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person whose words John repeats? They are the words of Jesus; "who is the faithful witness, the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth:" they are the words of that Saviour whom John worshipped, saying; "unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever, amen." The coming of this glorious person is proclaimed, and his dignity is asserted in the words which here follow: I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty. The apostle tells us the place and time where and when he saw this vision: it was in the isle of Patmos, and on the Lord's day. "I was in the spirit on the Lord's day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet, saying, 'I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last. And I turned to see the voice that spake with me, (that is, I turned to see the person who uttered the voice), and being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks, and in the midst of the candlesticks one like unto the Son of Man." Then follows a very particular description of the person who appeared, and of the effect which the vision had upon John; who, when he saw him, "fell at his feet as dead:" and, says the apostle, he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, "fear not; I am the first and the last; I am he that liveth and was dead, and behold I am alive for ever more, and have the keys of death and hell." It is plain that it is the Son of God who speaks in the four last verses of the chapter. And it is also plain that he speaks in the eleventh verse, and twice he calls himself the first and the last; why then may not the words of the eighth verse be spoken of him, by the apostle, as words he heard him speak? It is one person who speaks to John from the beginning of the eleventh verse to the end of the chapter; and he that calls himself Alpha and Omega, the first and the last, is as much entitled to
call himself the Almighty as to claim the attribute of eternity, which he actually does.
But the attribute Almighty is ascribed to Jesus Christ, in the songs of praise which are sung in heaven by his church triumphant. The saints of God are represented as standing upon a sea of glass, having in their hands the harps of God; "and they sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, "great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty! just and true are thy ways, thou king of saints. Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy; for all nations shall come and worship before thee, for thy judgments are made manifest!" Rev. xv. 3, 4.
This is a very sublime and heavenly song; it contains the high praises of the Lord God Almighty, whose works are great and marvellous; and it will be granted, that the saints of God knew perfectly well that it ought not to be sung in praise of any one but the true and living God. Now it is very evident, that this very song of praise is addressed to the Lamb, the victorious Messiah, the king of saints, and righteous Judge, whose judgments were then made manifest. This song was not sung by the Lamb, but was sung to his glory and his praise; and even in this sense it may with propriety be called the song of the Lamb, as David calls the song which he sang in the watches of the night, in praise of his God, the song of God: "the Lord will command his loving kindnesses in the day time, and by night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life." The words of this sacred song show that it is addressed to, and sung in praise of the Lamb; for who is the king of saints, and whose judgments are made manifest? the judgments of the Messiah, the Lamb; for in this book he is described as the victorious captain of our salvation, who has conquered his and our enemies, avenged his saints, and made manifest his power and his judgments. His enemies are represented as making war with the Lamb, but they are
defeated, confounded, and destroyed. These, says John, shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them, "for he is Lord of Lords, and King of Kings, and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful."-Rev. xvii. 14. I shall produce two more passages of scripture in which the attribute almighty is ascribed unto the Son of God. "And I heard the angel of the waters say, 'thou art righteous, O Lord, which art, and wast, and art to come, because thou hast judged thus: for they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and thou hast given them blood to drink, for they are worthy.' And I heard another out of the altar say, 'even so, Lord God Almighty, just and true are thy judgments." Rev. xvi. 7.
And again, in another place; "we give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come, because thou hast taken unto thee thy great power, and hast reigned. And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldst give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great, and shouldst destroy them that destroy the earth." Rev. xi. 17, 18.
That these words are addressed to Christ, we may be convinced by the following considerations. First, Christ, as king and head of his church, governs and defends it; pours out his wrath and judgments on the nations, and subdues his enemies by that power which is able to subdue all things. Secondly, he that thus reigns as king of his church, judges the nations, and avenges his people, is the person who shall finally judge the world in righteousness. He that reigns and judges, and manifests his judgments, antecedent to the last judgment, is the same that shall judge the quick and the dead at the last day; when he shall finally reward his servants that have been faithful; unto these he will give a crown of life. Now it is the Son who shall judge the world in
righteousness: he shall "sit upon the throne of his glory, and before him shall be gathered all nations." He that shall come in a visible manner, in glory, and attended by the holy angels, and shall sit upon the throne of his glory, is the Son. This shall be the glorious appearing of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ, when he shall come to take vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: these shall be punished with everlasting destruction, from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power, when he shall come to be glorified in his saints. We have, therefore, ascertained the person who is to be Judge at the great day: it is the same person who now reigns and judges, and has manifested his judgments, and shall make them more manifest in the earth; but this person who is represented in the book of revelations, as reigning, judging, avenging and rewarding, is called the Almighty God.
If it be said that the Son exercises judgment now, and shall judge at the great day, by a commission from the Father, we grant that all judgment is committed to him: "the Father himself judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son, because he is the Son of Man." We believe this scripture as well as any other; and we believe "that God hath appointed a day, in which he will judge the world in righteousness, by that man whom he hath ordained." These words ascertain the person who is to judge, and are no objection to our doctrine; they take away no attribute from the Son of God; they do not prove that he is not almighty, omniscient, and the searcher of hearts; they only relate to him as sustaining the mediatorial office and character; as such he is anointed to be king of his church -as such all judgment is committed to him, and because he is the son of man. But in vain is he anointed king, and the Judge of all, if he is not God as well as man; if he is not all-wise, almighty, the searcher of hearts, he is not able to execute the offi
ces of King and Judge, to him committed as mediator. We shall have occasion to speak of Christ as mediator, in a subsequent discourse, and will conclude this Sermon with a short recapitulation.
It is hoped that every unprejudiced reader has received satisfactory evidence that the attributes of Eternity, Omnipresence, and Omnipotence, are ascribed to the Son of God. The scriptures assure us that he is Creator of all things; the upholder of all things; and that he is able even to subdue all things to himself. We have seen it revealed in the word of God that he is Alpha and Omega, the first and the last-that he is the King of kings and the Lord of lords-the victorious captain of our salvation-the heart-searching Judge of the quick and of the dead, who will give unto every man according to his works. "O may we be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless;" may we be "looking for, and hasting unto the coming of the day of God." Let us take hold of his strength, and of his holy covenant: let us submit to his authority, and "kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and we perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little: blessed are they that put their trust in him."