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had under it Manasseh & Benjamin. The fourth head was Dan,to which were joined the tribes of Affer & Naphtali. This is what we read in the second Ch. of Numbers. Tis certain also that every one of these four bodies had its Banner & its Enlign. For in the same place there is express mention of four standards.v. 3. The standard of the company of Judah. v. 10. The Banner of the company of Reuben.v. 18. The Banner of the company of Ephraim. &v.25. The Banner of the company of Dan.
But to this’tis added, that these four Banners had the figure of four living Creatures. That of Judah had the figure of a Lion; that of Ephraim of an Ox ; that of Reuben of a Man ; & that of Dan of an Eagle. As for this last point tis known only by tradition. Aben Ezra faith so, Barnachman and Chaskuni'all very modern Authors, & of little authority. Wherfore this last circumstance of these four living Creatures painted in the four banners is more than uncertain. It is not so much as probable. For God that knew the great inclination which this people had to Idolatry, would not have tempted them in placing among them images in so eminent a place. Yet ’tis principally on this circumstance that the conje&ure is founded. For he would have these four living Creatures of the Revelation represent all the Christian people, because of the ancient Israel that marched under these four Banners. Supposing that these four living Creatures signify allthe faithfull people, it must also be supposed that the twenty four
Elders represent the Pastors, & that they possess that place in the vision which the Lé vites & Priests held in the afiembly of Israel. This also is the opinion of Joseph Mede. And he believes that the number of twenty four refers to the twenty four Classes of Priests which K. David made.
To find out the truth we have nothing else to do but to invert the opinion of Joseph Mede, & say, that the twenty four Elders represent the people , &the four living Creatures the Pastors. That the twenty four Elders ! & the four living Creatures both together represent the whole body of the Church
composed of Pastors & people. This is unquestio nably so, & whoever doth but carefully mind the matter , will not doubt it. But that'the four living Creatures signify the Pastors, will not be doubted neither, when the thing is well considered.
First, we must know that the four living
Creatures are the same as Esay calls Seraphims. of St. John. This appears; 1, by the six wings: 2dly, by the fera phims, song Holy, Holy, Holy ; characters which & Exeo
agree to the living Creatures of Ejay & those kiels
of St. John. Bins.
2ly. These also are the living Creatures of the two visions of Ezekiel in the first & tenth Chapters. These living Creatures of Ezekiel are called Cherubims. Each of them had four faces, that of a Lion, that of an Ox, that of a Man & that of an Eagle. These are exactly the four faces of the four living Creatures of $t. John. with this difference, that in Eze
The four living Creatures
kiebfour heads are together on each of the bodies of the four living Creatures ; wheras in St. John's Vision each living Creature hath but one Head. But this difference is of no importance. For the design of the Mystery being to represent by these four Heads the Qualities & the Character of the Gospel-ministry, 'tis of very little importance that the four heads be on the same Bodies, or on different bodies; seeing these four living Creatures represent but only one Ministry & not four different ministries. I will observe by the by that 'tis very strange, that those that are curious search with
so much labour & uncertainty what was the figure of the Cherubims under the Law. For Ezekiel calling the living What was Creatures which he describes Cherubims in of Mofes's the tenth Ch. of his Revelations, I think it Cheru.
bims. can't be doubted but that the figure of Moses's Cherubims was such as Ezekiel represents it to us.
I say, that these four living creatures called Seraphims by Ejay, Cherubims by Ezekicl , & only Living Creatures by si John, represent the Ministry & the Ministers of the Gospel. They have four different heads; the First is that of a Lyon , tis the Emblem of Strength & Courage, which the Pastors must have in the Exercise of the Ministry. The Second is that of an Ox. This is the most profitable & most laborious Creature; this represents the Profitableness of the Ministry & the laborious
& indefatigable Courage of the Pastors. The Third is that of a
Man. This is the Emblem of Wisdom & of Reason, this signifies the soveraign Reafon, Prudence & Wisdom of the Pastors, who must' unite that with Wisdom & Courage. The Fourth is that of an Eagle ; 'tis the emblem of Elevation & Penetration. There's no
bird that Aies so high. The Pastors must lift i up men from Earth to Heaven , & fly up to
wards divine things: The Eagle sustains the rays of the Light, & looks stedfastly on the Sun : the Pastors of the Church are called to sustain the sight of the most adorable mysteries. These living creatures are called Seras
phims, i. c. Burning , to express the greatKurabin ness of their Zeal. They are called Cheru
bims a word that in the Syriack & the Chalto labour , dee signifies Labourers. This name is given original of them for the same reason as the head of an the word Ox, to represent that they ought to labour
in manuring the field of the Lord incessantly. They have four wings , according to Ezekiçl , & fix according to Esay & S. John, to represent their Vigilance , & the Swiftness with which they mulț run to execute the commandments of God. According to Ezekiel. when these living Creatures walk, they turn not,
every one walks to the place with his Face forward. This is to signify that the ministers of the Gospelmust be tar removed from all obliquity, & that they must go straight in their ways. One part of their Wings serves them to cover their Bodies, i. e. their less comely parts, as Interpreters Understand it; qis the Emblem of that modesty that muft rule in all their words & actions, Ac,
According to Ezekiel , the likenesse of the Cap. 1.13. living Creatures was like burning coals of fire, ES like the appearance of Lamps : It went up and down among the living Creatures & the fire was bright ; & out of the fire went forth lightning. 'Tis a description of the Word & of Preaching that sheds light abroad, & spreads knowledg, in scattering darkness by the ministry of the Pastors. Is not my word as fire? Thy word is a Lamp to my feet. 'Tis a fire that Ch. 1. 21) sends forth the light of faith , & communi- 22. cates the heat of charity. In Ezekiel, When the living Creatures moved, the Wheels also moved & when the living Creatures were lifted up from the Earth , the Wheels also were lifted up. When those went, these went ; E when those stood, these stood. These Wheels are the People , the living Creatures , i.e. the pastors, are the Spirit of the People. The People do not go, or stand still, or lift up themfelves, or fall down, but by the inspiration of the Pastors.
In St. John the living Creatures are in the throne round about the throne:i.e, immediately near the throne, nearer than the Twenty four elders. 'Tis because the Pastors are the mediators between God & the People. They are nearest to God, & the People draw nigh to God by them. These living Creatures are full of eyes within. 'Tis because they inwardly have the Spirit of Penetration & Discerning; not only like Solomon's Wise Man, that hath his Eyes in his Head, but they have Eyes in their Heart ; s. c. they have a clear,