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5 Christ received this prophesy from God, & none in heaven nor in earth neither under the earth was able or worthy to open & read the prophetic book neither to look thereon, till Christ appeared & took it out of the hand of God, & therefore he is certainly risen from the dead, & become the first fruits & them that sleep: for he merited this worthiness by his death. Thou art worthy to take the book & to open the seals thereof for thou wast slain & hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred & tongue & people & nation & hast made us unto our God kings & priests & we shall reign on the earth.

6 By his death therefore he has merited a kingdom which without his merit would not have been erected, & therefor the salvation of as many as shall be chosen by him to inherit this kingdom is due to his merit. We are commanded to forgive our enemies freely, & what God requires of us cannot be injustice in himself. Gods justice consists in punishing none beyond their merit his mercy in pardoning freely. He may forgive; freely without injustice: for otherwise he would not command us to forgive. A king is not injust for pardoning a malefactor whenever he may do it without injuring other people In such a case satisfaction is not requisite in order to mercy. If we have all offended & done nothing to merit the erecting of a new kingdom God might have justly left all men among those who shall not inherit it & they that shall inherit this kingdom must ascribe it to Gods mercy through the merit & intercession of Iesus Christ. There is a satisfaction: but it consists rather in appeasing God's wrath & procuring his mercy, then in enabling him to forgive out of justice

7 The publick worship of Christians in their Churches is described in this prophesy by the worship of God & Christ in the Temple of heaven The four Animals representing the people in the outward Court rest not morning & evening saying Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty which was & is to come. And when those Animals give glory & honour & thanks to him that sitteth upon the throne who liveth for ever & ever, the four & twenty elders fall down before him that sitteth on the throne & worship him that liveth for ever & ever & cast their crowns before the throne saying: Thou art worthy o Lord to receive glory & honour & power for thou hast created all things & for thy pleasure they are & were created. This is the proper worship of God Almighty: next follows the proper worship of Iesus Christ. When he had taken the book of prophesy out of the hand of him that sat upon the throne, the four Animals & 24 Elders fell down before the Lamb having every one of them harps & gold vials full of odors which are the prayers of the saints [to be offered up to God by the mediation of the Lamb] & they sung a new song saying thou art worthy to take the book & to open the seals thereof for thou wast slain & hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred & tongue & people & nation & hast made us unto our God kings & priests & we shall reign on the earth. And I heard the voice of many Angels round about the throne & the Animals & the elders – saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power & wisdome & strength & honour & glory & blessing. In the next place follows the joynt worship of God & the Lamb And every creature which is in heaven & on the earth & under the earth & such as are in the sea & all in them heard I, saying, Blessing & honour & glory & power be unto him that sitteth upon the throne & unto the Lamb for ever & <2r> ever. And the four Animals said, Amen. And in the last place the four & twenty elders fall down & worship him that liveth for ever & ever. And to explain what is meant by the odours which are the prayers of the saints, an Angel appears in the great Fast with a golden censer to perform the office of the High Priest & in the time of silence offers incense with the prayers of all saints upon the golden Altar which was before the throne. And the smoke of the incense with the prayers of the saints ascended up before God out of the Angels hand. Which Angel represents Christ the great High Priest the Mediator of our prayers. And there is a further worship afterwards given to God Almighty in this same Temple by the 144000 standing with the Lamb on mount Sion before the throne & singing a new song, & on the sea of glass & singing the same song of Moses & the Lamb saying Great & marvellous are thy works Lord God Almighty &c. All which together is a mystical description of the whole worship of Christians.

8 All The worship here given to Christ respects his humane nature. For it is given to him in the form of a Lamb who was slain for us, & who received this prophesy from God & by his death became worthy to receive it. He is here worshipped not as a God but as a King, the man Christ Iesus our Lord, not as God Almighty but as King of Kings & Lord of Lords who has redeemed his elect with his blood & made them kings & priests under him. And therefore this worship is given him without any breach of the first commandment. Because when he was in power he did not arrogate the being worshipped but he emptied himself of his dominion & took upon the form of a servant & being found in fashion as a man he humbled himself & became obedient unto death even the death of the cross therefore God hath highly exalted him & given him a name which is above every name that at the name of Iesus every knee should bow of things in heaven & things in earth & things under the earth & that every tongue should confess that Iesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the father. We are bound to give all kings such honour & worship as is suitable to their dignity & dominion over us, much more to Christ Iesus the king of kings the Lord of the whole creation. To honour & worship the man Christ Iesus as our Lord & king with such a worship as is suitable to his dominion is so far from being against the first commandment that it redounds to the glory of God the father who has made him king & given him this name above every name. This worship is due from the whole creation to the Lamb of God, the Man Christ Iesus who was slain & hath redeemed us with his blood, & to deny this worship to him as a king is to rebell against the King of Kings & to deny the Lord that bought us.

9 The Worship given to God & Christ in this prophesy is their peculiar proper incommunicable worship. To give glory & honour & thanks to the Lamb because he was slain for{illeg} us & hath redeemed us with his blood is a worship which cannot be given to God Almighty the creator of heaven & earth nor to any other but the lamb. To give glory & honour & thanks to him that sitteth upon the throne because he hath created all things, is a worship which cannot be given to the Lamb nor to any other but God Almighty the creator of heaven & earth. And to give it to any other would be a breach of the first commandment and having another God besides the God of the Iews the creator of all things, & a denyal of that God. For as Iob tells us If I beheld the Sun when it shined or the Moon walking in brightness, & my heart hath been secretly enticed or my mouth hath kissed my hand; this also were an iniquity to be punished by the judge; for I should have denyed the God which is above: so if we give to any other being that worship or any part thereof which by the first commandment is appropriated to God Almighty the creator of heaven & earth; by that act we have another God or other Gods contrary to that commandment, & deny the God above the God of the Iews the Almighty creator of heaven & earth.

© 2017 The Newton Project

Professor Rob Iliffe
Director, AHRC Newton Papers Project

Scott Mandelbrote,
Fellow & Perne librarian, Peterhouse, Cambridge

Faculty of History, George Street, Oxford, OX1 2RL - newtonproject@history.ox.ac.uk

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