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when we shall fully enter into, and rejoice in the value of all that He is, and of all that He has done for His people. The Lord give us grace more and more to feel a oneness of spirit with the Nazarite of old when he devoted his hair to the Lord, and together with him and also the sweet psalmist of Israel, to cry, "Not unto us, not unto us, but unto Thy name give glory, for Thy mercy,

and for Thy truth's sake.”

E. D.

A FRAGMENT.

IF, after examining the Scriptures to see what they call “ the church” (set up at Pentecost), we turn to that which man calls “the church” now-a-days, what a contrast! and bow searching to one's own soul the differences ! 'Tis well to take heed — for the power of circumstances-mighty, whether for good or for evil, upon man—is mighty, in proportion as a man fails in practical self-judgment, and in discernment (according to God), of that which is around him.

“ The church" was a body called out from the world, and from under him that is the god of this world (Satan). God, the Holy Ghost, was the mighty Power of energy, in every way, in it; the Lord Jesus, gone on high for it, was its Head - Securer and Revealer in the glory of its charta of privileges, as His life here below was its ensample; and God, even the Father, was at once its Object and its Counsellor. And the theory was practically exhibited in living men, spite of the world, the flesh, and the devil.

What men now honour in its place, whether endowed or only tolerated by the State—is it a something separated from this present evil world? Is it a place where self is crucified ? Is it that in which Satan is detected and judged ? Alas! Is it not rather.... but no, I will leave to conscience and to faith the question of whether man's church, or churches, approximate most in energy, character and objects, to the Bride of Christ, or to the Whore that sitteth upon many waters.

Then a man had more especially to give himself up to the energy, plans and objects, which pertained to that which was a habitation of God through the Spirit; now he has more especially to keep himself from the energy, plans, and objects of that which boasts of being the temple of the Lord, but is fast rolling on toward that confederacy which is the perfection of man's apostasy from God, both in civil government and in worship.

G.

No. XXI.

THE WORTINESS OF THE LAMB.

“And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne, and the living-ones and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice, WORTHY IS THE LAMB THAT WAS SLAiN to receive power,

and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing."-Rev. v. 11, 12. Rich and blessed as are the associations in the mind of every saint of God connected with Christ's title of " the Lamb," it may be questioned whether that which stamps it, in the mind of Heaven, with its peculiar significance, has, so fully as it ought, its place and bearing in the soul. The emphatic exclamation of the Baptist, “ Behold the Lamb of God!” indicates the grace and beauty and lowly virtues of Him who bears this name, and marks His title to the adoring worship of our hearts. But this title, as borne by the same blessed One, on high, unfolded in the book of Revelation, brings us associated with other glories and other scenes than those that, it is likely, met the holy musings of John, when he gazed on the blessed Jesus walking by the banks of Jordan, and said, “ Behold the Lamb of God !"

This title, familiar as it is to our hearts, is almost exclusively connected with the book of Revelation; and is unquestionably designed to indicate the special character in which the bearer of it is there presented. The observance of this may present no unuseful key to the understanding of that wondrous book, which may be " called the book of the rights of the Lamb;" for, certainly, it may be affirmed, that the whole of the details and principles of the prophetic part of it are knit up with this title; while, on its first occurrence in the book, we see heaven, earth, and all redeemed creation, roused by it in joy to accord to Him who bears it, this seven-fold ascription of praise: “saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain, to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and

of a

blessing.” He alone is declared worthy to receive the whole tribute of the universe and to become the centre of its universal praise.

There is, doubtless, a marked difference in the presentation of the Lamb slain" in this book, and in his presentation by the same title in John i. 29, 36, the only Other place in scripture in which as a title it occurs.

In the expressions of John, “Behold the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world !” we see the person of the Lord Jesus, as God's Lamb, presented to the eye of faith, as the substantiation of all that had been prefigured in the way of atonement. He is here pointed out as the full and perfect provision of God for man's need as a sinner, and the only basis on which the mercy holy God can restore the guilt-stricken and polluted to his presence. This, there can be no doubt, was the immediate bearing of John's pointing to Jesus, as

. the Lamb of God." But in the breadth of the terms, that taketh away the sin of the world,it seems as if the Spirit would lead us on beyond the speciality of individual redemption, to the ultimate purpose of the manifestation of the Son of God in the destruction of the works of the devil—to that point in the counsels of God, in which the blessed stream of redemption reaches its limit; and creation, brought back from subjection “ to vanity," is again made capable of receiving and reflecting back the rays of its Creator's goodness and glory, rejoicing in “the glorious liberty of the sons of God.”

The Lamb slain in sacrifice, from Abel downward, had declared on the part of the righteous holiness of God, that “Without shedding of blood is no remission;" and on the part of the love of God, the spotlessness of the victim and its being as a burnt offering "A sweet savour unto the Lord,” declared as fully His delight in the perfectness of Jesus--that “ Lamb without blemish and without spot” – and of His satisfaction in His

a Nowhere else, indeed, is the exact expression; for in John i. 29, 36, it is “ó duvòs ;" but in the Revelation throughout, it is “TÒ åpvíov." Acts viii. 32, and i Peter i. 19, are comparisons, expressive of a blessed moral truth, but not applied by way of title.

wondrous, perfected, atoning work. “Christ hath loved us, and hath given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God, for a sweet smelling savour.” “ This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.” But in the Revelation, the “ Lamb slain ” is not presented so much as God's provision of love to meet a sinner's need, or as the perfect Doer of His Father's will, as He is shown, by His rejection and suffering on earth, to have gained a title in heaven to universal homage, and to be the holder of universal power. In the revelations of God to His church, things in reference to Jesus have passed beyond the limit of

and atonement now; and we are called to contemplate what are the righteous claims of this suffering and rejected victim, as recognised on high. It is true that the heart of a saint knows Him still as “the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” The cross abides still in all its wondrous mystery of love, as the attractive point of mercy to meet a sinner's heart. “Pentecost," as the pledge and seal of the resurrection and ascension-glory of the church's Head, tells, by the presence of the abiding " Comforter," of present union, and of coming glory as the portion of the church. But beyond what the gospels reveal of incarnation and suffering; and the epistles unfold of grace untold, flowing down as the church's present portion, from her head in glory, and presenting the brightness of her hope in being " for ever with the Lord,”—we have, in this book, the lifting up of a curtain, and shewing things beyond the Spirit's direct testimony in the church. First, Jesus is shown in the position of rebuke and chastening, through the hour of the church's decadence, as His witness in the world, until rejection comes of that which was wholly unworthy of His care. And then, in the prophetic part, it is not so much the Spirit down here testifying of Christ, as seen on high, in close connexion with the Lamb," who is in the midst of the throne; and as the spirit of prophecy telling indeed of the progress of things here on earth; but that not so much in regard to the events themselves, as in connexion with heavenly counsels, which result in the vindication of the claims of "the Lamb.” The progress of evil is noticed; but it is noticed

grace

only as giving occasion to the introduction of the hand of power by which “the mystery of God” is finished. The opening of the seals, and the sounding of the trumpets, and the pouring out of the vials—whatever may be their effects on earth-have for their one central object, either the declaration or the enforcing by the hand of Divine Power, of the claims of the Lamb. It is, in a word, the blessed accomplishment, in power, of that word in Philippians, “He humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a name which is above every name; that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is LORD, to the glory of God the Father.” Though there is this difference in the aspect in which this result of the Lord's humiliation and death are presented—here it is the reward of Christ's perfect obedience to the Father's will. In the revelation it is the vindication, on the part of God, of the claims of Him, who, as to man, had been but a suffering victim—“ led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearers, so He opened not His mouth.” Therefore, necessarily, judgment, in this vindication, falls on the world that had inflicted His injuries, and still resists His claims. The most cursory study of the book of Revelation must teach us that its object is not so much to unfold the character and fruits of redemption in relation to those who are its happy subjects, as to present the rights and claims of Him by whom redemption was, in the travail of His soul," accomplished-His right, through redemption, to“inherit all things.” And therefore it is, throughout, that Christ, as "the Lamb," in the midst of the throne, and the actings of the throne itself, are in connexion with the earth and creation, rather than directly with the church.

The fifth chapter, in which this worthiness of the Lamb is proclaimed, appears to give the entire outline of the prophetic part of the book. Nothing, as it seems, in accomplishment, can go beyond this. Heaven, earth, and all redeemed creation, in this anticipative song,

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