Revelation 5:6
Then I saw a Lamb who appeared to have been slain, standing in the center of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders. The lamb had seven horns and seven eyes, which represent the sevenfold Spirit of God sent out into all the earth.
Sermons
The Goings Forth of the Holy GhostS. Conway Revelation 5:6
The Sealed BookR. Green Revelation 5:1-7
The Adoration of the LambS. Conway Revelation 5:1-14
Christ in HeavenR. Culbertson.Revelation 5:6-7
Christ the Expounder of the MysteryHomilistRevelation 5:6-7
The Appearance of the Mediator in HeavenJ. S. Exell, M. A.Revelation 5:6-7
The AtonementBp. Stevens.Revelation 5:6-7
The Lamb and the BookB. D. Johns.Revelation 5:6-7
The Lamb in GloryC. H. Spurgeon.Revelation 5:6-7
The Lamb in the Midst of the ThroneExpository OutlinesRevelation 5:6-7
The Lamb in the Midst of the ThroneG. Rogers.Revelation 5:6-7
The Lamb in the Midst of the ThroneJohn Walker.Revelation 5:6-7
The Lamb in the Midst of the ThroneJ. McCosh.Revelation 5:6-7
The Lamb on the ThroneGeorge Matheson, D. D.Revelation 5:6-7
The Seven Eyes of the Slain LambA. Maclaren, D. D.Revelation 5:6-7
The Sevenfold Offices of the Holy SpiritJ. Vaughan, M. A.Revelation 5:6-7
The Slain Lamb, Beheld in Heaven by the RedeemedJ. Parsons.Revelation 5:6-7
The Zion -- the LambLyman Abbott, D. D.Revelation 5:6-7
Union with Christ by the SpiritH. C. G. Moule, M. A.Revelation 5:6-7
Christ the Expounder of the MysteryD. Thomas Revelation 5:6-10


The seven Spirits of God which are sent forth, etc. In all possible ways the Church declares her faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and his redemption. By the name, Christian; by the sacrament of the Holy Supper; by symbols - the cross everywhere; by her literature, etc. And all this is right; the example of it is given in Scripture, for Christ is the Alpha and Omega of the Bible: "Him first, him last, him midst, and without end." But this is not all the truth. For it is equally true that the holy and perfect Spirit of God is sent forth into all the earth - working in, upon, for, and around us everywhere. The doctrine is most blessed, and an essential part of the gospel of Christ, though it has not the prominence in our thought or speech that "the truth as it is in Jesus" receives. We do not realize as we should that the Holy Spirit is the Christ within us, and whose coming made it "expedient" that the Christ who in our nature died. for us upon the cross "should go away." Note -

I. THE EVIDENCE FOR THE GOING FORTH OF THE SPIRIT OF GOD. We see the Spirit striving with men in the days of Noah; as yet earlier and more successfully - because the striving was with matter, not with mind - we see him bringing order out of chaos at the Creation. "Whither shall I go from thy Spirit?" asks the psalmist; "or whither shall I flee from thy presence?" David piteously pleads, "Take not thy Holy Spirit from me!" His presence is recognized in every part of the sacred history, and in the New Testament Pentecost is told of, and the truths concerning him are dwelt upon still more at large. In this Book of Revelation we read once and again of his gracious work (cf. Revelation 1:4; Revelation 3:1; Revelation 4:5; Revelation 5:6. Cf. also conclusion of all the letters to the seven Churches, Revelation 2 and 3.). At Revelation 19:10 we are told that "the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy." The Holy Spirit confirms the "voice from heaven" (Revelation 14:13), which declares, "Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord. Yea, saith the Spirit," etc. It was under the influence of the Spirit the book was written: "I was in the Spirit," St. John repeatedly affirms. And at the end of the book the Spirit is heard along with the bride and others, bidding all come and take the water of life freely. Scripture, therefore, does plainly tell of a Spirit - the Spirit of God, "sent forth into all the earth."

II. THE MANNER OF HIS GOING FORTH. This seen:

1. In nature.

(1) Creation. He is called "the Spirit of life." "Thou sendest forth thy Spirit, they are created."

(2) At each returning spring.

2. Amongst men. Here it is that the Divine Spirit's work may be most manifestly seen.

(1) As a fact, there is much good amongst men who have not been and are not within the circle of the Church - much that is lovely and of good report and worthy of all praise. See the laws and literature of ancient nations; and the lives of their noblest men. Who that is acquainted with ancient history will for a moment deny this? And today there is much of good that yet is, formally, without the circle of the Church. No doubt a large part of this is owing to what Carlyle called "a great after shine" of Christianity. The inspiration of many professedly non-Christian moralists is Christian after all. They have unconsciously absorbed it, and then reproduced it as from some other source.

(2) Now, whence comes all this? Many say that "natural goodness" is sufficient to account for it. And that there is some good in every man, we can hardly deny. And we are unable to accept the Augustinian theory that such goodness, being unconnected with faith, "has the nature of sin." For is not this doctrine perilously near that of which our Lord speaks in Matthew 12:24, where his enemies attributed his deeds to the prince of devils? We know of no such thing as natural goodness. How can it coexist with the universal corruption which we confess? But we do know of God as the Source of goodness, and of Satan as the inspirer of evil, and to him we cannot ascribe the goodness of which we are speaking. We therefore look for its source in that going forth of the Spirit of God of which the text tells. Does not all light come from the central sun? The flame that leaps forth from the coal, heated above a certain temperature, and with which we are so familiar, is but latent light liberated at length after having been imprisoned there since the days when it first was radiated from the one central sun. And has not science showed that life only can produce life? Dead matter cannot originate it; it must come from life. And this is true in the realm of moral and spiritual life also. And does not Scripture assert this? St. James says, "Do not err, my beloved brethren, Every good gift... cometh down from the Father of lights," etc. (James 1:17). And St. John (i.) tells of "the light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world." We therefore claim all goodness as due to the going forth, etc.

3. In the Church. Here, of course, it is most of all to be seen. Let the waters of a lake be agitated by any cause, the greatest movements will be seen nearest the point where that which stirred the waters came into contact with them, although the movements will not stay until the whole body of the lake has been more or less affected thereby. And so, because the Church is the point of contact, amid the wide extent of humanity at large, with the blessed power of the Spirit of God, therefore in the Church will his power most of all be seen, though his power goes forth far beyond. In the Church it is seen in all stages of the spiritual life - in conviction, conversion, inward peace, bright hope, growing holiness. And in all the manifestations of that life - trust, fidelity, charity, zeal, self-denial, love, joy, peace, etc. It is more evidently seen in great spiritual movements like that at Pentecost, in which vast numbers of human hearts are touched, moved, and saved thereby. Then everybody notes it, and asks, "What strange thing is this?" But it may be seen, also, in equally real operation in the case of individuals who, one by one, the Holy Spirit draws to God. And this going forth shall be seen again:

4. At the resurrection. "The Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies," etc. (Romans 8:11). Each spring season is God's perpetual parable of the resurrection. The whence, the whither, and the cause are all portrayed when

"The spring-tide hour
Brings leaf and flower."

CONCLUSION. If we be asked - Why, if it be so that the Spirit of God thus goes forth, why is the world no better? we can only reply:

1. The higher the life the longer its development demands. What wonder, then, that "the end is not yet"?

2. The Spirit may be resisted; is so. The old fable of the sirens is of everyday fulfilment. The sweet, seductive song of the siren-like world lures souls in myriads to abandon the leading of the Spirit of God. Is it not so? The wonder is, not that so few escape, but that any do. No wonder, therefore, that his work is slow.

3. But it is sure. The Spirit is likened to fire - to torches of fire (see Revelation 4.), which will stand the rough blasts of the world and the tempests of sin, and yet burn on. And as fire transforms and strives strenuously till it gains its ends, so we believe the Spirit will, for we "believe in the Holy Ghost."

4. What reception has he from us? Doubt him not, resist him not, but seek his aid for yourselves, for others, and, as you so do, you will increasingly believe in, see, and rejoice in, the goings forth of the Spirit of God. - S.C.







A Lamb as it had been slain.
I. GOD HAS A PLAN FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF HIS CHURCH.

1. The plan is on a large scale. It fills a "book." Redemption is God's greatest effort.

2. God is resolved to work out the plan. "Right hand" — symbol of executive energy.

3. The plan is an infinitely difficult one. "Sealed with seven seals." How to reconcile man to God, the great mystery of the universe.

4. The plan is essential to the happiness of humanity. John "wept" when no one could open the book.

II. Christ is the administrator of God's plan for the construction of His Church.

1. He is qualified by appointment. "My servant."

2. He is qualified by character. "Lamb."

3. He is qualified by suffering. "Slain."

4. He is qualified by perfection of ability. "Seven horns," etc. Perfection of knowledge and power.

III. THE ADMINISTRATION BY CHRIST OF GOD'S PLAN FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF HIS CHURCH IS PRODUCTIVE OF UNIVERSAL JOY.

1. The joy of the Church (vers. 8-10).

2. The joy of the angels (vers. 11, 12).

3. The joy of the creation (ver. 13).

4. The joy of God. "This is My beloved Son, etc.

(B. D. Johns.)

Expository Outlines.
I. THE BLESSED OBJECT WHICH JOHN BEHELD IS HEAVEN.

1. The title given Him is most endearing.(1) A favourite one with the inspired writers (Isaiah 53:7; John 1:29; 1 Peter 1:19, etc.). St. John uses the expression nearly thirty times, and always in most important connections.(2) An appropriate and expressive title.

2. The position He occupies is pre-eminently striking.(1) Conspicuous.(2) Dignified. And if such be His position in heaven, should He be placed in the background upon earth?

3. The attributes symbolically ascribed to Him are highly imposing. These are power and wisdom.

II. THE SPECIAL ACT WHICH HE IS REPRESENTED AS PERFORMING.

III. THE FEELINGS OF JOY AND ADORATION WITH WHICH THE CIRCUMSTANCE REFERRED TO WAS REGARDED.

1. By the redeemed.

2. By the angelic hosts.

3. By the whole intelligent creation.

(Expository Outlines.)

I. THE LAMB IN THE MIDST OF THE THRONE. The designation of the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, appealed to one class of associations in the apostle's mind; the appearance of a lamb as it had been slain, to another. The design was to combine the two, as better calculated than each one singly to convey the full impression of the person who had prevailed to open the sealed book. A lamb was selected by God from the period of the Fail as best calculated, by its natural meekness and innocence, to typify the real propitiation for sin which tie had provided from the foundation of the world. As such He was foretold by Isaiah, "He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter." As such He is pointed out by John the Baptist, "Behold, the Lamb of God!" and as such He is described by Peter, "Ye were redeemed with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot." The Book of Revelation records the triumphs of the Lamb. The Old Testament had given the history of the preparation for His coming; the New had tracked His sorrowful course on the earth; all that was now needed was to trace the effects of the death of Christ upon future ages of the world, and throw out some intimations of its blissful and inter-ruinable reward. "A Lamb as it had been slain, in the midst of the throne," suggests that certain indications remain in the glorified person of the Redeemer in the midst of its purity and splendour, of its oblation on the Cross. Were the sufferings of Christ the foundation of the glory that should follow? Is His exaltation in proportion to His humiliation? Then must the glory of His person be in proportion to its shame, and the radiance of His scars pre-eminently bright. This becomes the everlasting memorial to the redeemed of their title to those realms, and of the ever-living intercession within the veil. Justice requires the detention of this memento of their chartered bliss.

II. THE ACCEPTANCE OF THE CHALLENGE BY THE LAMB TO OPEN THE SEALED BOOK. AS the rising sun chases from a whole hemisphere the gloom and silence of night, burnishes the billows, gems the crystal caves, tinges the forests, gilds the waving corn, enamels the flowers, fringes the clouds, empurples the sky, fills cities with life, homes with mirth, and groves with songs; so the appearance of the Lamb on the throne turns the stillness of creation into life, the gloom into day, the silence into songs. The joy that spread through the whole creation when the Lamb took the sealed book intimates that all creation was interested in its contents. The book in the hand of Christ insured its fulfilment.

(G. Rogers.)

1. There is a wide difference between the present and former condition of the Saviour.

2. The exaltation of Christ has made no change upon the spirit and disposition by which He is actuated.

3. Jesus Christ is invested with a threefold office. He is here symbolised by a Lamb, which naturally reminds us of His sacrificial work and of His priestly character; but, as this Lamb had seven horns and seven eyes, He must be a king and a prophet as well as a priest.

4. Jesus Christ is a Divine person.

5. Saints are under peculiar obligations to praise and honour God.

6. See the true and direct way for relief to the burdened mind. Is the soul afflicted with a deep sense of guilt? Look to the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.

(R. Culbertson.)

I. THAT THE MEDIATOR APPEARS AS THE CENTRE OF HEAVENLY SOCIETY.

1. The position is indicative of the pre-eminence of Christ. While on earth He was despised and rejected of men; in heaven He is the centre of enjoyment and worship.

2. This position is indicative of the attraction of Christ. We are assured that Christ is not merely the centre of the society of heaven because of His royal dignity, but also because of the beauty of His character, the glory of His redemptive work, the wealth of His mercy, the depth of His condescension, and the wondrous achievements of His grace in bringing so many to the promised kingdom.

3. This position is indicative of the supreme life and activity of Christ. The Redeemer stood in the midst of the throne and of the company of heaven; thus indicating His rising up from the grave, His entrance upon a life which should never again yield to death, and His readiness for the redemptive work of the future.

II. THAT THE MEDIATOR APPEARS WITH THE TOKENS OF REDEMPTIVE SUFFERING. "A Lamb as it had been slain" (ver. 6).

1. This figure indicates the gentle spirit of Christ. He deals tenderly with wounded spirits, now that He is in heaven, even as He did when on earth.

2. This figure indicates the painful sufferings of Christ. Here then is great encouragement for all penitent sinners, in that humanity is represented in heaven, and in that Christ can never forget the humiliation He endured to bring them to God.

III. THAT THE MEDIATOR APPEARS AS EXECUTING THE MOST IMPORTANT WORK.

1. He accomplished a work vastly important to mankind. Surely nothing could be of greater importance than that man should have light cast upon destiny.

2. lie accomplished a work which none other being could achieve. All created intelligences had been challenged to open the book which they saw in the Divide hand, but were not equal to the task.

(J. S. Exell, M. A.)

Homilist.
I. CHRIST, AS THE EXPOUNDER OF THE MYSTERY OF THE DIVINE GOVERNMENT, OCCUPIES A CENTRAL POSITION, AND ASSUMES THE MOST EXTRAORDINARY ASPECTS.

1. The position He occupies. He is in the "midst of the throne"; He is in the very centre of the intelligent creation. He attracts all — lie enlightens all — lie governs all — He blesses all with new life and beauty.

2. The aspect He assumes. In His person are combined the marks of suffering humanity and the attributes of perfect Divinity.

II. CHRIST, AS THE EXPOUNDER OF THE MYSTERY OF THE DIVINE GOVERNMENT, AWAKENS, IN ALL CLASSES OF HOLY MIND, INEFFABLE DELIGHT.

1. Here is humility: they "fell down before the Lamb." The profoundest reverence mingled with their joy.

2. Here is harmony: here are "harps" — emblems of music.

3. Here is acceptableness: "golden vials full of odours." Its breathing ecstacies ascend as fragrant incense to God.

4. Here is prayerfulness: "the prayers of saints." Death terminates the saint's need of prayer for certain objects, such as forgiveness, deliverance from error, and victory over foes, but not the spirit of prayer — the spirit of felt dependence upon God.

III. CHRIST, AS THE EXPOUNDER OF THE MYSTERY OF THE DIVINE GOVERNMENT, IS DEEMED WORTHY OF THE OFFICE, BECAUSE OF HIS REDEMPTIVE ACHIEVEMENT.

1. He has redeemed. The redemption of man consists in a deliverance from the power and penalty of sin.

2. He has redeemed by sacrifice. What was the sacrifice? A few self-denying efforts? — a world? No; His life. "By Thy blood"; by the sacrifice of Thy life — Thyself.

3. He has redeemed, by sacrifice, all classes. "Out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation." The atonement is designed to redeem the world, and some of all its multitudinous sections have been thus redeemed, and millions more are to follow yet.

4. He has redeemed all classes, by sacrifice, to the highest honours. They are priests, in relation to their Maker, offering up the sacrifice of a devout and grateful soul; they are kings, in relation to their race, wielding a governing influence over their thoughts and hearts. A true Christian is a moral sovereign.

(Homilist.)

I. Jesus in heaven appears in His sacrificial character; and I would have you note that THIS CHARACTER IS ENHANCED BY OTHER CONSPICUOUS POINTS. Its glory is not diminished, but enhanced, by all the rest of our Lord's character: the attributes, achievements, and offices of our Lord all concentrate their glory in His sacrificial character, and all unite in making it a theme for loving wonder.

1. We read that He is the Lion of the tribe of Juda; by which is signified the dignity of His office, as King, and the majesty of His person, as Lord. The lion is at home in fight, and "the Lord is a man of war." Like a lion, He is courageous. Though He be like a lamb for tenderness, yet not in timidity.

2. Further, it is clear that He is a champion: "The Lion of the tribe of Juda hath prevailed." What was asked for was worthiness, not only in the sense of holiness, but in the sense of valour. One is reminded of a legend of the Crusades. A goodly castle and estate awaited the coming of the lawful heir: he, and he only, could sound the horn which hung at the castle gate; but he who could make it yield a blast would be one who had slain a heap of Paynim in the fight, and had come home victorious from many a bloody fray. So here, no man in earth or heaven had valour and renown enough to be worthy to take the mystic roll out of the hand of the Eternal. Our champion was worthy.

3. In this wonderful vision we see Jesus as the familiar of God. To Him there is no danger in a close approach to the infinite glory, for that glory is His own.

4. We observe, in addition to all this, that He is the prophet of God. "He who unveils the eternal will of the Highest is the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world."

5. Our Lord always was, and is now, acknowledged to be Lord and God. Yet, in the glory of His Deity, He disdains not to appear as the Lamb that has been slain. This still is His chosen character. Write, then, the passion of your Lord upon the tablets of your hearts, and let none erase the treasured memory. Think of Him mainly and chiefly as the sacrifice for sin.

II. In the second place, note that, IN THIS CHARACTER, JESUS IS THE CENTRE OF ALL. "In the midst of the throne, and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain." The Lamb is the centre of the wonderful circle which makes up the fellowship of heaven.

1. From Him, as a standpoint, all things are seen in their places. Looking up at the planets from this earth, which is one of them, it is difficult to comprehend their motions — progressive, retrograde, or standing still; but the angel in the sun sees all the planets marching in due course, and circling about the centre of their system. Standing where you please upon this earth, and within human range of opinion, you cannot see all things aright, nor understand them till you come to Jesus, and then you see all things from the centre. The man who knows the incarnate God, slain for human sins, stands in the centre of truth.

2. The Lamb's being in the midst signifies, also, that in Him they all meet in one. Christ is the summing up of all existence. Seek you Godhead? There it is. Seek you manhood? There it is. Wish you the spiritual? There it is in His human soul. Desire you the material? There it is in His human body. Our Lord hath, as it were, gathered up the ends of all things, and hath bound them into one.

3. Being in the centre, to Him they all look. As the Father's eyes are always on Jesus, so are the eyes of the living creatures and the four-and-twenty elders which represent the Church in its Divine life and the Church in its human life. All who have been washed in His blood perpetually contemplate His beauties.

4. All seem to rally round Him as a guard around a king. All things ordained of the Father work towards Christ, as their centre; and so stand all the redeemed, and all the angels waiting about the Lord, as swelling His glory and manifesting His praise.

III. Thirdly, our Lord is seen in heaven as the Lamb slain, and IN THIS CHARACTER HE EXHIBITS PECULIAR MARKS. None of those marks derogate from His glory as the sacrifice for sin; but they tend to instruct us therein.

1. Note well the words: "Stood a Lamb as it had been slain." "Stood," here is the posture of life; "as it had been slain," here is the memorial of death. Our view of Jesus should be two-fold; we should see His death and His life: we shall never receive a whole Christ in any other way.

2. Note, next, another singular combination in the Lamb. He is called "a little lamb"; for the diminutive is used in the Greek; but yet how great He is! In Jesus, as a Lamb, we see great tenderness and exceeding familiarity with His people. He is not the object of dread. A lamb is the most approachable of beings. Yet there is about the little Lamb an exceeding majesty. The elders no sooner saw Him than they fell down before Him.

3. He hath seven horns and seven eyes. His power is equal to His vigilance; and these are equal to all the emergencies brought about by the opening of the seven seals of the Book of Providence.

IV. Jesus appears eternally as a Lamb, and IN THIS CHARACTER HE IS UNIVERSALLY ADORED.

1. Before He opened one of the seals this worship commenced. We trust Him where we cannot trace Him. Before He begins His work as the revealing Mediator, the Church adores Him for His work as a sacrifice. Jesus our Lord is worshipped not so much for what benefits He will confer as for Himself.

2. That adoration begins with the Church of God. The Church of God, in all its phases, adores the Lamb. If you view the Church of God as a Divine creation, the embodiment of the Spirit of God, then the living creatures fall down before the Lamb. No God-begotten life is too high to refuse obeisance to the Lamb of God.

3. The Lamb is not only worshipped by the Church, He is worshipped by angels. What a wonderful gathering together of certain legions of the Lord's hosts we have before us in this chapter I

4. Nay, it is not merely the Church and angelhood; but all creation, east, west, north, south, highest, lowest, all adore Him. All life, all space, all time, immensity, eternity; all these become one mouth for song, and all the song is, "Worthy is the Lamb."

5. Now, then, if this be so, shall we ever allow anybody in our presence to lower the dignity of Christ, our sacrifice?

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

I. THE SCENE IN HEAVEN.

1. A redemption scene. There is not one person or one object in the heavenly mansions but stands closely connected with the wonders of redeeming love.

2. A rejoicing, blissful scene. Let us mark here not merely the fact that it is a scene of triumphant song, but especially the object that causes the gladness, and the difference in the mode of expressing it. We have here four different songs. First, the song of the living creatures; secondly, the song of the elders; thirdly, the song of the angels; fourthly, the song of all creation. But the one grand question is, who is the object of praise? Clearly, in all cases, the Lamb on the throne; all eyes are turned to Him; all hearts fixed on Him. He is the life, the soul, the all in all of these songs. Heaven is full of triumph. The universe is glad in its exalted and crowned Saviour.

3. A communion scene. Observe how clearly this is set forth in the terms of the text. The Lamb is in the midst of the throne; but the elders, the living creatures, the angels, are all holding fellowship with the Lamb, and with one another. He is the object of all their love, the centre of all attraction, the source of all their light, and life and joy. The Eternal Three are holding their blessed communion of love, into the depths of which no creature may penetrate. But the four living creatures, the elders, the angels, are holding intercourse with that Lamb, and with one another. All are linked to the throne by love. Now remember that God's family are partly on earth, and partly in heaven; some at home with their Father, others still pilgrims and sojourners in a foreign land. But Jehovah has no greater love for the saints now in glory than for you. Jesus is not more certainly in the midst of the Church in triumph than in the midst of her in tribulation. There is not a more certain fellowship with Him around the throne than in this vale of tears. There is positively no other opening up of the wells of salvation to the glorified saints than to us. The grand thing is, the Lamb is the same, the life and love are the same. Yes, and all the more you can feel your own poverty, necessity and sinfulness, the more will you exalt the Lamb as your all; and then the sense of your necessity, and the sight of His riches and glory endearing Him to your soul, will bring Him near to your heart.

II. THE CONNECTION BETWEEN THESE THINGS AND CERTAIN OTHER THINGS HERE SPECIFIED OF THE LAMB ON THE THRONE, AS THE FOUNDATION OF THEM.

1. The most prominent is the death of the Lamb. He appears a Lamb as it had been slain. It is in His death that all the virtue is found which produces the results to which we have directed your minds. The death of that Lamb is death to all our fears; for we see how He that spared not His own Son will with Him also freely give us all things. That death of the Lamb is also the death of a guilty conscience; for while reposing on this Lamb of God, the effect of His righteousness is quietness and assurance for ever. His death is even the death of death itself; for as we fix our faith on the throne, we hear Him say, "I am He that liveth," etc.

2. The attitude of the Lamb. He stands in the midst of the throne. This is manifestly His attitude as the intercessor of His people. He has entered in once for all into the holiest of all, there to appear in the presence of God for us. A soldier of old, who was accused of being a traitor to his country, came into the presence of his sovereign, showed the scars on his breast, the memorials of his courage while fighting in the thickest of the battle, and was there received with applause in the face of all his accusers.

3. The freshness of the Lamb slain is a wonderful sight. The Lamb appears standing, bleeding still, as if the sword of justice had been just then drawn from the wounds it inflicted, and the blood were still streaming from the victim. It is not like the blood of bulls and of goats, that could grow cold, and hard, and unfit for sacrifice; but through eternal ages the Father sees that blood, and saints behold it, in all the power of a recent death. By faith the sinner ever sees it too, and has no fear it shall ever lose its efficacy with God.

III. THE CONNECTION OF BOTH THESE FORMER HEADS OF DISCOURSE WITH THE SPECIAL WORK OF COMMUNION TO-DAY.

1. Now you see prominently here that we are alike showing forth the cross and crown-rights of our glorious Immanuel. I have little fear that you forget His death on a day like this; but I am certain that we do often overlook His exaltation. And now we put ourselves afresh under His sway, and vow submission to His law as a rule of life and holiness.

2. There is an inseparable connection between this and all the consolations of the believer. The Lamb has not only the seven crowns or seven horns, but He has also the seven eyes, or seven spirits of God. Christ has all authority and power in heaven and on earth, and He has all the spiritual graces to bestow. The power would be useless without the spiritual influences to shed forth, and these again would be in vain without the rightful authority to bestow them. But Christ has both.

3. Another thing is the hope of the Church in the second coming of the Lord.

(John Walker.)

I. THERE WILL BE A GLORIOUS MANIFESTATION OF THE LORD JESUS IN THE HEAVENLY WORLD.

1. The manifestation of the Saviour's person.(1) In His exalted human nature.(2) In connection with His divinity.

2. The manifestation of the Saviour's offices. We speak here of a manifestation to the minds of the redeemed.(1) In this manner, for instance, they will be led to know and meditate upon His priesthood; a capacity in which He gave Himself as a sacrifice for us. And the redeemed, gazing upon Him thus, will dwell with enlarged comprehension upon the wonders of His dying love, in its source, in its process, and in its results.(2) In this manner, again, they will also know and meditate upon His royalty; a capacity in which He undertook the government of all beings and of all worlds, that their redemption and the purposes of the Godhead might be completed and performed.

3. In the heavenly world the manifestation of the Saviour's person and offices will be unchanging and eternal. Yes, there will be no shrouding of Him, there will be no withdrawal of Him, there will be no separation from Him. He is the Root of the tree; and that Root will never dry or fail to circulate its fertilising influences. He is the Shechinah of the temple; and that Shechinah will never be obscured or extinguished, He is the Sun of the firmament: and that Sun will never be clouded, or decline, or set, or cease from pouring out the beams of its "high, eternal noon."

II. THE GLORIOUS MANIFESTATION OF THE LORD JESUS IN THE HEAVENLY WORLD WILL PRODUCE ANIMATING AND DELIGHTFUL INFLUENCES ON ALL TO WHOM IT IS REVEALED.

1. From the manifestation of the Lord Jesus there will be secured purity. The character of the Lord Jesus Himself is that of unsullied purity; and it is impossible but that there should be an assimilating influence exercised upon all those who are brought spiritually to commune with Him. Surely these who have been redeemed by His precious blood from our apostate race, will find, in their contemplation of Him, reasons for incessant and invariable conformity to His likeness. Besides this, we must remember the nature of those employments, in which He will engage them while they shall dwell before Him. And so it is, according to the conclusion of inspiration, that "we shall be like Him" because "we shall see Him as He is"; and we shall be like Him for ever, because we shall see Him for ever.

2. This manifestation will also be found to secure pleasure.

3. The manifestation of the Saviour's presence in the heavenly world also, we find, secures praise.

(1)It is the praise of worship.

(2)It is the praise of gratitude.

(J. Parsons.)

I. The vision is set before us to remind us of THE METHOD OF ATONEMENT; it is by the blood of Jesus, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. Amid all the error abounding in this world there are few so infatuated as to maintain that they have not committed sin. Hew is this sin to be forgiven? By our repentance and reformation, may possibly be the reply. But till there is a work of grace upon the heart there can be no genuine repentance, no godly reformation. There may be feelings of remorse and regret; but these are not penitence. But granting, for the sake of argument, that man could of himself wring out a true repentance, still it can be shown that there is nothing in that repentance to make atonement for past sin. In no case can it make any amends to the insulted justice of God. Perhaps you now say that you trust in the mercy of God. You trust, you say, in the mercy of God; but how is this mercy to be exercised? Mercy is not the sole perfection of God. Holiness and justice — these are as essential to His nature as benevolence. How, then, can God be just, and yet the justifier of the ungodly? Human reason can give no intelligent, no satisfactory answer to this question. The mind feels that it has nothing to rest on; no truth on which the understanding can settle and the heart repose, till such time as it sees "a Lamb as it had been slain, in the very midst of the throne of God."

II. The vision is set before us to remind us of THE CHARACTER OF JESUS, of His meekness and gentleness, so fitted to win the human heart. The question under the last head was, How is God to be reconciled to man? The Question under this head is, How is man to be reconciled to God? How is his confidence to be won and his heart engaged?

1. I remark that in order to the gaining of the feelings of the heart it is needful that the conscience be pacified. A troubled conscience always leads the mind to avoid, as if instinctively, the remembrance of the party offended. There cannot be true and filial love in a mind in which conscience has not been appeased, nor can there be any of those allied graces, such as faith and confidence, hope and joy, which ought to fill and animate the soul. Not only so, but in order to gain the heart there must be a free, a full, and an instant forgiveness. It must be free; for it cannot be purchased or earned by us. It mast be full; for if anything were left unforgiven the conscience would still reproach. Observe how all this is secured in the very view here presented to our fatten. The Lamb, the image of gentleness, in the midst of the throne, shows that God is pacified, and the blood that flows from it proves that this has been done in strict accordance with justice. The conscience, the law in the heart, is satisfied, for God Himself, the law-giver, is satisfied. The believer, as he looks to the object set up, can say, "It is God that justifieth; who is he that condemneth?"

2. But secondly, in order to gain the heart there must be a lovely object presented to it. Such an object is presented in Jesus, a Lamb as it had been slain. The character of our Lord, set forth as an object on which the faith and affection of mankind may rest, has in itself everything that is grand and attractive. Just as fleece is a beauty in shape and colour that pleases the eye, and a sweetness of sound that delights the ear, so there is a moral loveliness that should draw towards it the affections of the soul. But here, in the character of God set forth in the face of His Son, we have all kinds of beauty meeting and harmoniously blending. In the Mediator the Divine and human natures are united in such a manner that the one does not destroy or overpower the other, but each retains its own properties, while the whole is a unity. The brightness of the Father's glory, without being shorn of a single ray, is seen in Christ under a milder lustre. Coldness and indifference are dispelled when we think that in drawing near to Jesus it is man coming to man. Unbelief vanishes when we realise that we have a brother's heart beating for us on the throne of glory. While our hearts are naturally drawn by sentiments and sympathies towards every brother man, there are certain men of classes of men towards whom we are attracted with greater force; as, for instance, towards all whose sensibilities are quick and whose feelings are tender. And if the persons have themselves been in trouble, if their heart has been melted and softened by fiery trial, our hearts go towards them in yet fuller assurance. Disposed at all times to love such, we are especially drawn towards them when we ourselves are in trouble. It is by this attracting power that believers are drawn so closely to their Saviour. The brotherliness of His human nature, as well as the holy love of His Divine nature, are brought out before us in almost every incident of His life. The forsaken lift up their head and are comforted in communion with Him who was Himself forsaken. Every one acquainted with man's nature knows that if his heart is gained it must be gained by love. It must be by presenting a loving object. Such is the loving object set before us — a Lamb as it had been slain.

III. The vision is set before us to remind us that JESUS IS THE GRAND SOURCE OF JOY TO THE SAINTS IN HEAVEN. As it was the view of Christ crucified that first gained the heart of the sinner, so it is a view of the same object seen in the visions of faith that continues to keep and fix his regards. The faith that saves does not consist of a single glance; "looking unto Jesus" is the habitual attitude of the believer's soul. Led to love the Lamb of God when on earth, trained by the Spirit of God and by all the dispensations of God to love Him more and more, he finds when he has crossed the dark valley of the shadow of death that the first object that meets his eye, and the most conspicuous, is a Lamb as it had been slain. But we cannot utter that which is unutterable, or describe that which is indescribable; and so we cannot picture or so much as conceive of that joy unspeakable and full of glory which the believer feels on his first entering into the presence of his Saviour, and which he is to enjoy for ever. True, there will be enjoyments not flowing so directly, though still proceeding indirectly from Him. There will be joys springing from the holy affections of confidence and love, which Christ by His Spirit plants in the breasts of His people. These graces, flowing, overflowing, and ever increasing, will be a source of great and ever-deepening happiness throughout eternity. Again, there will be joys springing from the glorious society of heaven, from the company of saints and angels. The question has often been asked, Where is heaven? We may not be able to answer it geographically, but we can answer it truly. It is where Jesus is. "Where I am, there ye shall be also."

1. A man must be born again before he can enter the kingdom of God.

2. Oh, that I had but lived in the days when Jesus sojourned on the earth! is the wish that will sometimes rise up in our breasts. Oh, that I had but seen His sacred person i Oh, that I had but heard His gracious words! These wishes, if proceeding from a sincere and sanctified heart, may yet be gratified, lie who was dead is alive, and behold He liveth for evermore. As He was on earth, so is He now in heaven.

(J. McCosh.)

He looked for a lion; he saw a lamb; the Greek says "little lamb" — lamb, emblem of meekness; little lamb, emblem of apparent meekness; slain, emblem of sacrifice. And yet this lamb had seven horns and Seven eyes; the horns, emblem of power; seven horns, emblem of perfect power; eyes, emblem of wisdom; seven eyes, emblem of perfect wisdom. We continually make this mistake; we think that it is might that rules; we look for a lion. We think that the power in government is to be found in congresses, presidents, kings, armies, and have not yet learned that the power is in homes and wives and mothers. The disciples, when Christ came, were looking for a lion. They believed that the Messiah would appear suddenly, and the hosts of heaven would gather about Him and the hosts of paganism would gather against Him, and in one terrible last battle He would conquer and ride victorious over a bloody field. But when the angel told the watching shepherds the Messiah was come, the angel also said to them, "This is the sign of His Messiahship — that He is but a babe, and a babe cradled in s manger." "Because Thou hast died, and hast purchased us unto God, Thou art worthy to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and glory and honour and blessings." Power belongs to love. The most potent of all earth's potencies love. Only love has any right to power. It is not the lion, it is the lamb that conquers. The eagle is dead, the lamb lives on for ever. To the "lamb" belongs the world's wealth. It is not the greedy, ravening lions that acquire wealth, it is the lamb. Only the lamb is worthy to receive riches. They do not belong to shrewd selfishness, but to large-minded love. No man has a right to wealth save he who holds it as a trust and administers it in love. It is only love that is worthy to be rich; nay, it is only love that really has riches; for we have not what we hold in our hand, but what ministers to life. It is love serving and sacrificing itself for others that alone is worthy to be rich, that alone is truly rich. It is love only that is wisdom. The cynic and the misanthrope pride themselves on their knowledge of human nature. They know just as much of it as a man might know of the cold earth who did not know there were any seeds beneath the surface. It is love only that is wise; for love sees the possibility in human nature which eyes blinded by cynicism fail to see. It is love which sees a future statesman in a rail-splitter. It is love which sees the emancipator of Europe in the monk. Love looks beneath the surface and sees the Divine in humanity. Wisdom belongs to love. It was the Lamb that saw in the publican Matthew the great biographer: the Lamb that saw in the recreant and unstable Simon the great Apostle Peter. And to the "Lamb ,t belong the glory, and the honour, and the blessing — not to power, not to wisdom, save as power and wisdom are used by love to make itself impart more. There are ranks and hierarchies of glory. Conscience is a great glory — conscience that sees righteousness and understands it; and faith is a great glory — faith that rejoices in the invisible and the eternal; and hope is a great glory — hope that beckons on the man to a larger and nobler and yet larger and nobler achievement. But best and highest of all is love. And so to love will come the song of universal blessing. To the lamb, and the little lamb as it had been slain. We worship Thee, O God, not for Thy power, though that power we might fear; nor for Thy wisdom, though that wisdom we must admire; we worship Thee for Thy love.

(Lyman Abbott, D. D.)

The first impression of these words must have been one of the most startling originality. To that old world the idea of a lamb on a throne was a contradiction in terms. I do not mean that the ancient earth was a stranger to gentleness. To combine in one nature the elements of the lion and of the lamb would be as natural for Livy as it was for the writer of the Apocalypse. But the old Pagan world, like the pre-Christian Jewish world, could never say of this element of gentleness, "Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory"; the kingdom, the power, and the glory were not for it. The part of man's nature reserved for them was the self-asserting part. No nation that I know had a lamb as a symbol of its greatness. The Roman would have understood an eagle on the throne, for his ideal was the soaring of ambition. The Jew would have understood a lion on the throne, for his Messiah was a physical conqueror. But the lamb was ever victim, the symbol of the vanquished, the sign of the dependent soul. Its place was not the throne, but the altar; it could never be the emblem of dominion. It suggests to us that even in our days we have a strong view of Christ's exaltation. What is our view of Christ's exaltation? It is that He has vanquished His Cross, ceased to be a servant, and become once more a king. St. John says it is the Cross itself which has been exalted, it is the Servant Himself who has been ennobled. No one will deny that at the present hour Christ occupies a different position in the world from that which He held in the first century of our era. He has passed from the foot to the head of the social ladder; He has become the name that is above every name. This will be admitted by all classes — believing and unbelieving. What is the cause of this transformation? It is that Christianity exerts more physical power over the world in our days than it did in the days of St. John? Assuredly not. In point of fact it does not exert more physical power. There are laws in every Christian land as to the regulation of Christian worship, but no individual man is compelled to worship. Why then is it that, in some sense, men of every creed and of no creed bow down before the name of Jesus? It is because the thing which the old world disparaged is the thing which the new world prizes. We are living after the resurrection; but let us never forget that it is the resurrection of the Crucified. The Christ who has risen from the grave is not Christ who has triumphed over suffering; it is a Christ in whom suffering has triumphed. And let us begin by asking what was that kingdom which the seer of Patmos had in his mind when he claimed for Christ the throne of universal dominion. If the empire to be conquered be a physical one, it is not a lamb that will do it. No man who looked for a physical conquest could for a moment have conceived the simile of a world held in restraint by the power of a sacrificial life. But suppose now we test the logic of St. John's words by another empire. For there is another empire — a kingdom more unruly than the physical, more hard to subdue and more difficult to keep; it is the dominion of the human heart. The kingdom to be conquered, then, is the heart; we may consider this as settled. The next question is, How is the conquest to be made? Now, at the time when St. John wrote there had already been three attempts to deal with the problem of the heart. They may be described under the names Stoicism, Buddhism, and Judaism. Stoicism proposed to quell the passions of the heart by plucking out the heart altogether; it sought to get rid of temptation by getting rid of feeling. Buddhism proposed to quell the passions of the heart by teaching that the heart itself was a delusion, that every pursuit of human desire ended in the discovery that the object was a shadow. Judaism proposed to quell the passions of the heart by the restraining hand of fear; it proclaimed the presence of a lawgiver; it set up an embankment against the flood;. it kept the tree of life by the cherubim and the flaming sword. Now, to these three methods there is one thing in common — they all achieve their end by contracting the object of their search. Their aim is to conquer a certain tract of country; they do conquer it, but they reduce it to the ashes in the process. Can any of these systems be said to possess the throne of the heart? It is a conquest without a kingdom, a victory without a prize, a triumph that has been only purchased by the mutilation of what was made to be beautiful. Now, this is not the conquest which any man desires. Even in the physical sphere, what a potentate seeks is an extended, not a contracted possession. In the sphere of the heart it is the same. The reason why we object to lawless passion in the soul is that it contracts the soul. We do not want to cure either by plucking, withering, or stunting the flower; we wish to expand it. We wish to cure lawless passion on the homoeopathic principle — by creating passion on the other side. It is more life and fuller that we want. You want a counter-passion, an opposing attraction, a positive stimulus pushing the other way. The desire of the flesh can only be met by the desire of the spirit — the thing called love. Now, remember that to St. John light is ever the analogue of love. He applies the two names as synonymous descriptions of God. And why? Because to his mind there was an identity between the process of the redemption of the flower by light and the redemption of the heart by love. The light conquers the flower. It conquers, not by contracting, but by expanding the flower. But there is one other thing which must be added to this; it conquers by dying for the flower; ere it can bring out the bloom it must itself be slain. For, what is the process by which the flower is kindled? It is an act of death on the part of the kindling substance. So far from waiting till it grows, it must itself be the principle of its growth. It must go down to it in the dark and in the cold, must take part in its darkness and its coldness. If it reaps the glory of its resurrection, it is because it shares the ignominy of its grave. It sits upon the throne by reason of its sacrifice. Such is the thought which St. John sees in light and transfers to love. He sees Christ sitting on the throne of human hearts — King, by the most infallible mode of conquest, and by a conquest that enhances the value of the possession.

(George Matheson, D. D.)

The mere crucifixion of any slave has in it that which would excite compassion; but this event has no parallel in the history of the world; never was a death like the death of Jesus.

1. As we look at this Lamb of God, let us mark the direful malignity of sin.

2. But we see in the Lamb slain, not only the work of sin, but the work of love. Review the whole history of this Lamb of God, and as we feel that He crowned all this love by dying in our stead, that we might have life, let us ask ourselves what return of love ought we to make to Him who loved us even unto death (Romans 12:1).

(Bp. Stevens.)

Having
The mystical scene before us is the appearance of the Lord, once crucified, once sacrificed, and now the Conqueror, in the heavenly sanctuary; at, and then upon, the heavenly throne. It is the ascension, it is the triumph of the Lord ascended, shown to us in sign and symbol, from the point of view of heaven. It is a new fact, a new phenomenon, in the holy region. The Lord of propitiation, of redemption, is seen here as the immediate fountain-head for earth, the sacred point of radiation downward, of the sevenfold Spirit. To the Spirit, I venture to believe, refer not only the seven mystical eyes but the seven horns, the symbol of perfect spiritual power. I wish to speak of our union by the Holy Spirit with our exalted Lord; of the life of the true members in their Head through the Divine Lifegiver, that Head being the Lamb that was slain. Now, the union of Christ with His people and of them with Him is a truth which may be described, in the light of the New Testament, as not only a great truth of spiritual life, but the truth of truths. It is related to all other kindred doctrines as that which combines, harmonises, and explains them. It appears as the end where they appear as means. Hither they gather and converge. If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His. That word, "the Spirit of Christ," reminds us of Him who is the earthward eyes, who is, as it were, the effluent presence for His Church below, of the exalted Lamb. The Paraclete comes, and behold He mediates and makes for the Christian's soul and self a presence of the Lord which somehow is better, far better, for the Christian in this his pilgrimage and tabernacle than even the joy and glory, if it were granted, of His Saviour's corporeal proximity. It is "in the Spirit" that the saint, that is to say the genuine Christian here below, "has access" in Christ unto the Father. It is those who are "led by the Spirit" who are in truth and deed, not in a certain sense, but in reality and nature, "the sons of God" in His Son. It is "by the Spirit" that they "mortify," they continuously do to death, "the deeds of the body," in the power and name of Christ. It is "by the Spirit" that they "walk" in Christ. It is "because of the Spirit dwelling in them," a truth full of deep significance as to the nature of the body of the resurrection, that "their mortal body shall be quickened" in the day when their Lord from heaven shall change it into likeness to His own. Of that harvest the indwelling Spirit is the first-fruits. Of that inheritance He is the earnest. So the sevenfold One is sent forth into all the earth, as the eyes, as the presence, of the exalted Lamb of the blessed Sacrifice. It is by Him, and by Him alone, that that presence is in the Church and is in the Christian. "Sent forth into all the earth": from the presence of the blessed, from the heaven of heavens, into all the earth; from the heart of God to the heart of man; from amidst the song of the heavenly elders to you and to me, to the concrete circumstances of our life to-day, to the stones and dust and thorns and pollutions in our path, to the snares and the illusions, to the crowds and to the solitude, of earth. Yes, He is sent forth into the present, the visible, the temporal. He is intended, He intends Himself, to be no dreamy abstraction above our heads and hearts, but to be the inmost Friend, the living strength, the infinitely ready and versatile resource and expedient, of the hour of your temptation and of mine. Over the real "deeds of our body," He is able to give victory. Our tremendously real "infirmities," He is here and now able to subvent, to "help," to transfigure into strength, as to us who look for Him He "makes perfect in our weakness" the strength of the Lamb who has overcome. He is able so to undertake our feeble, our erring steps, that we shall "walk by the Spirit," and, in a blessed reality of deliverance, "not fulfil the lusts of the flesh," yea, in all the range of the meaning of that phrase. He is able, and indeed He is willing, here and now, to take and shew to us the things of that Christ of whom He is the eyes and presence here below. He is able to make all the flying days and hours of inestimable and never-returning time sacred to us, and yet to take out of them all anxiety; to fill the heart with the things eternal and yet to open to it as no other touch can do all that is truly rich and beautiful in the things of this life. He is able, in a word, having united us to Christ, to make that union "a living, bright reality, a possession" that we use as well as have, in the whole of life. "All these things worketh that one and the self-same Spirit, dividing to every man severally as He will." And, meanwhile, He worketh thus as the eyes, as the presence, of the Lamb. All is drawn from, all is related to, Christ, still Christ, Christ glorified, Christ crucified. Ah, be that in its turn recorded and remembered. Of whom is this Holy One the presence? Whose life, and love, and peace, and power does He convey and mediate to the heart and life He has Himself regenerated, breathing where He listeth, but so breathing that "thou hearest the sound" of the heavenly wind in the being that He vivifies? It is not a merely abstract Christ, if I may use the phrase. It is not merely archetypal goodness, righteousness, truth and beauty, It is the Lamb that was slain. It is the propitiation. It is the sinner's Prince of peace.

(H. C. G. Moule, M. A.)

The eye seems a singular symbol for the Spirit, but it may be used as suggesting the swiftest and subtlest way in which the influences of a human spirit pass out into the external universe. The teaching of this emblem, then, is: "He, being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received the promise of the Father, sheds forth this." The whole fulness of spiritual Divine power is in the hand of Christ to impart to the world.

I. THE "SLAIN LAMB" IS THE LORD AND GIVER OF THE SPIRIT. He "hath the seven spirits of God." Whatsoever there is, in Deity, of spirit and power; whatsoever of swift flashing energy; whatsoever of gentleness and grace; whatsoever of holiness and splendour; all inheres in the Man Christ Jesus; unto whom even in His earthly lowliness and humiliation, the Spirit was not given by measure, but unto whom in the loftiness of His heavenly life that Spirit is given in yet more wondrous fashion than in His humiliation. But it is not as the recipient, but as the bestower of the Spirit, that He comes before us in the great words of my text. All that He has of God He has that He may give. Whatsoever is His is ours; we share in His fulness and we possess His grace.

II. Look at the representation here given of THE INFINITE VARIETY OF GIFTS WHICH CHRIST BESTOWS, The number "seven," of course, at once suggests the idea of perfection and completeness. So that the thought emerges of the endless, boundless manifoldness and wonderful diversity of the operations of this great life-spirit that streams from Jesus Christ. Think of the number of designations by which that Spirit is described in the New Testament. In regard to all that belongs to intellectual life, He is "the Spirit of wisdom" and of "illumination in the knowledge of Christ," He is "the Spirit of truth." In regard to all that belongs to the spiritual life, "He is the Spirit of holiness," the "Spirit of liberty"; the Spirit of self-control, or, as rendered in our Bible, "of a sound mind"; the "Spirit of love." In regard to all that belongs to the practical life, "He is the Spirit of counsel and of might"; the "Spirit of power." In regard to all that belongs to the religious life, "He is the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba! Father!" the "Spirit of grace and of supplication"; the "Spirit of life." So, over the whole round of man's capacity and nature, all his intellectual, moral, practical and religious being, there are gifts which fit each side and each part of it. Whatsoever a man needs, that he will find in the infinite variety of the spiritual help and strength which the Lamb slain is ready to give. It is like the old fable of the manna, which the Rabbis tell us tasted upon each lip precisely what each man chose. So this nourishment from above becomes to every man what each man requires. Water will take the shape of any vessel into which you choose to pour it; the Spirit of God assumes the form that is imposed upon it by our weaknesses and needs.

III. THE UNBROKEN CONTINUITY OF THE GIFTS which the slain Lamb has to give. The word "sent" might be rendered "being sent," expressive of a continual impartation. Ah! God's Spirit is not given once in a way and then stops. It is given, not by fits and starts. There are variations in our receptiveness; there are no variations in its steady efflux. Does the sun shine at different rates? Are its beams cut off sometimes, or poured out with less energy, or is it only the position of the earth that makes the difference between the summer and the winter, the day and the night, whilst the great central orb is raying out at the same rate all through the murky darkness, all through the frosty days? And so the gifts of Jesus Christ pour out from Him at a uniform continuous rate, with no breaks in the golden beams, with no pauses in the continual flow.

IV. THE UNIVERSAL DIFFUSION OF THESE GIFTS. "Seven spirits of God sent forth into all the earth." The words are a quotation from a remarkable prophecy in the book of Zechariah, which speaks about the "seven eyes of God," running "to and fro over all the earth." There are no limitations of these gifts to any one race or nation as there were in the old times, nor any limitations either to a democracy. "On My servants and on My handmaidens will I pour out of My Spirit." In olden days the mountain tops were touched with the rays, and all the lowly valleys lay deep in the shadow and the darkness. Now the risen sunshine pours down into the deepest clefts, and no heart so poor, no illiterate so ignorant but that it may receive the full sunshine of that Spirit. Every Christian man and woman is inspired, not to be a teacher of infallible truth, but inspired in the true and deep sense that in them dwells the Spirit of Jesus Christ. All of us, weak, sinful, as we are, ignorant and bewildered often, may possess that Divine life to live in our hearts. Only remember it is the slain Lamb that gives the Spirit. And unless we are looking to that Lamb, slain as our hope and confidence, we shall not receive it.

(A. Maclaren, D. D.)

The seven operations of the Holy Ghost are —

1. First as the Convincer of sin. There is a certain consciousness of sin which may be without the Holy Ghost. There is scarcely any man who is not aware that he has done many wrong things. But there are two things in that man's sense of sin which prevent its being real repentance. He does not view his sins as grieving God, still less as having crucified Christ.

2. Then the Holy Ghost will show that man the real and only ground of all pardon. He will show him that Christ has been to this world to this very end, to bear our sins.

3. Then comes the great, blessed office of the Holy Ghost, to be our Comforter. First He makes us so to accept God's mercy that we rest in our forgiveness. And when the Holy Ghost has given us this first and chief comfort, then He will continue to be our Comforter every day in all our other sorrows. Other comforters generally try to remove our sorrow by making us forget it, or by putting something in its place. The Holy Ghost does not do that. He finds the elements of His comfort in the sorrow. He turns it into joy.

4. Then the Holy Ghost is the Great Teacher. He teaches as none else can ever teach. And for this reason He has the mind of God. And when He comes into our mind, He makes that mind to conform to the mind of God.

5. And He sanctifies. That is His great aim — to imbue us with Himself, to make us like God. In the Divine alchemy every metal turns to gold. A higher motive; a whole heart; a humble spirit; an untiring love; an inward communion of all thoughts — that changes, that purifies, that elevates. The old nature becomes gradually the new man, and God Himself sees us in Him; sees His own image, and He is satisfied.

6. From that time we carry within us wherever we go an inward light, a spring of joy, a voice which says so gently and yet so distinctly, "This is the way, walk ye in it; when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left."

7. And, finally, in all these wonderful and living ways, the Holy Ghost puts a seal upon us. He impresses us in our inner and outer life, with that image of the superscription of God — that badge of our high calling.

(J. Vaughan, M. A.)

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