And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen…
And I John am he that heard and saw these things. And when I heard and saw, I fell down to worship, etc. These verses bring under our notice two or three very suggestive circumstances, which we shall merely state in the briefest; manner.
I. ETERNAL REALITIES BROUGHT TO THE CONSCIENCE OF INDIVIDUAL MAN. "And I John am he that heard and saw these things," etc. "I John," the beloved disciple of Christ. "I myself heard and saw these things." How did he hear them? And how did he see them? Was it with the outward ear or with the outward eye? I trow not; for have we not read, the whole was a vision, a kind of dream - a long, grotesque, terribly suggestive dream? In truth, all outward Vision and sight are but emblems of the mental faculties of sight and sound which are within us, and which are ever active, voluntarily and involuntarily. What are the creations of poetry, the inventions of romance, and the revellings and riotings of our visions in the night, but sights and sounds? In visions John saw this, as I have elsewhere indicated.
II. THE INSTINCT OF WORSHIP WRONGLY DIRECTED. Psychology, as well as the history of our race, show that deep in the centre of our nature is the hunger for worship. Man must have a God, whatever else he may lack. He has been called a worshipping animal. The wonderful things which came within the mind of John seem to have aroused this religious instinct to a passion. "He fell down to worship before the feet of the messenger." Superstition has ever been, and still is, one of the regnant curses of the race.
III. THE RECOIL OF GENUINE SAINTS FROM FLATTERY. "See thou do it not," etc. This angel, or messenger, a man, was superior to that vanity which will do everything, almost, to attract attention, to win a cheer or receive an empty compliment. What does he say? "See thou do it not: I am a fellow servant with thee and with thy brethren the prophets, and with them which keep the words of this book: worship God." This genuine saint, whilst he repudiated the idea of being a God, humbly identified himself with truly good men of every order, sphere, and time.
IV. THE PRACTICAL ALLEGIANCE OF CHRISTLY MEN TO ONE GOD. "Worship God." What a name! The Cause, Means, and End of all things in the universe - but sin. God! The Supreme, not only in might and wisdom, but in all goodness and truth; the one Being in the universe around whom all thoughts and sympathies should revolve in all reverence and devotion.
CONCLUSION. Here, then, are subjects for thought most quickening, elevating, and devout. - D.T.
Parallel VersesKJV: And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things.