Our theme this evening will be the crystal sea and the four living creatures, as spoken of in the fourth chapter of the Book of Revelation, following our last lecture.
First, the crystal sea. You read that “before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal,” because of its clearness. Now this unquestionably has a spiritual meaning; and the Old Testament will, I think, very clearly show to us that this pure sea before the throne of God represents the gospel of God. We go to the seventh chapter of the First Book of Kings, and we read there of a sea that was between the altar and the temple, and that this sea stood upon twelve oxen, and three oxen had their faces towards each cardinal point of the heavens. And if the Old Testament dispensation was a type or shadow of good things to come, then surely the Holy Spirit would not have given us all those particulars concerning the brazen sea without its having a meaning. Where shall we get the explanation? We almost instinctively run from the brazen sea and the twelve oxen to the twelve apostles; those twelve oxen appear to be so very strikingly a type or shadow of the twelve apostles; and their faces were towards the four cardinal points of the heavens. We go to the last chapter of Matthew, and then we go to the last chapter of Mark; we need not go further; for when we look at that brazen sea, and the twelve oxen in their position, we seem to hear a voice arising from that sea, saying, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you; and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” Then we go to the last chapter of Mark,—“ Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” Now this sea is said to be clear as crystal, or like unto crystal for its clearness. Just the same thing is said of this sea that is said of the river in the last chapter of this book, proceeding from the throne of God and the Lamb. What a wonderful amount of gospel would that one circumstance preach to those who in that age understood the same ! It is not my intention to enlarge or occupy much of your time upon this brazen sea, but there are some things that one cannot get away from. And let me say here that what I shall aim at in my lectures upon this book is to let you see for yourselves; I do not wish you to trust me in any one thing whatever. My whole business is to point out what the Lord himself saith about his own truth. There is the brazen sea, there are the twelve oxen, open to you all, and in the New Testament there is the world-wide mission,—that is open to you all; \and that the apostles did go and preach according to the mission given is also open to you all. And perhaps they were represented by oxen to denote two things,—their patient labour, and their being sacrificed in the service of God. Hence saith one, “ My time is at hand, and I am ready to be offered up.” That was a glorious time, when they realized so much of the power and presence of the Lord, and thought so much of heaven as to think but little of earth; so much of eternity as to think but little of time. But just mark that while there were twelve oxen, there were not twelve seas, there was only one sea; so, though there were twelve, apostles, there was only one gospel; and all those twelve are united by this one gospel. And so you find in the eleventh of Hebrews, when the apostle commences with the first manifest believer, namely, Abel, and traces downwards, he never once changes his note; it is the same kind of faith, the same Christ, the same gospel, all along; only one gospel. So that when the apostles, like the prophets, were several hundreds or even thousands of miles apart, they were all still preaching one and the same gospel. There is but one pure, free-grace gospel; we must all be saved by one washing of one regeneration, by one mediation, by one eternal covenant; we must be all brought into the unity of the same faith.
Then, I think, its being called a sea denotes its abundance. What a mercy for us, friends, that there is no scarcity in the gospel; that the mercy of our God is abundant mercy, that the grace of our God is abundant grace; that he doth abundantly pardon, that he doth infinitely and eternally delight in the salvation of sinners!
But there is another thing to be said concerning this brazen sea, and that is this,—that the priests and Levites were to wash their hands and their feet at this crystal sea, for they could not acceptably perform the service of the Lord without their hands and their feet being thus washed;—you can see this for yourselves in the thirtieth of Exodus, and it says, ” lest they die,” so that it actually was death to attempt to serve the Lord without this brazen sea. Now I think none of you will doubt that this crystal sea typifies or shadows forth the gospel; and here we have again a truth of very great importance, if I can in a few words make it clear. You will perceive that in all ages people have tried to serve the Lord without the gospeL They have said, Never mind about doctrine; never mind about this doctrine, never mind about that, never mind about the other; if we love God, that’s enough; if we love Christ, that’s enough; if we love religion, that’s enough. And the priests might have reasoned and said, If we offer the sacrifice, that’s enough; if we plead the blood, that’s enough; we can serve the Lord without this brazen sea. But not so. This sea, therefore, is a beautiful type of God’s blessed truth. You are aware that the word is spoken of again and again as water. Now what that water was to them, to enable them to serve the Lord acceptably,—what that water was to their bodies, the word must be to our souls. Let me make this as clear and as plain as I possibly can. You see when the hands were unclean, to go in that unclean state represents hands that are spiritually unclean; and when their feet were unclean, they did in that literally unclean state represent those who are spiritually unclean. The hands being unclean will represent hands of hostility against God. Now, saith David, “ I will wash mine hands in innocency;” that is to say, you must come to God by faith in his promise. If you come to God in prayer or confidence with enmity in your mind against his free-grace truth, against mediatorial perfection, against covenant immutability, then you come with unclean hands spiritually; that is, you come in a state of unbelief of his truth, and of enmity against it; and the Lord never accepts service that is attempted to be rendered to him, pretending to be a friend to him, and at the same time an enemy to his truth. Now how did Abraham, as it were, wash his hands and feet? that is to say, how did he prove himself to he a friend to God?—that is the idea; and how did Abraham walk consistently with God ? Why, when the Lord gave the promise to Abraham, Abraham believed it, and Abraham became the friend of God; and hereby he had clean hands, hereby he walked with God by faith; he walked with God cleansed from blindness, so that he saw God’s truth, and saw the blessed God by that truth; and he also walked with God in a state of entire reconciliation to him. And while we from time to time have many rebellions against the dealings of the Lord, does not the word sometimes come to us in a way that reconciles us, as it were, afresh to God? and is not that the fulfilment of what the Saviour means when he saith, “He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet”? So that we need from time to tune the word to keep us in a state of reconciliation to God, and to keep us walking by faith, in love to God’s truth. If you once get into a state of antipathy against his truth, then your hands are unclean, and you cannot serve God acceptably; but while you are in that state of antipathy to his truth, the Saviour saith, “ I know you, that ye have not the word of God in you.” You have human tradition in you, you believe in the traditions of the elders, you believe in the precepts of men, but you have not the word of God in you. So, then, this crystal sea represents the gospel, pointing to the world-wide mission which that gospel should realize; and I have noticed its spiritual use; if the priests and the Levites attempted to serve God without this crystal sea, they would be put to death; and as sure as the world, friends, if you and I live and die in a religion in which we are ignorant of God’s truth, if that truth be not our shield and buckler, we may be good and righteous, and clean and pure in our own eyes, but not so in his eyes; we must;, in order to be clean in his eyes, be washed by him. Therefore the one idea intended by the washing of the hands is that of reconciliation to God’s truth, reconciliation to him by his truth.
Let us hear before we leave this part what Paul saith upon it;—“ To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.” Now perhaps I need not say more upon this. And this sea was before the throne to denote that it was God’s sea, it was God’s gospel, and to denote that that gospel should go to earth’s remotest bounds, as far as he should send it. These twelve mystic or spiritual oxen were to go forth east, west, north, and south; and just so far as these crystal, these celestial, these spiritual, these divine waters cover the sea of this world, just so far shall the earth be filled with the knowledge of the Lord, and no farther. Whithersoever these waters come they minister life, they make the man alive; he rises up by this living water into the knowledge of the truth. This is the crystal and spiritual sea. Happy the minister, then, who is engaged in diffusing these waters abroad; for as I have said, just so far as the waters of this heavenly sea cover the sea of this world, just so far shall the earth be filled with the knowledge of the Lord, and no further.
We come now to the four living creatures. And here I must trespass upon your patience a little. There are in the Book of the Revelation two kinds or orders of creatures spoken of, and they are both in our version called “ beasts so that when we read the Book of the Revelation, we cannot distinguish by the English word “ beast ” the difference that exists between these orders of creatures. Now it is my intention to refer to the original language as little as possible, because I wish to speak in a way that the plainest people can understand; but still I must just make the remark here that there are in the Greek language in the Revelation itself two words: one word that describes a creature that is wild and venomous ; so that wildness and venomousness is the reigning meaning of one word. This is the word by which the beasts you read of that we shall come to in a few lectures’ time are nominated. Then there is the other word, by which these four beasts before the throne are in the original nominated. The word simply means “life,” and is evidently taken from what is said in the first and tenth of Ezekiel,—the living creatures. So that these beasts, then, before the throne, the original word simply signifies “living creatures and the Greek word zoon, meaning “living creature,” and the Greek word theerion, meaning “wild, venomous creature,” are named in the original about twenty times in this book. And I have a translation at home, the writers of which think (for it was written by several learned men) that the word rendered “beasts” here, pertaining to those before the throne, ought to have been rendered “living creatures.” Well, that would have been, it is true, an explanation as well as a translation; but I make these remarks in order. that you might see that we really have in these two orders of creatures the friends of God on the one hand, and the enemies of God on the other.
The next remark I have to make is this; you must not for a moment suppose that any such creatures actually existed as are here presented. Why, they are said to have the face of a lion, the face of a calf, the face of a man, and the face of an eagle. You must not understand that such creatures actually existed, or that such creatures ever will exist. Look at it, see how absurd it would be. Why, you would be frightened if you were to meet a person with such faces as these. Why, you would say, I met a man with four faces,—a lion’s face, and a calf s face, and a man’s, and an eagle’s face. You would not know what to think; it would be a strange sort of thing. No, friends, no such creatures ever did or ever will exist. They are nothing else but forms in which the Lord was pleased to present to our sight spiritual and eternal things. Now I wish to establish this point, in order that you may see more clearly the beautiful meaning contained in these symbols. For instance, when a sheet was let down from heaven, you read that there were fourfooted beasts, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air. Now do you sup- pose that there literally were those creatures, that they were actually in heaven, and actually came down, and were actually drawn up again, so that when you get to heaven you will see a number of fourfooted beasts, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air? No, say you, I could not understand such a thing as Chat. Then, again, you find the Scriptures very much abound with symbols which, of course, have no actual existence, as I shall presently, if possible, more clearly prove. For instance, when the Holy Spirit is called a dove, and appeared in bodily shape like a dove, you do not believe that he was actually a dove, and that there was a dove there actually. Then, again, you read in this same book that Jesus Christ hath seven eyes and seven horns. Why, friends, you would not understand that literally, that he appears there with seven eyes. You can hardly imagine how absurd the idea is; and if he had seven horns growing out of his head, I should think it would be a very great encumbrance. But if we take it as we ought to take it, and as it is intended, the seven eyes as explained to denote the seven Spirits of God, a completeness of knowledge, and the seven horns to denote a completeness of power, then we get the meaning. Then, again, in Zechariah we read that “upon one stone shall be seven eyes; behold, I will engrave the graving thereof, saith the Lord of hosts, and I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day.” Now yon do not understand for a moment that there was literally a stone, and that the Lord did literally engrave seven eyes upon a stone. But if you understand the stone figuratively to mean the Lord Jesus Christ, and that he underwent all those sufferings by which he acquired a perfect knowledge of our misery on the one hand, and a perfect knowledge of God’s truth on the other, a perfect knowledge of every thing—for he learned obedience by the things that he suffered, and thereby removed the iniquity of his people,—then we can understand it. And I cannot doubt in my own mind but that the cherubims in Ezekiel and the living creatures here in Revelation are nothing else but one and the same. We are not to understand that any such creatures as the cherubims ever existed or will exist; or that any such creatures ever existed or will exist here, any more than we can take the seven churches to be seven literal candlesticks, or any more than we can take the seven ministers to be seven literal stars. But let us take the symbols as symbols, then we shall understand them.
Now after thus observing that the original word translated “beasts” would be better rendered, I think, “living
creatures,” and that these are the servants of God, and that they are spoken of in these shapes and forms for our instruction, I will now remind you of what you well know, that it is beyond all dispute, there positively is no room to dispute it, but that these living creatures are nothing else but saved sinners. Now let us go to the fifth chapter, and there we shall learn what they are. And I want as we go along to have a little fellowship in these things, and that we may feel that we ourselves are a part of the friends of God, that we are a part of the living creatures.
Now let us see what these living creatures are. Go to the fifth chapter;—when Jesus had taken the book, “the
four living creatures and four-and-twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints.” Just one word upon the harps; “having every one of them harps.” The harp is nothing else mystically and spiritually but God’s truth. Seventy-first Psalm, twenty-second verse,—“I will praise thee with the psaltery, even thy truth, O my God; unto thee will I sing with the harp, O thou Holy One of Israel.” So, then, God’s truth is that that is set forth by the psaltery and by the harp; and if every one had a harp, then every one had the truth. “He shall guide you into all truth.” And oh! let us ask, has not the truth of God charmed our sorrows away, and been to us many times the sweetest music ?
“No angel’s harp such music yields,
As what my Shepherd speaks.”
Ah, when he through the preacher speaks the word, there is indeed a sweetness in it, sweeter than honey and the honeycomb. “And golden vials,” the new heart, new creatureship, “full of odours,” full of sympathies towards Christ, full of desires after God, full of admiration, and saying, “Thou art the chiefest among ten thousand, and altogether lovely full of sincere and supreme affection to their covenant God. “Full of odours, which are the prayers of saints.” The prayers of the saints, if I may so speak, are spicy with many other graces besides the desire itself; their prayers go up with all the sympathies and feelings of their souls in the confidence of faith. We are now trying to get at who these living creatures are; in fact, I am trying to see whether we are these living creatures. “And they sung a new songor, as it says in the four-teenth chapter, “as it were a new song.” Why does it say “as it were a new song”? what is that for? Do not pass it by; we must stop at those words,—“they sung as it were a new song.” What does that mean,—a new song as it were? I can tell you, though you already know. It was an ancient song, but it was now got into a new form. In ancient times they sung of what the Lord Jesus would do when he should come; but now these living creatures sung of its being done. So it was the ancient song in a new form. The Old Testament saints sung of what the Lord would do; these New Testament living creatures sing of what he has done. “As il were a new song it is the ancient theme in a new form. It stood before in the shape of promise; now it stands in the shape of actual accomplishment; the work is done, the victory won, Satan conquered, death gone, sin removed, captivity led captive, the dear Saviour on high. Now mark,—“saying. Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof, for thou wast?—ah, the Old Testament saints sung of what he should do; but “thou wast slain.” These are the four living creatures, these are the four beasts, these are the four-and-twenty elders; can you doubt, then, who the people are that are represented bv them? “Thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God.” Then they were once away from God, and were brought to God only by the blood of Christ. “Thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; and hast made us—these four living creatures, called four, you see, as the Israelites encamped in a four square, even typifying in that, the blessed truth that the gospel should go east, west, north, and south, and gather in poor sinners from the four quarters of the globe, out of every nation, kindred, people, and tongue. Can we then doubt as to who they are?—“and hast made us unto our God kings and priests;” that is what they are. So you see you must not take, as I have said, the creatures here to be in the actual shape and form intended; but we shall presently see what is the meaning of all those forms in which they appear. “Thou hast made us unto our God kings and priests.” Now we know from the Lord’s own word that none can sing of redemption as themselves being redeemed but the redeemed; none others can learn the song, none others can boast of being raised up from the dust and from the dunghill, and made to inherit the throne of glory. Now what say we to these living creatures, so far as I have gone? Can we not somewhat join with them? Do we not say that the dear Saviour is worthy to take everything into his hands? for if he were able to bear our sins, if he were able to bear the curse, if he were able to conquer death and hell, if he were able to redeem us to God, then he was able to do anything.
But, again, they are said to have four faces and six wings, and to be full of eyes within. Now take it literally, eyes within; you can hardly imagine, if you had eyes inside your bosom, how they could see there. You see if you attempted to take it literally it would be absurd. I am quite aware it is very easy to spiritualize the literal meaning of the Scriptures away; and that while we are avoiding with all care possible the whirlpool of Charybdis, we may fall upon the rocks of Scylla; so we shall avoid both;—wherever the Scriptures can be taken literally, we will do so; and where they cannot be taken literally without the veriest absurdity, we must then take them spiritually. When I read, for instance, of the birth, and life, and death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, I take all that literally. But when I hear him say, “ Except a man eat my flesh and drink my blood, he hath no life in him“ He that eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood hath eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day,” I must take that spiritually. So if we are careful in our attention to the holy Scriptures, we shall soon see what must be taken literally and what must be taken figuratively. A great many scriptures can be taken both ways,—first literally, and then get at the spiritual meaning. But here we have symbols that are formed, for we have no such creatures in nature as are here presented.
Now look in the first place at their faces, and let us see if the Scriptures will help us. Here is the face of a lion. Do you not read of some of David’s mighty men, that their faces were as the faces of lions,—bold and determined and decided for God? Why, is not this a quality of the Christian? These characteristics, therefore, are not to be understood literally, but mystically, to set forth Christian qualities. What is a minister without boldness? Why, if I were to consult one half of my teachers, I should be in one shape to-day, in another shape to-morrow; I should be going to Jericho one day, going to Jerusalem another day, going to Egypt another day, and to Babylon another day. I do not seek to accommodate any one, nor to please any one, but I do earnestly seek to profit all. Here, then, if I know what I am talking about, I shall be bold. And so you—you know what it is to feel that you are a poor lost sinner in and of yourself, that if you are saved it must be by the grace of God; you know you are indebted to God alone for your salvation; and you must therefore put on the lion’s face, and be bold for God. “We were bold,” saith the apostle, “to speak unto you the gospel of God.” And David, when speaking of Saul and Jonathan in their military prowess, saith, They were swifter than eagles, and stronger than lions. So you see, friends, it is an Old Testament way of setting forth that boldness and decision that become the Christian. The Christian must set his face like a flint; he must be daunted at nothing. Besides, there is a promise to you under this very figure in the fifth of Micah. “The remnant of Jacob shall be among the Gentiles in the midst of many people, as a lion among the beasts of the forest, as a young lion among the flocks of sheep, who, if he go through, both treadeth down and teareth in pieces, and none can deliver. Thine hand shall be lifted up upon thine adversaries, and all thine enemies shall be cut off.” And if Jesus Christ were bold for us, and he be the Lion of the tribe of Judah, if we partake of his Spirit we shall partake of his boldness. The adversaries of old, when they saw-the lion-like decision, when they heard the thundering testimony of Peter and John, and saw they could not move them, took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus. That is one of the characteristics of the living creatures,—decision, boldness. “None of these things,” saith one, “move me.”
The next is the face of a calf. Say you, What will you make of that? Why, make it what it is,—a young ox. Let the calf alone, and it will become an ox by and by. Fourth of Malachi, “Unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye “shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stalL” As I observed last Wednesday evening, that is a promise to the apostles; they were taken in their infancy, not in their natural infancy, but in their spiritual infancy; that is the man bom of God. He is a little sacrifice at present, a calf, as it were, a little one just to begin with ; but by and by he will grow, and become the strong, laborious, patient ox, and be willing at any time to shed the last drop of his blood rather than put off the yoke of the gospel, be severed from the love of God, or give up his eternal truth. “I am now ready,” said the apostle, “to be offered.” He knew that the Lord could throw sensations into his soul that should overcome, and more than overcome, all the pains his enemies could inflict upon his body. Ah, he said, I have been up into the third heavens; I did not know whether I was in the body or out of the body. See what he suffered, see how they treated him; why, his back was cut to pieces pretty well sometimes; what must have been the pain, the smarting, be endured! But he was taken up into the third heavens, and that neutralised the whole of it, so that he actually did, not even know whether he had a body,—whether in the body or out of the body he could not tell Some of the martyrs on the rack have felt just the same, and been enabled then to say, “Through Christ I can do all things, and can bear all sufferings, if my Lord be there.” That, then, is the meaning, to my mind, of the face of the calf.
Then comes the face of a man. Yes, Christian, you will need not only the boldness, the labour, and the willingness to be sacrificed, but you will need the wisdom, the prudence, the carefulness, and the wariness of the man. “Be ye wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.” You want the wariness of the man. We do not wish to be fools,—no; we want wisdom, prudence, forethought, and care; and the more the Lord blesses us with these qualities the better. The face of the man;—it helps the lion’s face to look bold and fearless; it helps the ox, I was going to say, to be willing to be sacrificed.
And then comes the eagle. Naturalists tell us that the eagle flies higher than any other bird, that its range is wider, that it can sustain its flight longer than any other. And the Christian rises sometimes very high, bless the Lord, when he fulfils his promise, “They shall rise with wings as eagles.” And the visual power of the eagle is wonderful; he can look at the sun, and enjoy the sight, whereas it would put our eyes out. So when the Lord raises us up, we shall so see his glory as to be changed into the same image, from glory to glory, and that by the Spirit of our God.
It is true the living creatures are not always spoken of in this order, that the first was the lion, the second the calf, the third the man, and the fourth the eagle; but that may only simply denote that these respective qualities may be more conspicuous in one than in the other. And so you will find some Christians thoroughly bold, but somehow or another there is not much patience about them. And then the man. There are some Christians in whom this is very conspicuous. They are amazingly cautious. I could mention some of you, that look at this, and that, and the other; get you to move a step till you see your way, not you; you are as wary and cautious and careful as possible. I have often blessed the Lord for having such people with me; I have had and shall have cause to do so. And then comes one more conspicuous as the eagle; he is always either dreadfully down or else most gloriously up, one or the other. Hence poor David, when he had lost his feathers, see how wretched he was; but when he recovered his feathers again he said, “Thou renewest my youth like the eagle’s.”
These living creatures, then, had not only the face of the lion to represent the boldness of the Christian, but the face of the calf, or the ox, to denote his devotion, willingness to be sacrificed to God in life and death; the face of the man to denote his oneness with Christ in prudence, wisdom, forethought, and wariness; and the face of the eagle to denote his activity and delight in the ways of the Lord.
Then these living creatures are also said to be “full of eyes before and behind,” and to be “full of eyes within.”
One of Toplady’s hymns is as good a comment upon that as can be:—
“’Tis sweet to look inward,
And attend the whispers of his love;
And sweet to look upward to the place
Where Jesus reigns above:
And sweet to look back and see my name
In life’s book set down,
And sweet to look forward and behold
Eternal joys my own.”
So the Christian looks back, and sees how the Lord has been coming towards him from everlasting;—he looks back, and he says, There was a time when I was blind, but now, thank God, I see; there was a time when I cared nought for eternal things, but now my soul thirsts for them ; there was a time when I was Satan’s slave, the world’s slave, under sin, under darkness, under everything that was wretched; but now I have to look back and to remember the way the Lord has led me in the wilderness. “I muse on the years that are past. Wherein my defence thou hast proved.” “And eyes within.” The Christian looks to his own heart, he looks to his own soul, examines himself; he says, Are my convictions real? are my desires after the Lord real? is my heart right with the Lord ? There are the eyes within. Then here are eyes before, to look forward. The Christian looks forward to the rest that remaineth for the people of God; he looks forward and says, How shall I do in the swelling of Jordan? how shall I get through this trouble, that, and the other? Thus, then, if we take the faces figuratively and the eyes figuratively, is there any difficulty in understanding the meaning? Does it not precisely describe the qualities of which I trust we are partakers, and precisely describe the experiences of every real child of God?
Then they are said to have six wings. But only imagine—six wings! Yes; and these six wings would denote that
heart, hands, and feet were all at work in God’s service, all active, all moving, the man is all alive,—a thorough Christian from the crown of his head to the sole of his foot. Why, here is a man at work with his head, and his heart, and his hands, and his feet! Sometimes when the Christian hears the gospel preached, he feels as if he could hardly keep still; he wants to give the pew a knock, can hardly keep his feet still. Sometimes the minister so speaks as to set the soul alive from top to toe. Now, Christians, what must heaven be, what must it be there, where the soul in all its capacities shall be developed to the utmost perfection; it shall be all alive from top to toe 1 Hence the living creatures in Ezekiel’s vision “ ran and returned as the appearance of a flash of lightning.” Those are sweet seasons when we are thus favoured.
Well, says one, I do not get on like that. Very well, we will be a little merciful to you. Now, Isaiah 6:2,—
“With twain he covered his face,”—afraid to look up, afraid the Lord is not his. Ah, say you, I can do that a little. Well, that is better than nothing. “And with twain he covered his feet.” I will not go on into full assurance; I will not go on to cry Abba, Father; perhaps it would be wrong if I were to say the Lord is mine; perhaps it will be wrong if I go on into something like full assurance—How do you get on? Do you feel you belong to the Lord? No, I am rather cautious, rather afraid. “ And with twain he did fly.” So with two wings he did not fly very fast, just fast enough to keep up among some of the hinder ones. There is our poor brother, two wings over his face, two over his feet, and only two left to fly with. So the soul goes on in the truth, in the path of Ezekiel’s living chariot,’ and shall live, and not die, and for ever praise the name of the Lord.
Thus we get the crystal sea and the living creatures. I hope next lecture to have the sealed, or rather the unsealed book.