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The Rainbow About the Throne.

The Rainbow About the Throne.

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Revelation iv. 3.



Revelation iv. 3.


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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Feb 27, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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THE RAINBOW ABOUT THE THRONE.BY ALEXANDER HAMILTON VINTON,Revelation iv. 3."And THERE WAS A RAINBOW ROUND ABOUT THE THRONE, INSIGHT LIKE UNTO AN EMERALD."The beloved disciple who leaned on Jesus'breast, was permitted to enjoy that intimacy longafter the Sa^dour had returned to the bosom of his Father. lie was appointed the confidentialprophet of the New Testament, to whom wasunfolded the whole panoramic history of the gos-pel. Rapt into the heavens on a Lord's day,his spirit surveyed the unutterable glory of hisLordj and received the communications of hisplans to an extent that was unrevealed to allthe world besides.The fruits of his Sunday's vision are describedin the mystical book of Revelation, from whichwe have taken our text. Abounding in emble-matic speech, this book utters its sayings sodarkly, and presents its oracular truth in such a(50)THE EAINBOW ABOUT THE THRONE. 57shadowy form, that when to this uncertainty weadd our own ignorance of the future, it is ahnostimpossible to determine, in every case, its pro-phetic meaning.When, therefore, this evangelist undertakes toshow us, as they were shown to him, the thingsthat shall be hereafter, he leaves so large roomto be filled with untold details, that the reader'smind begins to throw in its own suggestions, andfills the outline of the picture with the arbitrarylights and shadows of conjecture. And hence itis that the prophetic delineation is so differentlyrepresented by different interpreters, each onecolouring the prophecy with the hues of his ownunderstanding.But although this may be true of the propheticportion of this book, I do not know why itsother parts may not be understood as well asany other writing which employs a figurativestyle, and requires only the natural explanation
of its metaphors and allusions; its doctrines andits precepts may be intelligible, however poeti-cally conveyed, and when understood, are just aseffective as if their language were altogether un-adorned.I trust, therefore, that we may, without anyviolence of interpretation, learn the mind of theSpirit from the passage before us, rich as I con-ceive it to be with Divine edification.68 THE RAINBOW ABOUT THE THRONE.The chapter opens with an account of themanner in which the vision was introduced tothe prophet's eye. ^^ After this I looked, andbehold a door was opened in heaven, and thefirst voice which I heard was as of a trumpet,talking with me ; which said, Come up hither,and I will show thee things which must be here-after. And immediately I was in the spirit:and behold, a throne was set in heaven, and onesat on the throne. And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and sardine stone. Andthere was a rainbow round about the throne, insight like unto an emerald."The apostle then goes on to describe the celes-tial attendants who surrounded the throne, andthe homage they devoutly paid to him who satupon it, crying, Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Al-mighty, which was, and is, and is to come.But our immediate attention is rather due tothe foregoing passage, in which he describes thetheme and its glories. He that sat upon it waslike a jasper and a sardine stone. "And therewas a rainbow about it, in sight like unto anemerald." In this highly symbohc description,I think we may find a profound and interestingChristian doctrine; in the person of him who satupon the throne, we at once discern the majesticpresence of the Almighty. If we may supposeTHE RAINBOW ABOUT THE THRONE. 59this vision to be the same with that which theprophet Ezekiel beheld, it suggests anothertruth worthy of our regard. In the first chapterof that prophet's book, twenty-sixth verse, hesays that "upon the throne which he saw, wasthe appearance of a man." Is not this embodiedpresence of Jehovah in human shape, the sameDivine being whom the Scriptures call the Son of 
Man? and by comparing the prophet's visionwith the evangelist's, must we not suppose thatsince the unalterable throne of heaven belongsto the unchangeable God, who will not give hisglory to another, the glorious personage to whomSt. John was introduced was none other than hisonce down-trodden Saviour, but still his incarnateGod, now exalted to his mediatorial throne, andwielding the sceptre of his blood-bought dominionover the world. How beautifully does this side>light of evidence bring out the colouring anddeepen the impression of the great doctrine of Christ's Divinity, showing, in an incidental way,that it is the magnificent truth of heaven.Next, our attention is called to the appearanceof this august personage. "He was to look upon like a jasper and sardine stone." It can-not be determined with assurance what particu-lar gem is here meant by the name of sardinestone, since there is no mineral, which in our time60 THE RAINBOW ABOUT THE THRONE.is SO designated. But from the best evidencewe have, it would appear, like the jasper, to be-long to the agate species, admitting of a highpolish, and exhibiting various bands of brightand gorgeous colours traversing the stone in pa-rallel directions. The meaning of the similethen would seem to be, that amidst the generalsplendour which encompassed the Divine pres-ence, there were discerned the distinct hues of God's several attributes forming the very struc-ture of his being, pervading his whole nature,and girding him with his Divine perfections likeso many bands of glory and beauty. How truea similitude is this of the manner in which theDivine character is exhibited to our view !When we look into heaven, we know the holyseat of God by the flood of living light, that ispoured forth from his jDresence, and fills theheavens with its splendour. And at the firstview we discover nothing but that vast and in-describable glory. But as our eyes grow accus-tomed to the vision, and we gaze into the midstof those bright depths, we then discern the dis-tinct ribs of colour, which show the place and thedirection of the varied attributes of the Godhead.We learn that the white effulgence that encircleshis throne, is the blended light of all his severalperfections, which inwrought into the substance

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