an Army with Banners

“And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.” (Rev 4:5)

Durham comments, “We have the second thing whereby this stateliness is expressed, and out of the throne proceeded thunderings, and lightenings, and voices: It is like there is an illusion to God’s manner of giving Law, Exod. 19, whereby He appeared so terrible, that even Moses did exceedingly fear and quake; And, Deut. 33.2. it is said, that from His right hand went a fiery Law: the scope is, to show, that though God appear without great outward splendor and terror in His Ordinances, in the days of the Gospel; yet is there in His Church Power and Glory whereby the mightiest may be terrified and confounded: in which respect, the Church is terrible as an Army with Banners, Song 6.4, and 10. and the witnesses, Chap. 11. vers. 3 and 5. though prophesying in sackcloth, are said to have fire proceeding out of their mouths, and to bring on many other dreadful plagues. By this He would teach men to approach to Him with fear; for, He is a great God, and to be had in reverence of all that are about him, Psal. 89.7.”

And there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven spirits of God: by these we understand the holy Ghost in His manifold and various operations, as we heard, Chap. 1. vers. 4, and by comparing Chap. 5. vers. 6. it is clear: for, these seven Spirits are the horns and eyes of the Lamb, that showeth both the Omnipotence and Omniscience of the same, and they are sent forth into all the earth, which could not be, if the Spirit were not infinite and Immense, and so cannot be understood but of the holy Ghost. Where, by the way, we may perceive the absurdity of the application of Doctor Hamond on this place formerly mentioned, who doth apply these seven spirits, as representing the seven Deacons of the Church of Jerusalem. These operations of the spirit, are compared to Lamps of fire burning, that it, to point out that the saving operations of the Spirit have heat, and a purifying efficacy with their light, to warm the heart with love to God, and to consume and eat up the dross of corruption that is in the same: therefore it is said of Christ, Matth. 3.11. that He should Baptize with the holy Ghost, and with fire: which last word expresseth the nature and efficacy of the former. They are called the seven lamps, or spirits, because though there be but one and the self-same spirit, yet there are diversities of gifts, and differences of administrations and operations, as it is, 1 Cor. 12.4, 5, etc. of which we spoke, Chap. 1.

Lastly, These lamps are said to be before the throne, to show, that as Kings have their Thrones and Courts lighted with lamps and torches, so the Lord hath His Church lighted by His Spirit, and hath the operations thereof, as it were, so placed, as thereby light may be given to His Church and Elders that are round about Him; this is a special part of the Lord’s stateliness, and of the Churches Glory, that His spirit is there; and by Him it is Covenanted to His church for their good unto the end of the world, according as the word is, Isai. 59.21. As for me, this is my Covenant with them, saith the Lord, My spirit that is upon thee, and my word which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed’s seed, saith the Lord, from henceforth, and for ever.” Commentary Upon The Book of the Revelation

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