Wherever the spirit would go, they would go, and the wheels would rise alongside them, because the spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels.
I. THAT THIS TERRESTRIAL GLOBE IS THE STAGE ON WHICH GOD IS WORKING OUT HIS REDEMPTIVE ENTERPRISE. Other ends, which are plainly sought in nature, are evidently not final; they are steps to a loftier end. It is possible that, in other planets, other aspects of God's glorious nature are in course of being unveiled; other purposes are unfolding; other principles (perhaps not comprehensible by men) are being developed. Our earth is consecrated and set apart for this high end, viz. that it may be the theatre for the display of moral redemption.
II. THAT ALL THE WHEELS OF NATURE MOVE TOWARDS THE EXECUTION OF THIS PLAN. By the wheels of nature are symbolized all mechanical and chemical forces. These are ever moving in their appropriate activities; are, in their sphere, resistless. For the most part these activities are a blessing to men; but if withstood, they injure and destroy. These great dynamic forces do not act in a capricious and haphazard manner. They follow implicitly the mandates of law; they are represented as "lull of eyes;" they are the docile, ready servants of the cherubim: "the spirit of the living creatures is in the wheals also." The same Divine Spirit which dwells in angels and in men, possesses and potentiates (though in inferior measure) the forces of nature. Mechanical forces yield to chemical; chemical forces yield to vital; vital forces yield to intelligent; intelligent forces yield to spiritual. A graduated scale of subordination appears, and in all there is the manifestation of one controlling Spirit. This complete subordination of nature to the central purpose of redemption, is seen in the miracles wrought by Jesus Christ. The intervening agents are not within the range of human vision; yet, to a spiritual eye, they might have been (in part at least) discerned. For to Nathanael Jesus Christ affirmed, with special emphasis, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man."
III. THAT, BY THE FORCES OF MATERIAL NATURE, GOD'S WILL IS SWIFTLY AND NOISELESSLY DONE. The idea conveyed to the mind by the vision of these mysterious wheels is easy and rapid motion. Celerity is made prominent by the fact that they went straight to their destination: "They turned not when they went." It was enough that the volition of the Divine mind was expressed. "He spake: and lo! it was done;" "Whither the spirit was to go, they went;" "The spirit of the living creature was in the wheels." If the cherubim were lifted up from the earth, these wheels were lifted up; or when the cherubim stood, the wheels stood. Service in any direction - rest or motion - the wheels instantly and spontaneously followed the Divine behest. Here saints may find strong consolation: "God's will is our sanctification." His will shall be done. For who can finally resist it?
IV. THE VAST SCALE OF GOD'S PLANS AND AGENCIES APPALLS OUR FINITE MINDS. "The felloes of these wheels were so high," says the prophet, "that they were dreadful." It is the ambition of the human mind to measure and grasp the universe; and when, at length, we begin to discover the magnitude and the minuteness of God's works, we fall prostrate under a sense of our impotence. "It is higher than heaven; what can we know? It is deeper than Hades; what can" our feeble intellect do? It should temper our self-confidence, and induce in us profound modesty, to remember that we do not, while in the flesh, see objects as they absolutely exist; we see only the likeness and appearance of realities. A subjective element mingles with the objective, in our consciousness. "Now we know in part. We anticipate the time when imperfect knowledge shall give place to perfect certainty.
V. THAT ALL THE ACTIVITIES OF NATURE AND OF PROVIDENCE ARE TINGED WITH A MORAL PURPOSE. There is surely something to be gathered from the fact that the prophet makes mention of these several colours. The fire which enfolded upon itself was of the colour of amber. The throne on which the Eternal sat was in appearance like a sapphire stone. The living creatures were like burning coals of fire. The wheels were like the colour of the beryl - i.e. a bluish green. These colours are constituent elements of the perfect white, and imply that God's righteousness (as well as his wisdom and goodness) is manifest in all his works. The universe is imbued with a moral purpose. Truth shall spring out of the earth, and righteousness shall look down from heaven;" "The mountains shall bring peace to the people, and the little hills by righteousness." - D.
Whithersoever the Spirit was to go, they went.
( C. H. Spurgeon.)
For the spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels.together. They assimilate, repel, interpenetrate, change each other; and then leave as resultant one grand influence in the main for each character, for each man. "All things work together," not in an aimless and capricious manner, for this end and for that, now in one way and now in another, as though a stream should one day flow seaward, and the next back toward its fountain among the hills, but in one volume, along one channel, in one direction, toward one end.
(A. Raleigh, D. D.)
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