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appointing their hostile designs. The throne aiporr
which Jehovah appeared, was high and lifted up; signifying, that he who fat thereon, was elevated far above all might and dominion, and every name that: is named in this world, or that which is to come; His kingdom ruleth over all. Inanimate creation:^obedient to his -command: to devils, and wicked men, he sets restraining bounds: angels who excel irr strength, do his commandments: his faithful subjects' among men, a multitude, which no man can number, he governs, enriches, and preserves, in the enjoyment
of the most glorious prerogatives. -With humility
and reverence we bow before thy eternal throne, and give thee homage, rejoicing that thou the Lord God omnipotent reignest-; and in our safety and felicity, under thy mild administration, who waits to be gra-: cious, who art ready to supply us with strength, to guide us with counsel, to protect«us by thy omnipotent arm, and to grant us inheritance among thy saints in light. - :. .
And -hit train filled t/x temple. Heavenly objects are so ineffably grand, that, in our present, imperfect, feeble state, we can at most understand them but very imperfectly. They must therefore be presented to view in a light in which we are capable to apprehend them, and be described in a manner suited to our limited capacities. Of this we have an instance in the words before us. The train here mentioned, I.suppofe, consisted not in the retinue, or numerous attendants, who surrounded the throne of God, but in somewhat resembling a loose, flowing garment, affording an emblem of the divine perfections, of the consummate dignity, and supreme majesty of Jehovah. The ideas of the presence and glory of God, conveyed by this vision, are borrowed from royal majesty, as displayed by eastern monarchs, and refer to sensible images wellknown to those who were acquainted with the temple of old. In the exercise of the divine government, the Lord of hosts displays supreme authority, irresistible
power, power, immaculate purity, consummate goodness, untainted righteousness, exquisite wisdom, incomparable magnisicence, and boundless grace. Like a beautifultrain, which adds dignity and splendour to the person who wears it, these give lustre, brilliancy, and glory, to the divine administration, and ought ever to excite our admiration and reverence. Similar sigurative representations of the Almighty often occur in the holy scriptures; of which you may fee an instance, Psal. xciii. i. where the royal psalmist thus speaks, when describing the majesty, power, and holiness of God's kingdom: 'The Lord reigneth, he is 'clothed with majesty, the Lord is clothed with
* strength wherewith he hath girded himself.'
This train silled the temple. There are three temples wherein God is said in scripture to reside; his dwelling place in heaven, the temple at Jerusalem, and the humble heart. The sirst of these, which is always silled with the presence and glory of Jehovah, does not seem to be the temple of which our prophet speaks. As to the temple of Jerusalem, you know, it was exceeding magnisicent, contrived by insinite wisdom, which formed the plan; in executing of which, above one hundred and sifty-three thousand workmen were employed for several years; and therein were performed the most solemn exercises of divine worship instituted among the posterity of Israel. It is dignisied in scripture with various honourable descriptions; such as,' the house of the Lord*, the holy and beautiful 'housef, the place in which God put his name J, the
* resting-place of Jehovah ||, the temple of the Lord §. Such was the glory of this wonderful structure, that the fame thereof reached unto all countries. In the place called the holy of holies, contained within this house, did the God of Israel graciously vouchsafe to manifest himself, in a peculiar manner, to the high
* EccleC v. i. f Isaiah Ixiv. it. J 1 Kings viii. 29.
|| 2 Chron. vi. 41. J Jer. vii. 4.
priest, who went in thither once in the year. This temple, in our prophet's view, was silled with the
train of Jehovah. This temple of God, honoured
with his presence and worship, asforded an instructive type and representation of the church of Jesus Christ, favoured wirh his presence, in which the sacred institutions of divine worship are observed. Hence, like the temple of old, it is called the house of God; and Christians, of which it is constituted", are said to be the temple of the living God. If then you consider the temple here mentioned, in its sigurative fense, the prophet had a vision of the kingdom of the Son of God, under the New Testament, which was to be silled with his glory. Under the former dispensation, the presence of God was consined to the temple at Jerusalem, where he resided in a special manner, and received the homage of his people; whereas now, under the gospel, the temple of # the Most High is greatly enlarged, and God hath his habitation in all places in which his saints reside, and his name is recorded. The beautiful train of his divine excellencies silleth every humble heart, and every worshipping assembly, throughout his widely extended empire. This was the grand object, I suppose, which this vision was intended to represent. Let Christians then, who are the temple of God, highly prize, and earnestly seek to enjoy, the comfortable presence of Jehovah. For this purpose, be solicitous to have your hearts adorned with every divine grace, that they may be sit habitations for God, through the Spirit; and take heed that you desile not the temple of God, which is holy.
2 Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly.
There is a -remarkable similarity in the manifestations of the divine glory, which God afforded his ser
vants the prophets, though there was considerable va* riety in the appearances which they contemplated. Mi* caiah, the son of Imlah, * saw the Lord sitting on his
* throne, and all the host of heaven standing by him,
* on his right hand and on his left V Daniel beheld the 'Ancient of days sitting on his throne, which was 5 like the-siery flame.—Thousand thousands mini
* stered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thou
* sand stood before him f.' Our prophet says, that, in his view, above the throne stood the scraphims, &c. In these words, he describes :he attendants of Jehovah: he acquaints us with their name, their station,
their posture, their sigure, and employment. Their
name is seraphim, which is derived from a Hebrew word that signisies to burn; and intimates, that the celestial spirits, who attend the throne of God, are creatures remarkable for the excellency and simplicity of their nature, their untainted purity, their ardent zeal for the glory of God, their vivacity and activity in executing the commands of Jehovah. Hence the royal psalmist celebrates the praises of God, who maketh his angels spirits: his ministers a flame of sireJ. These seraphims, in our prophet's view, to whom they appeared in an elevated station, seemed to be above the throne; not surely upon the top of it, as ornaments, but behind it, exalted above its level, after the manner of those who are in waiting upon kings and princes. These living creatures appeared in a standing posture, highly proper for the servants of the most high God, who are in continual readiness to execute the orders of their great Lord, for thie benesit of his
church. With respect to their sigure, each one had
six wings. We presume not to pry into the nature of angels, nor to assign the reasons why they have appeared to men in such and such forms. Their nature, and the forms which they have occasionally assumed, far transcend our limited capacities, which are
* i Kings xxii. 19. f Daniel vii. 9, 10. J PsaL civ. 4.
inadequate to the comprehension of the smallest insect; and therefore it becomes us to speak of seraphims with great modesty and diffidence. These here mentioned, probably resembled, in some respects, those which were seen by the prophet Ezekiel, which he thus describes: 'They had the likeness of a man. And
* every one had four faces, and every one had four 'wings.—As for the likeness of the living creatures,
* their appearance was like burning coals of sire, and
* like the appearance of lamps *.' The cherubims which were anciently in the temple, had only two wings; those whom Ezekiel saw, had four; whereas the seraphims seen by Isaiah, had six wings. The different purposes for which they were used are mentioned in the following words:
With twain he covered his face; thus expressing his profound reverence, and becoming modesty, in the divine presence. We can hardly approach those who are greatly our superiors but with down-cast eyes, intimating the consciousness we feel of their- preeminence, and our profound respect for their excellence and dignity. We cannot look at the sun, when shining with meridian splendour, but we are obliged to cover our eyes with our hands. Such is the insinite glory of the eternal Jehovah, that celestial spirits, around his throne, appeared to our prophet, covering their faces with their wings. Eight inaccessible, and full of glorv, in which God resides, was too strong for them directly to contemplate. This circumstance instructs us, that all our approaches to God ought to be accompanied with great reverence and humility, deeply sensible not only of the insinite distance there is between God and us, as he is the Creator, and we the creatures of his power, but strongly affected with tiie still more awful distance that is between him and us, as he is the most holy God, and we sinful dust and ashes. With twain he covered his feet. In scriptu're
* Sec F.zck. i. 5.—14.
U u language,