Vision of Christ.
"And I turned to see the voice, that spoke with me. And having turned, I saw seven golden lamp-stands; and in the midst of the seven lamp-stands one like a Son of man, clothed with a garment reaching the feet, and girded around the breasts with a golden girdle. His head, even his hair, was white like white wool, like snow; and his eyes were like a flame of fire; and his feet like fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice like the sound of many waters. And he had in his right hand seven stars: and from his mouth went forth a sharp two-edged sword: and his countenance was like the sun shining in its strength. And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as if dead. And he laid his right hand on me, saying, Fear not; I am the first and the last, and am he, who liveth, and I became dead; and behold, I am alive for ever and ever, and have the keys of death and the pit. Therefore, write the things, which thou hast seen, and the things, which are, and the things, which will take place hereafter; the secret of the seven stars, which thou hast seen in my right hand, and the seven golden lamp-stands. The seven stars, are the messengers of the seven congregations: and the seven lamp-stands are the seven congregations." -- Rev.1:12-20.

The voice, by a metonymy, is used for the person speaking. He turned to see the glorious personage by whom the trumpet-tones were uttered. Being turned, he saw the commencement of those great panoramic presentations, by which the events of the future were revealed to him, and the significance of which were explained by an angelic interpreter.

The "seven golden candlesticks," symbolize "the seven churches" (1:20), to which John was commanded to write. By this, and other symbols which are divinely interpreted, are unfolded the principles on which symbols are used. A candle or lamp stand, supports the light placed on it, as churches are the recipients and dispensers of the light of the Holy Scriptures. They are therefore appropriate symbols of churches.

"In the midst of the candlesticks" is one in the form of humanity, surrounded by the insignia of Deity. It is the same appearance that Ezekiel saw, when he had a vision "of the likeness of the glory of the Lord," (Ezek.1:26-28); and before which Daniel fell trembling, Dan.10:5-9. The sublime spectacle was too overwhelming for John's endurance, and, like Isaiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel, his strength turned to corruption. But the glorified Saviour was the same sympathetic being on whose breast John leaned, at the last supper, and he lays his endearing hand on John, and, by soothing words, restores his confidence. He explains the mystery contained in the symbols shown, and enjoins on him to write the things he had seen -- symbolic of the things which then were, and of those which were then in the future. As no created resemblance is a fit representative of Deity, Christ is shown to John by the symbol of his own likeness.

The "seven stars" in the right hand of the Saviour, are the angels, -- the messengers, or pastors of the seven churches, 1:20. As the Saviour holds the stars in his hand, so does he sustain all his gospel ministers, enabling them to impart light to those who sit under their ministrations. And as he walked in the midst of the golden candlesticks, so the Lord is ever in the midst of those who fear him, and call upon his name.

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