And I saw another angel fly in the middle of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to them that dwell on the earth…
1. The gospel, in its authorship, is one with nature.
2. The gospel, in its comprehension or extent, includes heaven and earth. The flying angel unites the two, and shows in clear and bold figure the celestial origin of the gospel. It is no growth of the darkened earth — no high stage of a merely natural development — no offspring of civilisation. Heaven and earth are made one again in the gospel.
3. The gospel, in its history, advances from the deepest obscurity to the highest prominence.
4. The gospel, in its design, unites the particular and the universal.
5. The gospel, in its spirit, unites the purest mercy with the most perfect justice.
I. A STATEMENT OF THE GOSPEL.
1. Its originality. That is original which is the first of its kind, and stands alone. Absolute originality is to be found in God alone; for the Divine mind alone has the power of pure creation. The gospel is original, whether we view it as emanating from God, as a series of facts in human history, or as a new life in man — that is, whether we view it as a creation of God the Father, of God the Son, or of God the Holy Ghost.
2. Its acceptability lies in this — that it satisfies the demands of an honest and earnest mind. Is proof required that the Word of God, as a historical and literary production, is what it claims to be? It possesses more evidence on this point than any other book. But the point in respect of which the gospel is most widely and warmly accepted is that it satisfies the heart and conscience.
II. HOW THE GOSPEL IS EVERLASTING. We may here take the two aspects under which we have just considered the gospel, and show how the epithet everlasting applies to each — how it is for ever original or new, and how it is for ever good or acceptable.
1. The gospel is everlasting in its originality. The word new has two meanings, not only different, but apparently opposed to each other, which yet, taken together, give all the more complete an idea of the gospel. We call that new which is the first of its kind; we also call that new which is the last or latest of its kind. The gospel is the first and last system of truth, the oldest and the newest thought of God. It is everlasting, although new. Other new things soon lose their freshness, wither, and grow old; but it remains ever new, full of the life of God, fresh as the morning of creation. It continues new by ever growing newer — ever leading us deeper into its source in God.
2. The gospel is everlasting in its acceptability. We do not grow insensible to its influence through repeated experience of its power. The more we come into living contact with it, the more do we see its beauty and profundity — the more do we see that its meaning and charm are quite inexhaustible.
Parallel VersesKJV: And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,