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measurement, estimate. An age we can realize an age of ages (where each year is represented by an age?) we can in some sort imagine: and the vague undefined plural number conveys to us endlessness. Yet (if it be not irreverent to think so) I fancy that to some "for ever and ever," or, as I suppose one might equally express it, "for always and always," might appear if not more like endlessness yet to be more like eternity, if such a distinction may be assumed: because eternity having neither beginning nor middle nor end, seems to exhibit duration without sequence.

But in this passage where "unto the ages of the ages" is the phrase actually employed, I observe its adaptation to the matter in hand. All creatures, having had a beginning, speak in character if speaking with a birthright sense of time. And the Eternal Son of God, to Whom as Lamb of God the praise is addressed, had under that aspect even He Himself likewise a beginning: "When the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons."

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Accounting love thy lot and love thine end.

14. And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped Him that liveth for ever and ever.

These Living Creatures which appear as if in some sort a compendium of animated nature, answer "Amen "—itself a summing up of praise. The Throne whereon He sitteth Who

judgeth right, answers by their voice "Amen" to all His decrees and to all which He permits. Strength in the "Lion," acceptableness in the "Calf," intelligence in the " Man,” loftiness in the "Eagle," every good gift and every perfect gift answers "Amen," to the praise and glory of the Father of Lights whence they came down.

Amen, O Lord: "dust to dust" also ascribeth to Thee glory. From the ends of the earth, from a heart in heaviness, from a "mouth in the dust" by foretaste of death, glory be to God on high, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

We who have no door set open before us into visible Heaven, may yet look in with St. John's eyes. And if with his heart as well as with his eyes, then shall we too be rapt into celestial regions and among harmonies superhuman. With Elders our spirits may already fall prostrate in worship, with Living Creatures our wills may at once and for ever answer Amen.

Amen, which signifies both So it is and So be it. God for Jesus' sake grant us grace now and for evermore to answer Amen to His perfect Will and Ways.

CHAPTER VI.

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, Come and see.

He who had been redeemed by the Blood of the Lamb, he in whose stead Christ had died, he whom Jesus loved, "saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals." What that Wise Master and Gracious Lord did St. John could endure to behold, however awful, terrible, overwhelming in the result. He could endure because he was beloved and because he loved.

Lord, me also Thou hast redeemed by Thy Blood, in my stead also Thou hast died, me also Thou lovest (for which sinner hast Thou not loved ?); yet I exceedingly fear and quake lest I should fall away. Thou hast not ceased to be my Wise Master and my Gracious Lord; Thou lovest as Thou hast ever loved; alas, it is I who love not as St. John loved.

Son of God, have mercy upon us.

O Lord, let Thy mercy be showed upon us. O Lord, have mercy upon us; have mercy

upon us.

Love still is Love, and doeth all things well,

Whether he show me heaven or hell,

Or earth in her decay

Passing away

On a day.

Love still is Love, tho' He should say, "Depart,"

And break my incorrigible heart,

And set me out of sight

Widowed of light

In the night.

Love still is Love, is Love, if He should say,

"Come" on that uttermost dread day;

66 Come unto very me,

"Come where I be,

Come and see.'

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"Opened one of the seals."-Not the whole seven at once; not forthwith to recompense all, or to make an end of all consuming as in a moment. Rather as it were remonstrating with mankind again and again: "The day of the Lord is great and very terrible; and who can abide it? Therefore also now, saith the Lord, turn ye even to Me with all your heart,"—and saying especially concerning the elect, as of old concerning Israel: "In measure when it shooteth forth, Thou wilt debate with it He stayeth His rough wind in the day of the east wind."

So the waters of the Deluge mounted stage by stage, affording time not for the bitterness of death only, but also (please God!) for the salutary bitterness of repentance in sight of death.

O Merciful Redeemer, grant us repentance early in the morning, repentance at the third hour, at the sixth hour, at the ninth hour. O Most Merciful Saviour, grant us repentance at the eleventh hour; grant us the eleventh hour for repentance. According to Thy Mercy saving us, Thou Who hast died our death and paid our penalty.

"As it were the noise of thunder."-That is, as appears, the voice of one of the Living Creatures. If we may assume that these speak in the order in which they are first named, then this thunderous voice appertains to him of the leonine aspect, with whom such a sound seems congruous. I have read how the natural lion setting his face toward the ground utters a tremendous reverberant roar far reaching and appalling: this celestial "Lion now sets his face earthwards and summons all within hearing to "Come and see." For surely his word is not to St. John exclusively, but through him to us upon whom the ends of the world are come.

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But if those four "Living Creatures" rest not day and night, saying, "Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty, Which Was, and Is, and Is to come": how is it that one after another they now say "Come and see"? Perhaps partly to show us that charitable work interrupts not the flow of adoration. [Yet in such a case I must not be rash to utter anything with my mouth: for these are problems of heaven, while I am upon earth; therefore should my words be few.]

O Lord, Who hast proclaimed by Thy servant, "Come and

see," blessed is the man whom Thou choosest and receivest unto Thee. Show us, I beseech Thee, wonderful things in Thy righteousness, O God of our salvation: Thou that art the hope of all the ends of the earth. For Jesus Christ's sake. Amen.

St. Paul has written: "Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach." Yet elsewhere he wrote: "I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith... which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice."

To expound prophecy lies of course beyond my power, and not within my wish. But the symbolic forms of prophecy being set before all eyes, must be so set for some purpose: to investigate them may not make us wise as serpents; yet ought by promoting faith, fear, hope, love, to aid in making us harmless as doves. "Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it":-God helping us, we all great and small can and will run.

A commentator I have turned to explains the remainder of this chapter as referring to the establishment on earth of Christ's Kingdom, and to successive events in the history of imperial Rome. But since in Holy Scripture personage after personage, crisis after crisis, judgment after judgment, becomes at various points typical of some greater personage, crisis, judgment, thereafter to be looked for: I venture to trust that throughout this Book of Revelations underlying or parallel with the primary meaning, is often discernible a further signification which may be unfolded to us even while the other continues occult.

Nor surely need an ignorant man be accounted any great loser (so long as ignorance be his misfortune, not his fault) if Bible history becomes less his chronicle of individuals and nations than his parable of Christ and mankind. Abel will speak better things than ever when he is lost sight of in Christ. Isaac will be glorified when by his submission to death Christ is manifested and remembered. Moses will be sufficed when the Prophet like unto him supersedes him. Melchizedek and Aaron will vanish gloriously when by them Christ stands revealed so David before his Son and Lord: so Solomon before the Sole Builder and Maker. The Paschal Lamb, the Scapegoat, will have fulfilled their end when they lead a worshipper to Christ: the Day of Atonement will avail him to whom it shadows forth Good Friday. The Deluge engulfing the old world, the eternal fire of the Cities of the plain, the

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