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HOMAGE AND DEDICATION. " And the four and twenty elders fall down
before Him that aat on the throne, and worship Him that liveth for
ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne."?
Revelation iv. 10. It is impossible for the mind to conceive of a
more majestic picture than is presented in this fourth chapter of
the Book of Revelation. The Church of Christ, with all her labors
done and all her warfare over, stands at length in heaven, before
the throne of Him whose servant she has been, and renders up her
trust and gives all the glory back to Him. When we hear such a
scene described in the few words of John's poetic vision, I think
we are met with a strange sort of difficulty. The great impression
of the picture is so glorious that we are afraid to touch it with
too curious fingers, to analyze its meaning and get at its truth.
At the same time we feel sure that there is in it a precise and
definitely shaped truth which is blurred to us by the very splendor
of the poetry in which it is enveloped. We see on the one hand how
often the whole significance of some of the noblest things in
Scripture is lost and ruined by people who take hold of them with
hard, prosaic hands. Their poetry is necessary to their truth. On
the other hand, we see how many of the mostsacred truths of
revelation float always before many people's eyes in. a mere vague
halo of mystical splendor, because they never come boldly up to
them as Moses went up to the burning bush, to see what they are,
and what are the laws by which they act. Shall we interpret the
poetry of Scripture into ordinary language or not ? No one reads
the commentaries without feeling that often it would be better not
to do so; but no one sees how many of the false religious ideas and
superstitions have come of an intense ...
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