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ledged that there is one species met above quoted, that it is designed to with “clear like the air ;” but the represent the divine glory here irrafact
appears doubtful, or of too rare diating the mediatorial throne, as occurrence to constitute the general there the New Jerusalem, of which character of the stone. The jasper, it is said “the glory of God doth however, is mentioned Rev. XXI. lighten it, and the Lamb is the 18, 19, as forming the first of the light thereof.” twelve foundations of the wall of the The sardine stone, which is the New Jerusalem, and as the material same as the sardius mentioned also of which the wall itself was Exod. xxviii. 17, as the first of the built; in consequence of which, when twelve which were set in the breastthe city is described as seen by the plate of Aaron, is in the Hebrew Apostle “ descending out of heaven called Odem, a name derived from
from God, having the glory of the root Adam, “he was ruddy,” • God,” it is added, • her light was and is considered to denote the
like unto a stone most precious, ruby, (of which the Persian name • even like a jasper stone, clear as is Adam,) or certainly some pre
chrystal.” (Rev. xxi. 10, 11.) From cious stone of the colour of human this description it is evident, that flesh, in the same way as (adopting one of the most pure and splendid a Roman derivation) we name from of the precious stones, commonly a like peculiarity the carnelion or known to the ancients, must be here cornelian, the general term for designated by the name of jasper, which, in reference also to its flesh and not the opaque, or slightly trans colour, amongst the Greeks appears lucent one, which is now commonly to have been Sarda.* This also is known by that name ; unless indeed mentioned Rev. xxi. 20, as forming jasper, which is susceptible of bril one of the twelve foundations of liancy from a high polish, be chosen the new Jerusalem, and both of from its general use and appearance, them amongst other precious stones, and the quality of transparency be In Ezek. XXVIII. 13, and in the Lasuperadded to complete the symboli- mentations of Jeremiah it is used cal description ; in the same manner to describe the pure flesh of the as, in farther describing the New devoted Nazarite ; for her “NazaJerusalem, transparency is given to • rites were purer than snow; they gold, and it is said “the building of were whiter than milk; they were • the wall of it was of jasper ; and ' more ruddy in body than rubies ;' ' the city was pure gold, like unto The combination of the two there
clear glass.” (v. 18.) And again, fore, the jasper, “a stone most “the street of the city was pure precious, clear as chrystal,” causing gold, as it were transparent glass.” an appearance as of “the glory of (v. 21.) Whether however any o God;" and the sardine stone or ther pellucid precious stone, or any ruby, an emblem of the pure flesh uncommon variety of the modern of the Nazarite ; form together a jasper, or that most commonly known description of Christ, corresponding by this name with the superadded to that given of the beloved of the quality of transparency, (to which church in Cant. v. 10. It repreidea I rather incline, as being the sents also his glorified humanity as most easy and natural explanation the second Adam, and the spotless of the three,) be here contemplated, Nazarite, set apart and separated to it is evident from chap. xxi. 10, 11, the service of God; and it accords
* Rees's Encyclopedia, Art. " Gems."
also with the vision of his glory as lasting reconciliation with them, he seen on the mount of transfigura- refers to this transaction, and says tion, when his face did shine as the “As I have sworn that the waters sun, and his raiment was white as of Noah should no more go over the light and glistering.
the earth, so have I sworn that I The rainbow, the symbol of Christ would not be wroth with thee, nor
a covenant God, is here seen rebuke thee; neither shall the surrounding his mediatorial throne; covenant of my peace be removed, for though the imaginations of 'saith the Lord that hath mercy on man's heart are only evil contin- 'thee.” (Isaiah liv. 10.) And in ually, and must ever expose him to the subsequent vision of Christ, divine judgments; yet, and on this Rev. x. 1, when he again reveals account, God, for Christ's sake, himself to the apostle, he appears, (whose atoning sacrifice, or the an as being ever mindful of his coveticipation of it as offered by Noah, nant, with “a rainbow upon his was to him as a sweet smelling head ;” and again, in the description savour,) entered into a covenant of of the vision of the mediatorial peace and reconciliation, that he throne seen by the prophet Ezekiel, would no more destroy the world it is said,
appearance of by a flovd, or deal with man accord- “the bow that is in the cloud in the ing to his own merits ; and then day of rain, so was the appearance established the rainbow as its token, of the brightness round about. ordaining that when he should bringThis was the appearance of the a cloud over the earth his bow likeness of the glory of the Lord.” should appear in it, to remind man, (chap. I. 28.) Though the glory and Himself as it were, of his un seen both by Ezekiel and by the changeable purpose in Christ. (Gen. apostle John as surrounding the ix. 12—26.) So when we might throne had the form of the rainbow, justly fear the anger of God, and yet we read that here the colour of the indications of coming judg- it was green, or
like unto an ments upon account of our numer emerald ;” and from the softness of ous sins, we are taught in like this colour, and its agreeableness manner to look at the bow of the to the human eye, upon which covenant, at Jesus our mediator and account God hath chosen it for that covenant head, for whose sake, and of the general mantle of the earth, through whose intercession, God it may be considered as an apt hath for ever laid aside his anger emblem of peace
and reconciliation ; against us, and the threatening whence a green branch is a fit token cloud of judgment becomes resplen- of offered peace. The olive leaf dent only with manifestations of plucked off, brought into the ark grace and mercy; and instead of by Noah's dove might imply, with deserved punishment we obtain the double significancy, that the promise of glories and privileges deluge of divine wrath had passed which never could have belonged away and subsided ; and the palm to us through any righteousness branches, which the saints bear in of our own;
their hands, may be considered as Such righteousness were creaturely at best,
indicating, not only that they had
obtained a victory, but that their Hence also when God desires to warfare was for ever terminated. give the Jewish nation the strongest But it may on the most substanassurance of his complete and ever tial grounds be believed, that the
We in his own obedience shall be drest.
rainbow was given as a pledge and any way interfere with the promises promise of more than these spiritual of spiritual blessings which we have blessings; and that the covenant supposed to be implied in the use of made with Noah, and, as it is ex this symbol, but confirms, embodies, pressly said, “ with the earth,” and substantiates them. In this and its various inhabitants, looked view, as the greenness of the rainforward to the renovation of all bow directs our attention immedithings under Christ, when the ately towards the earth, which unicreature also, or the whole creation, versally wears this colour, so it shall at length be delivered from the would be a token of its restored bondage of corruption. For if we fertility towards man, and a type of find in other cases, that the end, its moral fertility towards God, as seen by God from the beginning when under the covenant of peace is shadowed forth by the earliest during the millennial period, as well types and prophecies, so that the as of the renovation of all things in tree of life in the midst of Paradise the eternal state. In further conwas but a type or promise of that firmation of which general view of tree of life which shall be possessed the import of the covenant with in the new Jerusalem; and Eve, the Noah, we may notice that the apobride of the first Adam, was but a calyptic vision, where the rainbow type of the bride, the Lamb's wife, is seen surrounding the throne of (which mystery the apostle lays Christ, refers as its ultimate object open in Ephes. v. 20;) and if it is to his future reign with his redeemusual also, on the first establishment ed and glorified church upon earth ; of a type, or of a typical ceremony, as is evidenced by the hymn of that only the inferior and subordi- praise and thanksgiving, there reprenate motives, intelligible by the sented as sung by them, and ending persons to whom the command is with these words,—" And we shall given, and applicable to their present reign on the earth.” And in like circumstances, should be adduced ; manner the second vision, where leaving its ultimate and more im- Christ manifests himself as encircled portant meaning to be opened far- by the rainbow of the covenant, ther to the church at subsequent (Rev, x. 1, and 2,) relates to the periods as her necessities may re time when he comes to take posquire, (which was manifestly the session of all the kingdoms of the case with respect to the institution world,
world, setting his right foot upon of the passover, the feast of first the sea, and his left foot upon the fruits, the feast of tabernacles, the earth.-first indeed that he may selection of the first-born, &c.) it purge it of his enemies by the is equally sound criticism to con- severity of his judgments; but also sider the covenant made with Noah that he may then restore it in and with all “ the earth” as looking mercy. Again we find evidence of farther than the mere assurance that a connexion between this covenant it should no more be destroyed by and the expectation of a new heaven a flood, and as referring ultimately and a new earth, in the fact that to the new heaven and the new the promise to the Jewish nation of earth, which, together with the everlasting peace and reconciliation vision of the bride, the Lamb's wife, in the latter days, in which this more and the tree of life, form the con ancient covenant with Noah is recluding subjects of the Apocalyptic ferred to, is subsequently made to revelations. This idea does not in them in the terms of the promise of
new heavens" and a “ new earth.” shew that cach was made the de. (Compare Isa. Liv. 9–14; lxv. 17 pository of the counsels of God and --25; Lxvi. 22.)
of his designs of mercy in Christ Again, the same connexion is towards this world. shewn to exist between the covenant Verse 4. " * And round about the made with Noah and the new hea throne were four and twenty seats vens and the new earth, by 2 Pet. (or rather thrones—forit is the same 111. 5—13, where the Apostle brings ' word in both places) and upon the into one view the former destruction ' seats (or thrones) I saw four and of the world by water, and its ap twenty Elders sitting clothed in pointed future destruction by fire ; white raiment, and they had on and adds, “but we, according to his their heads crowns of gold.” As the * promise, look for a new heaven government in the patriarchal times • and a new earth, wherein dwelleth would naturally belong to the heads • righteousness."—Which promise of families, so the Elders amongst made by God of the restitution of the Hebrews were the magistrates, all things through Christ he had heads, or rulers of the people ; and before referred to in his address to we read in Exod. XVIII. 25, that the multitude on the day of Pente. Moses, following the advice of his cost, as having been spoken of “ by father-in-law Jethro, chose able men • the mouth of all his holy prophets out of all Israel, and made them * since the world began;" and which heads over the people, to assist him we cannot doubt therefore was re in the administration of justice ; vealed to Noah, who was so extra of whom seventy accompanied Noordinary a character both as a pro. ses when he beheld the vision of phet of God and a preacher of right, the glory of Christ. (Chap. xxiv.) eousness, on the occasion of the first And when he was afterwards led awful destruction of the world; and to complain of the burden of the to the existence of which communi- government of so numerous a peocation the rainbow may be consider- ple, he by divine command gaed as yet continuing to bear testi- thered together seventy men, who mony. We also find that our Lord, “the elders of Israel” and who here at the opening vision of officers over them,” and set them the Apocalyptic history is repre- round about the tabernacle, and the sented as surrounded by the rainbow Lord took of the spirit that was upon of the covenant, at the conclusion of him (Moses) and gave it unto the it, chap. xxi. 5, announces the work seventy elders. (See Numb. xi. 24,) of redemption as thus completed : And these elders, composing the “Behold, I make all things new;" senate belonging to all the tribes in and the Apostle beholds “a new general, sat with the leader, judge, • heaven, and a new earth ; for the or king, who presided in this court; • first heaven and the first earth and it appears from 2 Chron. xix.
were passed away.” By adopting 8–11, that if the cause was of a this view we complete the parallel spiritual or ecclesiastical nature the between Noah and Abraham, who high priest was the chief judge ; equally, amidst the apostacy of all otherwise, a chief justice who sat the world around them, stood forth on behalf of the king. The council at the head of their families as the or assembly which is considered to avowed servants of God, and as sin- have thus originated existed in the gular examples to all future genera time of our Saviour, and is referred tions of the power of faith; and to Matt. v. 21, 22; Mark xiii. 9,
&c. and was then called the Sanhe- the first being of the dimensions of drim, derived from ovv together and ten cubits, the two next of twenty sepa a seat. The president of this cubits, and the last of twelve thousand assembly was called Nasi or prince, furlongs each way, or in “length," his deputy Ab-beth-din, Father of “ breadth,” and “ height." The the house of judgment; and the sub- sacred number twenty-four, thus deputy was called chacom the wise; formed upon the essentially sacred the rest were denominated tzekanim, character of the number 3, and the elders or senators. The room in perfect form of the cube, has referwhich they sat was a rotunda, half ence to the regal glory of Christ, of which was built without the tem here manifested to the Apostle, and ple and half within ; and as it was hereafter to be universally manifestnever allowed to sit down in the ed by him as seated upon his meditemple, they tell us this part was atorial throne ; of which the glory for those who stood up, the other of king Solomon's throne was one half or semicircle extended without of the most eminent types : where the holy place, and here the judges also it was represented, in a way to sat. The Nasi or prince sat on a which this vision corresponds ; for throne at the end of the hall, having we read in 1 Chron. xxvii. 1, (relative his deputy on his right hand, and to the arrangements made and the his sub-deputy on his left; the other institutions formed by David, under senators were ranged in order on divine direction, for this typical pureach side. There were also two pose, preparatory to the future reign scribes, the one to write down the of his son,) that “ of the children of suffrages of those who were for con Israel, the chief fathers and capdemnation, the other to take down tains of thousands and hundreds, the suffrages of those who were for " and their officers who served the absolution. The vision
there. king in any matter of the courses, fore to have reference to the prince, • which came in and went out month or his representative, sitting in the by month throughout all the months midst of this sacred congregation of • of the year, of every course were rulers. The number of the elders ' twenty and four thousand.” These seen in the vision is however not twenty and four thousand armed seventy, but twenty and four; and men and their rulers, (again menupon the sacred character of this tioned in 1 Chron. xxviii. 1 ; xxix. number it is to be observed, that as 6,) were thus in constant attendance that of 7 is formed by the most about the throne ; and being relieved simple series of geometrical pro. every month, the whole formed the gression, viz. 1, 2, 4, limited to three military power of the kingdom. In terms ; so this is formed by the first conformity then to this ancient type, or most simple cube, viz. the num the vision seen by St. John of the ber 8, taken also three times ; the mediatorial throne surrounded by .cube being the most perfect of all the four and twenty elders clothed forms of figure or of number; on in white raiment, (which, typifywhich account the heavenly or per- ing the righteousness of Christ, is fect state, as represented in the ta equally the regal and priestly vesbernacle, in the temple, and also ture,) represents Christ und his in the vision of Ezekiel by the holy church manifested in power, or in of holies, and in this book by the their regal character ; as is further, New Jerusalem, is in each case de- and still more clearly, expressed by .scribed under the form of a cube; the thrones upon which they sit,