James Wells on the Revelation

3 The Sealed Book

We learn from the nineteenth verse of the first chapter of this book, that John was to write the things which he had seen, and the things* that were, and the things that were to be hereafter. And the things that had been, the things that were, and the things that were to be, were the same. For what had there been before him ? Why, two things,—mercy and judgment. In all ages the Lord showed mercy to his friends and ministered judgment to his foes. And what was there in the time of John? The same things,—mercy and judgment. And what was there to be thereafter? The same things,—mercy and judgment. Therefore, when the Lord in the fourth chapter calls John up to the revelation of the things contained in this book, he saith, “Come up hither, and I will show thee things which must be hereafter.” That, synthetically speaking, means that the things that were to come were mercy and judgment; and this book goes analytically into these two great matters.

Now the subject of our lecture this evening is the sealed book, as described in the fifth chapter. The first question is, What is that book ? how shall we find out what that book is? The answer is that we must find out what the book is by its contents. And the definition I have already given, you will see, will apply to this Book of the Revelation, and will apply indeed to the whole of the Scriptures,—namely, mercy and judgment. These are the two things that run all through the Scriptures. Let us look, then, carefully first at the contents of this book, in order to ascertain what book that is that is sealed with seven seals; then we must show, in the second place, why it was that none but the Saviour could open the book; then we must show why it was that John wept, and wept much; then we must show in what relations or characters the Saviour opened up the book; and then we must show some of the happy consequences that flowed from this book being opened up.

First, then, I take the sealed book to mean the Scriptures at large. There may be a special reference to the Old Testament, but I think we had better take it to mean the Scriptures at large. Now as to the contents of the book, there seems to be an allusion in this sealed book to the twenty-ninth of Isaiah. Perhaps I had better name the twofold sense in which the Scriptures are sealed. First, that the natural man cannot get at their spirituality. Therefore in the twenty-ninth of Isaiah you have these words:—“The vision of all is become unto you as the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one that is learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee; and he saith, I cannot; for it is sealed: and the book is delivered to him that is not learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee; and he saith, I am not learned.” Now that is one sense in which the Scriptures are sealed, that the natural man cannot get at them in their spiritual meaning. But this is infinitely short of the full meaning; the real substantial meaning lies, as we shall see, very much deeper than this. I will just notice in the twenty-ninth of Isaiah a kind of sample which the Lord gives of the whole gospel, and you will see in this Book of the Revelation that which answers to it as closely as can be. It there saith, “In that day shall the deaf hear the words of the book,’’ meaning of course the book of God; but the prophet there gives a kind of sample of what the” gospel book is:—“In that day shall the deaf hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity, and out of darkness;” here, you see, are eyes opened to see something concerning this book. “The meek also shall increase their joy in the Lord, and the poor among men shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel.” So that after the eyes are thus opened, the man becomes meek, humbled down, and is made conscious of his poverty. Then the prophet brings in the victory which the Lord Jesus Christ should achieve. “The terrible one is brought to nought.” I need not quote all the words, but there is in that paragraph a description of the conquest of Christ over the enemy. Now when the enemy is conquered, the prophet, or the Lord by the prophet, uses these words:—“Therefore thus saith the Lord, who redeemed Abraham, concerning the house of Jacob, Jacob shall not now be ashamed ;” now that Jesus Christ hath brought the terrible one to nought; now that Jesus Christ hath consumed the scorner; now that all that watch for iniquity, to lay something to the charge of God’s elect, are cut off; now that he that would make a man an offender for a word, and lay a snare for him that reproveth in the gate, and turn aside the just for a thing of nought, is cut off; now that Jesus Christ hath brought in his complete victory,—now it is that Jacob shall not be ashamed, and his face now shall not wax pale.

The face waxing pale is expressive of guilt, sickness, death, mortality; and therefore the face not waxing pale denotes that the guilt is gone, that mortality is gone, that death is gone, and that life, and eternal bloom, eternal beauty, take the place thereof. “But when he seeth his children, the work of mine hands in the midst of him;”—here go to the seventh chapter of the Revelation; there you see the multitudes that were brought in; see how beautifully it answers;—“ the work of mine hands;” and so it was the work of God to bring in that mighty multitude; “they shall sanctify my name, and sanctify the Holy One of Jacob, and shall fear the God of Israel They also that erred in spirit shall come to understanding, and they that murmured shall learn doctrine.” Now, you see four things there; first, you see the book, what it contains,—that life and light by which souls are brought to God; second, the conquest the Saviour hath wrought; third, the oneness of the people; and fourth, that the erring, those that are in some degree of error, shall be set right. But we will come to the opening of this book. None but Jesus Christ could open the book. John says, “And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals. And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof? And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon.” Now let us see if we can clearly and beyond a dispute understand the meaning; and if I can bring the meaning out, I am sure you will see it is a very blessed and solemn meaning. But before I do so, I will mention two or three circumstances that may enable me to set it forth with more clearness.

We will call the fifteenth chapter of Genesis a book, and that in that book there are the promises that the Israelites should be delivered from Egypt. Abraham’s descendants were delivered from Egypt. Now Moses took that book, and Moses, as the servant of God, opened that book, and practically carried it out, and wrought that deliverance which the fifteenth of Genesis promised. Secondly, there is the fifteenth of Exodus, we will call that a book, the promise there that they should take possession of the promised land; Joshua opened that book practically, and carried it out, and gave them possession of the promised land, as the Lord said. Thus Moses opened one book; Joshua practically opened another. And then there were promises that the Israelites should enjoy liberty in their land, and David wrought out that liberty, so that the Israelites settled down in that land; and David therefore opened the book that pertained to that department also. The Lord had promised that the time should come when there should be no poor in the land; that is another book, and Solomon opened that book, and carried out that; for in the days of Solomon silver was accounted nothing of, gold was so plentiful; and you read that there was neither any adversary nor any evil occurrent. Thus these four men each opened the book.

But now let us come to this book. Here is a book that contains not a temporal salvation from Egypt, but the eternal salvation of the soul. Who cau open that? Who can carry that out? Servants cannot; it requires the Son, the Son of God; God the Son; he only hath that omnipotence by which he can accomplish salvation. Every promise must remain for ever mute, every blessing must remain for ever hidden, every mercy must remain for ever apart from us, the mercy of God and our souls can never come together, unless some person be found. Christ bad already, when this proclamation was made, mediatorially wrought salvation on earth; but then here is the carrying of that salvation out. Moses could not carry his salvation out; he lost the greater part of his people; when he got to the end of his journey he had but very few left of those that set out with him. Not so with the Lord Jesus Christ:—

“Whom once he loves he never leaves,
But loves them to the end.”

Therefore it is that no man in heaven nor on earth could undertake the eternal salvation of the soul. Hear what the apostle Paul saith, hearing upon this very thing: “For unto the angels hath he not put into subjection the world to come, whereof we speak?” We respect the holy angels, the holy prophets, the holy apostles, and the saints of God; hut we must still take up the great principle advocated by the Psalmist when he saith, “My soul, wait thou only upon God, for from him cometh my salvation.” Now, do you understand me, that the Bible contains promises of eternal salvation? Moses, the servant, could carry out the temporal, but Christ alone has that sacrifice, that righteousness, and that authority, and has done that work by which eternal salvation can be carried out. Oh, how we might here, were it not for rather hindering our time, run a contrast between the religion of the Son of God and the religions of men, and see how paltry and contemptible are all the pretensions of fallen mortals to pardon sins, to save the soul, or to help on the great work of eternal salvation! None but Jesus could open the book. Again, Joshua could open the temporal book; he could work out the temporal promise; but who can work out the promise of eternity; who can bring eternal life; who can give us possession of heaven; who can give us possession of that inheritance that is incorruptible, undefiled, and that fadeth not away? Only he who is heir of all things. Moses was not heir of all things, Joshua was not heir of all things, but Christ is; therefore he alone can open the book, and carry out the promise of eternal glorification. Why, not an angel from heaven could look upon it; he cannot bring souls to heaven; therefore not a saint nor an angel could undertake to have any hand in it. “No man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon.” You might almost hear an angel saying, I can’t look at it; it is something so magnificent. Why, the person that can open that book must swallow up death in victory, bring in eternal life; the person that can open that book, heaven must belong to him. How could he give heaven to others if it did not belong to himself? Therefore Christ gives heaven to others by virtue of heaven belonging to himself; for all things belong to Christ, all things belong to the Father and the Holy Spirit. Saith Christ, “All thine are mine, and mine are thine there is no difference. So that he who should thus practically open up the book, and give heaven to the people, heaven must be his to give;—not that heaven was Christ’s to give apart from the Father; for when a mother besought him that her two sons might sit, one on his right hand and another on his left in his kingdom, he replied, “It is not mine to give—that is to say, not apart from the Father; it was his, but not apart from the Father; it was already disposed of, already settled;—therefore he said, “It shall be given unto them for whom it is prepared.”

Thus, then, while David, as a servant, worked out the temporal liberty of the people, who but Christ could work out our deliverance from hell, our freedom from sin, from wrath, and from the threatenings of the Bible?

Is there any difficulty in this matter? Then, again, Solomon filled the land with glory, but it was only temporal, it pertained only to the body; but Jesus Christ will fill the church, before he has done with it, with the glory of God; he will make the living God all and in all. Thus, if you look at the contents of the book you will see that it simply means the holy Scriptures, especially the gospel part, necessarily connecting the judgments therewith; because a great many of God’s judgments are defensive; there are many judgments that he ministers to his foes in defence of his people; and it does say in one place, “Let Mount Zion rejoice because of thy judgments.” And tremendous as the thought may be, the time will come when, with an eloquence that no angel can equal, you will have to join in the solemn anthem, “ Alleluia. And the smoke of her torment,” the false church, the enemy, “ ascended up for ever and ever.” Thus then here is the book, which can be opened only by the Lord Jesus Christ.

It was sealed with seven seals, to denote the completeness. Look at it for one moment,—can you think of one eternal blessing you can get at without Christ? If you speak of life, or light, or sanctification, or justification, or whatever you may, there is not one blessing you can get at without the Lord Jesus Christ. And while everything ia thus entirely out of the reach of the creature, yet the dear Saviour was to open the seven seals; so that the revelation we have by him shall be complete; and one blessing shall come in by him after another, until all are complete, until everything is perfect. What a glorious scene we have before us! How great the contrast!—while in a state of nature the book is sealed; we are under sin, and under the law, and shut out from everything; but by this mighty revolution wrought by the Saviour, and the bringing in by him of these eternal blessings, we shall ultimately be brought into the possession of that perfection that is in Christ. There is something very beautiful in this.

But we will notice John’s weeping. He saith,—“I wept much.” I think there are three things meant by his weeping. The fact is that if, when the dear Saviour died and had ascended to heaven, he, for some mysterious reason or another, had there left the matter, had not gone on to open the seals, and to minister the life, the mercy, and the grace which he ascended on high to minister,—supposing such a thing as this, where would the world have been? Well, in heathen darkness, in satanic darkness. John saw the world in vision,—he saw these things in vision; the world passed before him like a diorama,—I will not say panorama, seeing them all at once, but like a diorama; and he says,—“These they go, myriads, myriads of creatures; no gospel, no mercy, no grace, no life. Ah, poor fallen world! miserable world! better anything be taken from thee than the word, the spirit, the grace, and salvation of God, his friendship and his love. “I wept much.” I think that is one thing intended, the awful condition we should be in without the gospel. What a state of degradation is that man or that woman in who glories in being without the gospel! Is there one such here this evening? Do you glory in what they call not being religious, in making no profession of religion ? So you glory in insulting your Maker; you glory in despising him; you glory in everything that is hostile to him and to the welfare of your soul.

Such is our state by nature. Not so with John;—he entered into those deep sympathies which every Christian has in relation to the precious souls of men. And then the next thing intended by his weeping is to represent the people of God in their mourning after the Lord. Ah, when the sinner is brought to know his state, but does not yet see there is mercy for him, he goes forth weeping, bearing the precious seed of faith in God’s word, the precious seed of prayer;—he goes forth weeping; by and by the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David steps in, opens up to him the provision, and he comes again rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him. But I do think, friends, in my own mind, that John’s weeping, and weeping much, means another thing. Recollect that this Book of the Revelation is particularly a figurative and a representative book; so that there are not only in it symbolical things, but symbolical actions as well; and I think, therefore, that the third thing represented by John’s weeping is the destiny of the lost. He is made to weep as expressive of the dreadful destiny of the lost. “There shall be weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth.” And John wept much. Oh, how much is the grief, how much is the agony, how much is the sorrow, how much is the suffering, how much is the writhing of the lost man!

He looks up, and saith, “I pray thee, send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water.” Ah, man,
there is no book of promise to thee, and therefore no one to open the book of promise to thee. Ah, lost man, the day is gone; thou art shut out of the world, and thou art shut up in bell; there is a great gulf fixed. Ah, lost man, if thou canst point to a book containing a promise from God directed towards those that are in hell, then thou mayest with some degree of confidence call for a drop of water. Ah, when he found there was no book of grace, no book of mercy, no book of pity or compassion to be opened to him, would he not weep much?—when he heard the terrible accents, “Beside all this, between you and us there is a great gulf fixed; so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot, neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.” “I wept much.” Oh, if we take it in this last sense, how solemnly expressive it is! What are the few griefs, what are the few trials, the few difficulties, the few troubles we have during life, compared with the eternal tribulation, that everlasting anguish, that await the lost soul? Thus, then, I take the sealed book to mean the Holy Scriptures, and then, as none but Christ could open the book, I take it to mean that none but Jesus Christ could meet and destroy the curse, overcome death, and bring out the blessings contained in the book.

I will now notice, in the next place, the relations in which the Saviour opened the book. “Weep not.” Let us have one word of encouragement here. How often do I weep and grieve that I cannot get anything. Here is Sunday coming, or here is Wednesday night coming, or here is Friday night coming,—I can get nothing. Oh, how many, many times the Lord hath in substance—I do not say in the precise words—said, “Weep not; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book.” Presently the book is opened up, my soul is expanded, Christ is precious; and his word takes up its abode in my understanding, my memory, my affections; and it is a very rare thing for me to lose my sermons. I have heard ministers say, “Oh, I got a sermon, and lost it.” Ah, then you did not have it from the Lord; if you had got it from him, you would have kept it. And if your religion be of the Lord, you will keep it; if you have received the truth of God from the Lord, you will keep it. I do sometimes lose some points of a sermon. And art thou going to the house of God mourning because thou hast got nothing lately? The time is not far off when, from the pulpit, or from the Bible, or from a hymn, or else without any outward means, the Lord will secretly and effectually say to thy soul, “Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath done everything for thee; these things shall not be hidden from thine eyes; thou shalt see the King in his beauty, and behold the land that is very far off.”

But let us look at the relations in which the Savior opened the book. First, as the Lion of the tribe of Juda. There he evidently is referred to as a conqueror, —the lion “who if he go through treadeth down, teareth in pieces, none can deliver.” Therefore, Jesus Christ is here represented as a conqueror. Now what did he conquer? What Moses never conquered, —sin. What did Christ conquer? What Moses never conquered, —death; “Jesus broke the bars of death, which none e’er broke before.” What did Jesus conquer? Why, Satan; trod him under his feet, and bound him down during the whole of the gospel dispensation with a chain; —the length of that chain the Lord alone knows. Satan goes about seeking whom he may devour; and when he gets very near to you, he says, If my chain were but two links longer I would kill that man; if my chain had been two links longer, as sure as the world I would have killed that Job. He got so near to Job that he could reach his property, and touch his skin, and make him look very ugly outside, but he could not get at his vitals. The Lord very often shortens Satan’s chain, but he never lengthens it. “Thus far shalt thou come, but no farther.” Now Jesus Christ is the only person that could conquer Satan, conquer sin, conquer hell, conquer death, and conquer all adverse powers.

Moses could not do this, therefore could not open the book to bring the blessings; Joshua could not do this, therefore could not open the book to bring the blessings; David could not do this, therefore could not open the book to bring the blessings; and Solomon was as unwise in his old age as a man well could be, so we must not look to him. We must come away from all, and fall down at the feet of the dear Redeemer, and do as they did here, in this very chapter,—they fell down before the throne, and ascribed the glory to God and the Lamb. That is one relation. Next, as the Root of David. In the first relation you have victorious power; and now, in the second relation, you have undying vitality. “The Root of David.” Ah, Satan, thou hast marred his manhood, thou hast mocked his manhood, thou hast crucified and put to death his manhood; but, Satan, dost thou know that that same person has a nature that thou hast not even wounded? There was in Christ an undying vitality, and that undying vitality was his eternal deity. That deity sustained his human nature, and put itself forth in the omnipotency of its power;—he thus weighed the mountains in scales—our sins,—and the hills in a balance; meted out the heavens with his span, and thus took up the isles as a very little thing,—rolled everything away. There was an undying vitality,—that when sin touched him it dropped dead at his feet; when the curse touched him it dropped dead at his feet. Hence what does the apostle say in the eighth of the Romans? “And for sin, condemned sin in the flesh,”—that is, in Christ. I say it with the deepest reverence, that sin could not be condemned to death anywhere else. Sin was condemned in fallen angels, but the condemnation overcame them, and they sank under it, and sin holds them fast to this day. Sin was condemned in the first Adam, but they sank under it, and sin holds them fast to this day. But sin was condemned in Christ in such a way that Christ survived the condemnation. Sin died, the Savior lived; death died, the Savior lived; hell lost all its power, Christ took the key, and got possession of the territories. Here, then, is this vitality. If Christ had not this divine vitality, there would have been an end of his work when he died;—so that he was living while he died. If you think I am going too far upon this question, let us hear what John says: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made”—in this everlasting covenant,—for I rather understand John spiritually there. “In him,” in this divine Word, “was life,”—Divine life; you cannot injure the life of deity. It is said by some that Jesus Christ as man is our life; but do not let us separate his natures; let us distinguish between the two, but hold the oneness of his person. If Jesus Christ as man be our life, what becomes of David’s testimony when he says, “Jehovah is the strength of my life”? When he shall die, I shall die; when deity gives way, my religion will lose its vitality; when Christ ceases to be God, I shall cease to have a life that shall be as certain as the existence of the blessed God himself.

Here, then, is the root of David,—everything arising from his wonderful person, his eternal deity. Take this away, and the book could not be opened. “No man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon;” no saint or angel either. But the Saviour says, Let me look at it, and see what I can do with it. When he comes in, all is welL That religion, then, that does not receive him in his eternal deity is not a religion worth having. How clear this is, then, that none but the Saviour could overcome the curses, and bring in the blessings to us by his power, and by his undying vitality! But John turns round to see the Lion,—“and lo, in the midst of the throne, and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders stood a Lamb.” Here is another character. There is the lion to conquer;—there is eternal deity to maintain the vitality of the church to all eternity; then comes his power and sacrificial excellency, the Lamb; and then connect with these the vitality,—the root of David. So give me this victory, give me this vitality, and then give me the sacrificial Lamb, and I shall appear before God victorious, I shall appear before God in this vitality; for “when Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall we also appear with him in glory you shall appear before God as spotless as the spotless Lamb, to present you holy, unblameable, through the body of his death;—“if ye continue in the faith.” Why, the Lord knows that there is nothing we more solemnly desire than that we may continue in this precious faith.

Thus, then, you see the three characters;—here is the lion to conquer, the root to give vitality, and the Lamb to take away every spot, to take away every stain, to take away every fault, and to present us spotless before the eyes of his eternal glory; and the more we are favoured to see these things in the glass of God’s word, the more we are assimilated thereto. Thus the Saviour, as I so often say, is a Lamb to his people, but a Lion for them, and he is vitality to them. He appears as the Lamb. Hence when the first seal was opened, John saith, “I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals.” I like that uncommonly well. Many times I have come to the house of God very cast down, and very distressed, and the Lord has given me some sweet views of Christ in his sacrifice, and it has opened up mercy and lovingkindness and heaven, it has opened up my heart, and put all my troubles out, and let the Lord’s triumphs in; it has opened up my soul, and put all my fears out, and brought in faith and love; and I have gone away from this place as happy as possible. “I saw when the Lamb opened it.” Oh, we cannot know him without loving him, admiring him, and joining with all heaven to worship God and the Lamb.

Now we last Thursday evening noticed some of the anthems that followed upon the book being opened, which I need not repeat; because we did that in order to show that these four beasts, or living creatures, are nothing else but the people of God; therefore just a word or two more upon a verse in this chapter, and then we close, passing by the acclamations and anthems which they sung, the new song, “Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof; for thou wast slain.” He achieved while here below that that entitles him to reign for ever and ever. John realized the scene,—he was favoured in this vision to look all through time, to look over the sea, the world, the plains of heaven, and to look into all the graves of all that ever died in the Lord, and John says, “And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth”—there are believers on earth,—“and under the earth”—there are those that are dead and buried,—“and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.” John saw in vision that this would follow upon the opening of the book in the sense I have stated,—that is, the blessings being opened up and brought to the people. Now you must all judge for yourselves, you know, friends; but I think that the creatures there spoken of that ascribe glory to God, must of necessity be new creatures. It cannot mean every creature on earth and in the sea, because how many thousands are there that care nothing about their souls, nothing about eternal things! And then John saith, “and under the earth,”—the tomb of every Christian hath a voice. I think, therefore, that the “every creature” there must be every new creature, because no natural man can join in that song. And besides, this fifth chapter tells us of the opening of the book, and the very opening of the book brings life, and brings you into new creatureship. Then if I can join with them now in that song, I shall have no difficulty in joining with them when I get to heaven. I am not at all afraid that when I get there one will say. You must not come and sing that song here, there is too much free will about you. I left that behind a long time ago; I have got too far from it to go back to it again. Therefore if you can find a response in your soul to the anthems of those that are in heaven, it will show that you are one of the people that the Lord hath formed for himself.

But let us look at it. Why are the things ascribed so collocated?—“Blessing, honour, glory, and power.” Do not lose the beauty of the collocation or succession of words. Why is “blessing” put first? Because the first thing that God did with us was to bless us with all spiritual blessings in Christ Jesus, rather too early for the taste of man; he did it before the world was. “Blessed are the poor in spirit: theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” “And honour.” Oh, what an honour to be a Christian! It is to be a king and a priest unto God. There is honour indeed! Then comes “glory,”—eternal glory. But it does not stop there;—“Blessing, and honour, and glory;”—if it stopped there, there would be something wanting. What is the next word? “And power.” Ah, says the devil, that is the worst of it;—I should not care about the blessing, and honour, and glory so much, but the worst of it is the power;—“kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.” Therefore—

“How can we sink with such a prop,
That bears the earth and her huge columns up?”

These are the ascriptions that John heard which followed the opening up of the book. “And the four living creatures” that were already called by grace, said, “Amen;” they made short of it. They were like a good man of God in the country,—his name was Goodchild;—he never heard me preach without saying “Amen” out loud four or five times during the sermon. Well, once he did not say “Amen,” and I looked down from the pulpit, and said, “Why, brother, you have not said ‘Amen.’” “Bless the Lord,” said he, “I am so happy, I quite forgot it;” and he said four or five Amens. So these four living creatures gave a very hearty Amen to the dear Saviour opening the book, and to that ascription,—“Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be to him that sitteth upon the throne, and to the Lamb for ever and ever.” “Amen,” said the four living creatures; “and the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever.” Here are then the living creatures and the elders, all of one mind.

These are some of the happy results of the heavenly book being opened; but these things amount, as far as I have gone, to a mere nothing in comparison of the great things that follow. Well may it be said of the prophets of old, “Searching what, or what manner of time, the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.” May that glory be increasingly revealed to us, and we attracted thereto, for his name’s sake. Amen.

James Wells (1803-1872) was a Strict and Particular Baptist preacher. He was appointed the Pastor of the Borough Road Chapel (Surrey Tabernacle), a position he served for forty-two years.