on the ark, between the two cherubim, was the mercy-seat.

"And the cherubim shall stretch forth their wings on high,

unlimited power wherewith the Deity rules the uni


The precious stones typify the light, splendour, durability, and inestimable value of divine revelation. The rainbow was the token of God's covenant of mercy with mankind, and here, round about (kukλolɛv, encircling) the throne, signifies that all the divine councils with respect to the church are included within the loving kindness of Him whose mercy is over all his works.

The four and twenty elders clothed in the white robes of the Jewish priesthood and having crowns on their heads, consist of the twelve princes, who represented the twelve tribes of Israel at the dedication of the tabernacle (Num. vii.) and of the twelve apostles the united representatives of the elect, whom Christ" hath made unto our God kings and priests." (Rev. v. 10).

The lightnings and thunderings, and the voices of the angels attendant on the Divine Majesty, are

covering the mercy-seat with their wings, and their faces shall look one to another; toward the mercy-seat shall the faces of the cherubim be.

"And thou shalt put the mercy-seat above upon the ark; and in the ark thou shalt put the testimony that I shall give thee.

"And there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy-seat, from between the two cherubim which are upon the ark of the testimony, of all things which I will give thee in commandment unto the children of Israel." (Exod. xxv. 20, 21, 22.)

repetitions of the awful circumstances which accompanied the delivery of the decalogue to Moses, (Exod. xxix. 16.) and on both occasions announced that a mighty revelation was about to issue directly from the hand of God, without the intervening instrumentality of any created being.

The seven lamps of fire, burning before the throne, and symbolising seven spirits of God, bear an obvious analogy to the seven lamps of the candlestick which Moses was commanded to place in the tabernacle (Exod. xxv.), and which were to "burn always." (Exod. xxvii. 20.)

The signification of the former is therefore the same as that of the latter emblem, of which I have not been able to find, among the commentators, any explanation, except the whimsical notion that seven is the number of perfection!

There are two questions to be answered.

1st. For what purpose did God command that only the artificial light of lamps should be used in His tabernacle, all the service whereof was performed in daytime, and might have been by daylight.

The purpose, as appears to me, was to typify that the revelation which He vouchsafed to His church was something quite distinct from the light of nature, or the natural reason of man.*

*The Rev. Mr. Milman, in his History of the Jews, has launched a conjecture that daylight was excluded from the Mosaic tabernacle, in imitation of the subterranean temples of Egypt-a supposition so entirely gratuitous as to be indebted to

It was so understood by David when he sung (Ps. cxix. 105.), "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet,

the high reputation of that excellent writer for its only title to

serious consideration.

It has been said that the first inclosed places, used by the primitive inhabitants of Egypt for religious rites, were excavations burrowed into the sides of mountains. If it is true (which for many reasons, to my mind, quite satisfactory, I more than doubt) that those tenements ever had with the Egyptians any religious character, otherwise than as repositories of the dead, it is equally certain that the want of sufficient air and light must have soon demonstrated their utter unfitness for the celebration of a ceremonial and congregational worship. Accordingly the origin of those vast and beautiful Egyptian temples, above ground, which have for so many ages commanded the astonishment and defied the competition of mankind, ascends into an antiquity, beneath which the historic muse keeps a reverential distance, for into the mysterious regions surrounding that sanctuary not even her elder and more privileged sister, tradition, ventures to wing her most presumptuous flight. Now, all those temples were abundantly lighted through spacious apertures made for that purpose in their roofs. Mr. Milman's conjecture, then, is arrested by the importunate questions, what could have induced Moses, intending an imitation of an Egyptian temple, to turn away from those magnificent models, the glories of his native land, in order to grope in subterranean caverns for the worst inconvenience of a repudiated barbarism?—and, what circumstance in the life or character of Moses justifies the imputation to him of such obtuse perversity?

Surely, when Moses was framing the ritual of that holy religion, to which the affection of the Israelites was to be bound by a chain, which never any thing less than the outstretched arm of Him, for whom he was preparing an abiding place, should be able to sever, it is not probable that he would willingly adopt any usage pertaining to the reprobated superstition of their hated. oppressors-it is not probable that, for the construction of the Holy of Holies, he would unnecessarily borrow any thing asso

and a light unto my path," and appears referred to by our Saviour:

"I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”*

2d. Why were those lamps employed in the service of the tabernacle commanded to be of the precise number seven?

Because the Creator had been pleased to divide all time into weeks of seven days-a division not indicated by any astronomical phenomena, and having no foundation in nature, but altogether arbi

ciated with the baseness of Egyptian idolatry. And certainly, whether from accident, necessity, or design, Moses did contrive that his tabernacle should in almost every particular, excepting its rectangularity, be as unlike, as could easily be imagined, to an Egyptian temple. The temple was covered, inside and out, with hieroglyphics: there was no inscription whatever on any part of the tabernacle. Of the architecture of the Egyptian temple, one of the objects evidently was to strike the beholder with the impression, so well ratified by time, of interminable durability; that object was attained by the character of un-broken massiveness that pervaded the stupendous pile, together with the extreme hardness and the enormous dimensions and weight of its component materials—the small migratory tabernacle of the wandering Israelite consisted only of poles and curtains.

In truth, so many and manifest were the instances of dissimilitude, that well adapted as the tabernacle was to its several purposes, (among which were convenient package and easy portability,) had it been exhibited by Moses to the Egyptians, as an imitation of any temple ever seen in their country, he would have given to that very grave people reason to stare not a little at his accompanying declaration that he was skilled in all their learning.

* S. John, viii. 12.


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