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the day of wonders-the day of Jesus Christ, for which all other days were made. He shall be glorified IN them.

The preeminence of the redeemed is most manifestly taught in the visions of the apocalyptic seer. The position they occupy in relation to the throne is conclusive. And this is so, whether we confine the representatives of the church to the "four and twenty elders," to the exclusion of the "four Beasts" (Living Creatures), or include the latter. For if the living creatures, or living ones, denote the attributes of God, or are emblematic of the nature of the divine government, then the elders stand in immediate contiguity to the throne: no angelic order is interposed. If, however, they, together with the elders, symbolize the church, the preeminence of the redeemed becomes still more emphatic. That the latter is the more probable opinion, if not certainly the true one, appears from Rev. v: 8, 9. Let us now examine the visions bearing on the point in question. Ch. iv: 4: "Round about the throne were four and twenty seats (thrones): and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold." Ch. iv: 6: "In the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts." Ch. v: 6: "And I beheld, and lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb, as it had been slain." Ch. vii: 11: "And all the angels stood round about the throne and the elders and the four beasts."

These scriptures establish the fact, that in the everlasting kingdom of Messiah, redeemed sinners hold the highest rank. And well they may. Their oneness of life with him, their participation in a divine nature, entitle them to it. They are in the midst of the throne and round about it. All the angels stand in an exterior circle. Redeemed sinners are made kings and priests unto God. Even as Christ himself is a royal priest and a sacerdotal king, so are they. They "bear the image of the heavenly." The four and twenty elders sit on as many thrones, clothed in white raiment, and having on their heads crowns of gold. As "in all things it behooved him to be made like unto his brethren," so the plan of grace is to make them in all things like unto him. And if they are

one with him, it must needs be so. Who, then, of the myriad host of angels could or would dispute preeminence with them. Here it is in place to offer a suggestion touching the import of the four living creatures of John, which reconciles the two usual interpretations, generically different, and which has an important bearing on the reality of the truth we are endeavoring to establish. The living creatures (unfortunately rendered beasts in our translation) are representative of the divine in the human-the human being specifically denoted by the four and twenty elders. They are in the midst of the throne, inseparably connected with it, as well as round about it. The elders are round about the throne, but never said to be in the midst of it. The Lamb stands in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the elders; not in the midst of the throne, and in the midst of the four living creatures and of the elders. The throne and the living creatures form an inseparable combination. They are in the midst of the throne, and the throne is in the midst of them; yet they unite with the elders in singing the new song to the Lamb, saying, "Thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood, and hast made us unto our God kings and priests." A like intimate relation subsists between the living creatures of Ezekiel and the throne. (It will be remembered that the word rendered living creature in Ezekiel, and that rendered beast in John, are exact equivalents.) Out of the midst of the symbols of a present Deity, first chapter of Ezekiel, "came the likeness of four living creatures, and they had the likeness of a man. "Their appearance," also, "was like burning coals of fire, and like the appearance of lamps: it went up and down among the living creatures; and the fire was bright, and out of the fire went forth lightning." (When Jehovah made a covenant with Abraham in the plain of Mamre, a smoking furnace and a burning lamp were his symbols that passed between the pieces of the victims.) Ezekiel also "heard the noise of their wings, like the noise of great waters, as the voice of the Almighty." "And above the firmament that was over their heads, was the likeness of a throne; and upon the likeness of the throne was the likeness as the appearance of a man above upon it. From the appearance of his loins even upward, and from the appearance of his

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[March, loins even downward, I saw, as it were, the appearance of fire, and it had brightness round about. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of Jehovah." No attentive reader will fail to be struck with the similarity, or rather identity of the characteristics of the living creatures and the glory of Jehovah. While the latter is upon a throne above the firmament, over the heads of the former, both are girdled alike with the divine fire and brightness; and in both the manhood crops out. "They had the likeness of a man," the glory of Jehovah upon the throne, "the likeness as the appearance of a man.' In the former the manhood is more distinct. So in the vision of the cherubim (recorded in the tenth chapter), the sound of whose wings was "as the voice of the Almighty God when he speaketh," "There appeared in the cherubims the form of a man's hand under their wings." Here, too, as in connection with the living creatures of the first chapter, we have the throne of sapphire stone in the firmament above the cherubim, and the glory of Jehovah upon it. But the seventeenth verse appears to identify, beyond all reasonable doubt, these cherubim of the tenth chapter with the living creatures of the first: "For the spirit of the living creature was in them," i. e., in the wheels, which conformed to the movements of the cherubim. And, to make assurance doubly sure, the prophet expressly asserts, in the fifteenth and twentieth verses: "This is the living creature that I saw by the river of Chebar." The reader will also bear in mind the intimate association of cherubim with the Ark of the Covenant, the mercy-seat, and the august symbol of the Divine Presence which rested upon the Mercy-Seat. The writer of the epistle to the Hebrews calls them "cherubim of glory." They were of the same material as the mercy-seat, except the latter was of pure gold, they of gold. And, which should not be overlooked, it does seem, notwithstanding sharp criticism to the contrary, that they were fabricated out of the same mass; ex ispsomet operculo, as the explanatory reading is given in the margin of Michaelis' Hebrew Bible-out of the very cover (mercy-seat) itself. They did not merely rest on the ends of it, but sprang out of them. We do know, Ex. xxxvii: 7, the two cherubim were beaten out of one piece; and if it be objected that that was of gold, while the mercy-seat was of

pure gold, and therefore all could not have been formed out of the same mass, then there must have been a subsequent joining, which gave all the appearance at least of having been formed out of one and the same mass. Nothing less than this will satisfy the fair demands of the sacred record; and this, most probably, was the fact. Compare, in the original, Ex. xxv: 18, 19, with xxxvii: 7, 8. "The cherubim were made out of one piece with the cover" (mercy-seat), says Isaac Leeser, in a brief note on the last verse referred to above. At any rate, there was a real and very close union, not simply a resting of one upon the other. These four-the Ark, the Mercy-Seat, the Cherubim, and the Shekinah resting on the mercy-seat between the cherubim-all closely connected with each other, alone occupied the Holy of Holies. They were the heart, the soul of the Levitical dispensation, and "patterns of things in the heavens." Jehovah dwelt between the cherubim, and they were indissolubly joined to the Propitiatory. The Cloud-Presence rested on the Propitiatory as its throne, while the cherubim, springing out of its ends, stood hard by the Presence, immersed in its rays and reflecting the glory all around.

Now, the conclusion of the whole matter is this: the cherubim of the tabernacle, the living creatures and cherubim of Ezekiel, and the living creatures of John, are all one and the same symbol. They represent the whole company of redeemed sinners in their glorified estate, united in an ineffable and everlasting union to the incarnate Son of God, once slain for them, and afterward exalted to inconceivable majesty and glory on his mediatorial throne-which throne is based on his propitiatory sacrifice; in virtue of which union with him, they become living ones, being partakers of his life, and consequently are sharers of his throne, and invested with a divine energy, power, intelligence, and whatever other attribute in godlike form may be shadowed forth by the cherubic symbolization. That these redeemed sinners are of human kind, is seen in that the living creatures had the likeness of a man, and the hands of a man under their wings on their four sides, and the cherubim the form of a man's hand under their wings; their vast exaltation, in the divinely glorious appearance of both the symbols. In the visions of John, the

association of the four and twenty elders with the living creatures, brings out more distinctly the idea of redeemed humanity-mankind as saved-particularly under the two great dispensations of the covenant of grace, after the church militant became a visible, organized body-the kingdom of God on earth. They are round about the throne, not in the midst of it. They are the specific representatives of the fact that redemption proper is of and concerning the human racethat Christ succors not angels, but the seed of Abraham. The living creatures are in the midst of the throne-are resplendent with celestial fire. They are representative of the work of almighty grace and power, completely realized in redeemed and glorified men-the consummation of the life of faith in their perfect life-union in glory with the Lord of glory. These redeemed ones are "angel-like;" nay more, "they are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection."-Luke xx: 36. Their adoption is now complete. They are partakers of the resurrection. They are partakers of á@avaóia of him who alone essentially possesses it-the blessed and only Potentate, who is King of kings and Lord of lords. They are living ones. The life of him who alone hath immortality pervades their being. "For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection." The cherubim and the living creatures, then, are representative neither of the attributes of God in the abstract, nor as manifested in the government of the world, but of the attributes of God as realized and manifested concretely in the glorified persons of saved sinners. Neither are they symbolical of any particular part of the heirs of salvation, while the four and twenty elders are symbolical of another part, nor of them in one estate, and the elders of them in another estate; but both together, elders and living creatures, symbolize the entire company of the redeemed from among men in their risen and glorified estate. They are human still, but the human filled with the divine. It is humanity that is redeemed; but humanity, when the redemption is complete, instinct with the in-being and life of divinity. Recurring now to a remark already made, we repeat, angels could not and would not dispute preeminence with beings exalted to a peerless dignity by reason of a life-union with

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