« PreviousContinue »
song; the elders unite their voices, their harps, and their incense. Such praises we now sing to Christ, in the ancient hymn called Te Deum.
Such were sung in the early ages of the church, in the times immediately following those of this vision; whereof the younger Pliny gives testimony in his famous letter to Trajan*. Such were sung in the succeeding times of Origent. Such also in the days of Eusebius, who deduces the worship of Christ from the Hymns and Psalms of the Old Testament, through all the venerable fathers of the church, to his own times I.
Ver. 10. Kings and priests.] See note, chap. i. 6. ETI Tūs võs is not over the earth, but upon the earth, in which sense it is used continually. This promise is fulfilled in chap. xx. 6. xxii. 5.
Ver. 11. Myriads.] So, an * innumerable company of angels,” in Heb. xii. 22; and in chap. i. 6. all the angels of God are commanded to worship him. The appearance of this innumerable company, in 'addition to the heavenly band, is sudden, as described also in Luke ii. 14.
Ver. 13. Every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, aud under the earth, and on the sea, &c.] That is, the whole creation ; for it is frequently enumerated, under this fourfold division by the sacred writers g.
Ib. The praise and the honour.] The common translation leaving out the article, which is expressed in the Greek, in this and other passages, has not attained the sense of the original, which implies not only that praise, honour, power, should be ascribed
* Plinii Epist. lib. X. 17.
+ Cont. Cels. p. 422. | Eccl. Hist. lib. v. cxxviii. His expression is grand : Toy Aogor Tu Θεε, τον Χρισον, υμνάσι θεολογενλες. § Exod. xx. 4. 11. Ps. xxxv. 6. Phil. ii. 10.
to God, and to the Redemer, in a general sense, but the particular and supreme praise, and the honour, and the power, which have been claimed by other gods " which are no gods,” (Isai. xvii. 19.) and by men, (like Herod in Acts xii. 22, 23.) but which belong solely to the God of Heaven.
The opening of the first Seal.
CHAP. vi. VER. 1-2,
1 Και είδον, ότε ήνοιξε
το αρνίον μίαν εκ των επία σφραγίdur, yuxera iris εκ των τεσσάρων Süwe, ditorla, ás
Qwin Peovins• "Es 2 χε και βλέπε. Και
sidor, 108 TT λευκός, και ο
8 2006θημεν επ' αυτόν έχων τόξον και εδόθη kútŷ sicaru, ry
2. Os vixwv, xj ivce νικήση. .
| And I saw when the
Lamb opened one of
thunder, “Come and
and lo! a white horse;
1 And I saw when the
Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the
four beasts, saying, 2. Come, and see. Aud
I saw, and behold, a white horse; and he that sat on him had a bow, and a crown was given unto him, and he went forth conquering, and to conquer,
Ver. 1. As a voice of thunder.] The voice of the Lord from heaven is frequently spoken of as “a great,
a terrible, a glorious voice; even a voice of thun
" der." Of this kind was the voice from heaven, described in John xii. 28. promising glorification to the name of Jesus; when some of the auditors said, that “it thundered, others that an angel spake to “him.” Such also are the voices of the cherubim, of the near attendants upon the throne t. Such was the voice of those heavenly ministers in Isaiah's vision; when “the posts at the door of the temple “ moved at the voice of him that cried I.” This awful voice from the throne is in other passages described as the “ voice of many waters."
And both these images are brought together, to express the same idea ; “ as the voice of many waters, as the voice of many thunders g."
Ib. Come and see.] This invitation, proceeding from the cherubim, who surrounded the throne, and are close to the place of exhibition, seems to shew that the prophet is to be favoured with a near inspection of the images of future things. The call is repeated at the opening of every one of the four first seals, and not afterwards; which seems to signify that these four seals, like the four sides of the throne, tach of which is guarded by a cherub, will be found to form of themselves an entire and and compact history ll. As the Lamb breaks the seal of each separate roll, the sheet, thus set at liberty, unfolds, and discovers in a kind of painted delineation, (for how otherwise could the colours, be known?) the four horses in succession.
2. Lo! a white horse.] The horse is a noble animal, by the eastern nations used principally in war;
so that in Scripture a horseman and a warrior are synonymous terms *. The description of the warhorse, in the book of Job, is highly poetical and sublime ti The white horse is a war-horse, for he carries his rider" to conquer.” In a vision of the
a prophet Zechariah, (chap. i.) a person is seen
“ riding on “a red horse, (wuggos, fire-coloured,) and behind him
were there red horses, speckled and white.” These appear, in the sequel, to represent the progress of heavely angels, in military array, sent forth through the nations, at the time of the Jewish captivity. The red horses, which lead the array, portend war and slaughter, such as had preceded the captivity. The white horses concluding the procession, denote, as the context shews 5, the peace and happiness which were to follow. The speckled or parti-coloured horses were to express the intermediate transition. In the sixth chapter of the same prophecy, there is a similar exhibition of four chariots, drawn by red, by black, by white, and by parti-coloured horses; which are explained to be “the four Spirits of the heavens, “ which go forth from the Lord.” And they go forth for the same purpose; “ the black horses, denoting “ mourning and woe, go forth to the north country, to Babylon, where the Jews were then in bondage: but " the white go forth after them ;” the deliverance of the Jews, the restoration of their temple and religion followed under the victorious Cyrus. From this view of the application of the Scriptural imagery we may collect, that a man on horseback, exhibited in divine, vision, denotes the going forth of some power in military array divinely commissioned, to effect changes upon the earth; and that the character of the change
Jer, l. 42. vi. 22. viii, 16.
† Job xxxix. 19–26.
is expressed by the colour of the horse; the red or fire-coloured denoting war and slaughter; the black, mourning and woe; the white, victory and peace to God's people. To assist us further in the interpretation of the white horse, we have a passage in this book of the Apocalypse, (chap. xix. 11-17.) where a white horse is introduced with the very same expression, 188 itToç deuxos, “ Lo! a white horse,--and “ he that sate upon him called Faithful and True, and "in righteousness doth he judge, and make war. “ His eyes as a flame of fire, and on his head many “ diadems, having a name written which no one “knoweth but himself; and clotlied in a garment
dipped in blood; and his name is called The WORD " of God. And the armies which were in heaven “ followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine “ white linen, (and pure); and out of his mouth “goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite “ the nations; and he shall rule them with an iron “ rod, and he treadeth the press of the wine of the
anger and [indignation) of the Almighty (God); « and he hath upon his garment and upon his thigh
a name written, KING OF Kings, and LORD OF “ LORDS." It is impossible to doubt to whom this description appertains. The glorious rider on this white horse, is manifestly the only begotten Son of God. Whether he be the same in both visions; whether the Son of God be the rider of the white horse under this first seal; we will proceed to enquire. And first let us settle our opinion concerning the horse. This at least is of the very same description in both passages. He is simply “ a white horse," and in both passages, as in those above quoted from the prophet Zechariah, he carries his rider, who “in righteousness judgeth and