And I looked, and, see, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand…
I. THEIR CHARACTER. They are "redeemed from the earth." Redemption, in their ease, was not merely virtual, but actual; not in price only, but also in power. It was a redemption carried into their personal experience. Such must ours be, or the price of our redemption has been paid for us in vain. There is pardon, finely represented as implying submission to God, and acceptance and acknowledgment by him. The Father's name is written in their foreheads. There is confession of God before men. They practised no unholy concealment; their religion was public, and declared at all hazards. They were undefiled. They were unspotted from the world, even its more prevalent errors-errors recommended by example, justified by sophistry, alluring by interest, and enforced by persecution. There is their obedience. This is impressively described by their following the Lamb whithersoever He goeth. There is their completeness. Sanctified throughout, they were preserved blameless in spirit, soul, and body. And there is their redemption from earth. They were redeemed from its corporate society, as the world. That remained; they were chosen out of it. They were redeemed from its cowardly and selfish principles, by which truth is sacrificed to ease and gain; whereas these sacrificed ease and gain for truth. From its example; for, while the multitude were wandering after the beast, these were following the Lamb. From Rs pollutions; for they had been washed from their sins by the blood of Him who loved them. From earth itself; for they are now before the throne.
II. THEIR PLACE. "Before the throne."
1. It is the place of glorious vision.
2. It is the place of eternal security. Day is there, never succeeded by night. There is quiet, unbroken by alarm: the gates of the city are not shut by day or night. There is life, never to be quenched in death. For ever does the river flow from under the throne, and the tree of life feels no winter.
III. THE REPRESENTED ACTION.
1. "They sang." Powerful emotions of joy seek for outward expression. This is one of the laws of our very nature. The expression will be suitable to the emotion. Grief pours forth its wailings; joy is heard in the modulations of verse, and the sweet swells and cadences of music.
2. They sang "a new song." Every deliverance experienced by the saints of God calls for a new song: How much more, therefore, this, the final deliverance from earth! Their song is new, as demanded by new blessings. John saw before the throne "a Lamb, as it had been newly slain." The phrase intimates that blessings for ever new will flow from the virtue of His atonement, and the manifestation of the Divine perfections by Him. Nor shall the song be new as to individuals only, but as to the whole glorified Church.
3. They sang it "before the throne." The glorious fruit of "the travail of His soul."
IV. THE PECULIARITY OF THEIR EMPLOYMENT. "No man could learn that song." Not so much to the sound, the music, of the song, as to its subject, does this language refer; and such subjects only can be turned into song, as dwell in the very spirits of the redeemed.
1. There are remembered subjects. The redeemed from earth recollect the hour when light broke In on their darkness.
2. There are present subjects.
Parallel VersesKJV: And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father's name written in their foreheads.