Revelation 14:2
And I heard a sound from heaven like the roar of many waters and the loud rumbling of thunder. And the sound I heard was like harpists strumming their harps.
The Perfect ChurchS. Conway Revelation 14:1-5
The Supersensuous Heaven of HumanityD. Thomas Revelation 14:1-5
The Triumphant HostR. Green Revelation 14:1-5
A Song of FreedomJ. M. Hoppin.Revelation 14:1-13
Absolute Obedience to the Guidance of ChristBp. Woodford.Revelation 14:1-13
Angelic IncompetencyT. De Witt Talmage.Revelation 14:1-13
Devotion to ChristR. Forgan, B. D.Revelation 14:1-13
Man Training for HeavenHomilistRevelation 14:1-13
Music in HeavenG. Kingsley.Revelation 14:1-13
Musical Art in its Relation to Divine WorshipJ. W. Shackelford, D. D.Revelation 14:1-13
The 144,000J. A. Seiss, D. D.Revelation 14:1-13
The Church God's FirstfruitsW. Milligan, D. D.Revelation 14:1-13
The Communion of SaintsArchdeacon Manning.Revelation 14:1-13
The Followers of JesusT. Kidd.Revelation 14:1-13
The Followers of the LambC. H. Spurgeon.Revelation 14:1-13
The Followers of the LambW. Dyer.Revelation 14:1-13
The Greater SalvationS. Conway, B. A.Revelation 14:1-13
The Music of HeavenS. D. Hillman.Revelation 14:1-13
The Name on the ForeheadPreacher's Portfolio.Revelation 14:1-13
The New SongJames Kidd, B.A.Revelation 14:1-13
The New SongT. G. Selby.Revelation 14:1-13
The New Song in the SoulFred. Brooks.Revelation 14:1-13
The Song of the RedeemedR. Watson.Revelation 14:1-13
The Sublimest Human DistinctionHomilistRevelation 14:1-13
The Unlearned Song of the RedeemedC. A. Bartol.Revelation 14:1-13
TruthfulnessRevelation 14:1-13
UndefiledW. Milligan, D. D.Revelation 14:1-13

How well it is for us, in forming our estimates and in regulating our conduct, to have set before us a true ideal and a faultless standard! To compare ourselves with ourselves, that is, with men like ourselves, is, so St. Paul tells us, not wise. And all experience proves the truth of his word. The low levels of ordinary religious life in the present day all result from our practically, not professedly, putting before ourselves standards which are faulty and inferior, instead of those which would be constantly summoning us to higher and holier attainment. Now, the Word of God is ever furnishing us with such perfect standards. Our Lord again and again bids us turn our gaze heavenward, that we may see there how we ought to judge and what we ought to be. How frequently he speaks of our Father in heaven, that we may beheld in God the true ideal of all fatherhood! And that we may the better understand and act towards our children, he tells us that "in heaven their angels do always behold," etc. And when his opponents murmured, as was their wont, at his receiving sinners and eating with them, he rebuked them by the reminder that in heaven there is not murmuring, but joy, even over "one sinner that repenteth." And here in these verses we who belong to the Church on earth have given to us a vision of the perfect Church - the Church in heaven. And the contemplation of it cannot but be well for us, that we may judge thereby our beliefs, our worship, our selves, and seek more and more to conform them to the heavenly pattern. Observe, then -

I. THAT WE CANNOT LIMIT THE CHURCH TO ANY ONE VISIBLE CORPORATE BODY. The claims of any such Church body here on earth to be exclusively the Church, and the denial of membership therein to all outside that body, are shown to be false by the fact that the notes and characteristics of the true Church are found in many Churches, but exclusively in none. There are, thank God, few Churches, if any, that have not some of them. Out of all of them the Church is gathered, but to no one of them is it confined. The members of the Church are described here as having the name of the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ "written upon their foreheads." Now, this is a figure of speech to tell of the character of those who form the Church; that that character is:

1. God like. It is the Father's name which is written; hence they who bear it are holy and without blemish, perfect even as the Father in heaven is perfect.

2. Visible. It is written on their foreheads. The light shines before men; it cannot be hid. That godliness is much to be questioned which no one can see, or which is hidden away and kept for only certain seasons, places, and surroundings. That which is here said teaches the reverse of such a doubtful thing.

3. And it is permanent. It is "written." "Litera scripta manet." It abides, not being a thing assumed for a time, and like the goodness told of by Hosea, which as the "morning cloud" and "early dew goeth away." It is the habit of the life, the continual characteristic of the man. Such, in general terms, is the distinguishing mark of membership in Christ's true Church. And again we gratefully own that in all Churches it is to be found. Would that it were on all as in all!

II. THE CENTRE OF THE WORSHIP OF THE PERFECT CHURCH IS "THE LAMB." St. John says, "I beheld the Lamb;" not "a Lamb," as the Authorized Version reads. He does not stop to explain. He has so often spoken of the Lord Jesus Christ as the Lamb, that there can be no room for doubt as to his meaning. It is the Lord Jesus Christ, not so much in his more majestic attributes - his might, majesty, and dominion - that we are bidden behold, but in his sacrificial character as "the Lamb of God who taketh away the sin of the world." As such he is the Centre of the Church's adoration. He is seen on Mount Zion, that site of Israel's temple being taken continually in Scripture as the symbol of the home of God's redeemed and the scene of their eternal worship. He is surrounded by the Church of the Firstborn - "the firstfruits" unto God, whom he has redeemed by his blood. The number named here, twelve and the multiples of twelve, is ever associated with the Church. And the twelve times twelve tells of the Church's completion, the "accomplishment of the number of the elect." Now, in the midst of that perfect assembly, that Church of which these are the representatives, stands "the Lamb" as the Object of the adoration, the love, and the worship of all. That Church on earth must, then, lack this distinct note of the heavenly Church if in it Christ the Son of God, as the Redeemer, the Saviour, the Sacrifice for the world's sins, be not lifted up as the Object of all trust, love, and obedience, and if he be not so regarded by the members of such Church. Let us ask - What is he to ourselves? How do we look upon him who is thus looked upon by the Church in heaven? In the midst of our Zions, do we see, as the chief, the central, the pre-eminent figure, the Lamb of God? And in the inner temple of our own hearts, is he there enshrined and enthroned as he hath right and ought to be? What is our hope and what our trust? How can we ever hope to be numbered with "the Church of the Firstborn," if the name of him, to which every heart there responds, awakes no echo, no answering thrill, in us? Our lips utter that name often enough, and in all manner of ways; but what do our hearts say? That is the question to which this vision of the Lamb on Mount Zion, surrounded by the adoring Church, should give rise in every one of us. And may God grant that it may meet with a satisfactory answer!

III. THE WORSHIP OF THE PERFECT CHURCH IS A JOYFUL WORSHIP. We are told that "they sung a new song." Joy finds utterance in song; it is its natural expression; and when, therefore, we read of the songs of heaven, it is proof of the joys of that blessed place. The worship of heaven takes this form. Here, prayer and preaching form, and properly form, part of our worship; but there, praise alone is heard. Here, we wail our litanies and pour forth our supplications; but there worship is all song - the voice of glad thanksgiving and joyful praise. How much is told us of the blessed future in that one fact! And of this song we are told many precious things.

1. How full voiced it is! St. John likens it to that "of many waters" - that loud, resonant sound as when the floods lift up their voice, or the sea roars, or where some vast volume of water pours itself from over a great height to some far down depth. What a sound comes up from that boiling caldron of tossing waves! The magnitude of the sound of that song is what St. John seeks to set forth by his similitude of "many waters."

2. And its majesty also is indicated by its comparison to "a great thunder " - the voice of the Lord as they of old regarded it. It is no mean, trivial theme that has inspired that song, but one that wakes up every heart, and opens the lips of all the redeemed, to show forth the praise of him who hath redeemed them. It is a noble song, grand, glorious. How could it be otherwise, telling as it does of deeds of such Divine heroism, of conquests of such moment, and of sacrifice so vast?

3. And how sweet a song is it also! For St. John supplies yet another similitude: its sound was like that "of harpers harping with their harps." So sweet, so soul subduing, so full of heavenly delight, that it brought smiles to the saddest countenance, and wiped away all tears. And is not the song of redemption just such a song as that? Even we know of songs of Zion so unspeakably beautiful, and set to music such as, it seems to us, even angelic choirs might rejoice in. But if earthly song can be so sweet, though coming from lips and hearts so little pure, what must that song have been which is told of here, and which St. John can only compare, for its unutterable beauty, to the strains of the most perfect instruments that the ancient world knew of - the harp, Judah's national symbol, and best beloved accompaniment of praise? But not alone the mingled magnitude, majesty, and sweetness of the sound of this song is set forth here, but also its substance.

4. It was "a new song." There had never been anything like it before. They who sang it had never joined in, or even heard of, such song till they sang it in the presence of. the Lamb on Mount Zion. It could not but be new, for it was inspired by new and glorious revelations of God; sung amid conditions and surroundings that were all new, and by hearts and lips made new by the renewing grace of the Holy Spirit of God. Much there had been in days past for which they had been constrained to praise and give thanks, but till now the half had not been told them, and hence none of their old songs would serve. They must sing a new song; it could not but be new.

5. And it was known by none but those who sang it. "No man could learn that song but," etc. How can he who has never even been to sea know the joy of him who has been saved from shipwreck? Who but the child knows the mother's love? The song told of here is but the result of the experiences through which they who sing it have been led. How, then, can they sing it who have known none of these things? But those represented by the hundred and forty-four thousand know the depths of sin and sorrow from which, and the heights of holiness and joy to which, and the love by which, and the purpose for which, they have have been uplifted. They know the conviction of sin, and the joy of pardon, and the Holy Spirit's grace, and the love of Christ. But what does the unbeliever know of these things? and how, therefore, can he learn this song? The question comes - If such be the worship of the heavenly Church, are our Churches on earth preparing their members to join therein? Churches here should be vestibules for the heavenly Church. Is the Church with which we are associated so to you and me? No one can learn that song unless they be redeemed. Have we the qualification? Have we come to Christ? Are we trusting in him? "We must begin heaven's song here below, or else we shall never sing it above. The choristers of heaven have all rehearsed their song here ere they took their places in the choir of heaven." But only Christ can touch the soul's sin darkened eye, and cause it to see that truth which will make redemption precious, and hence he who is our Saviour must be also our Teacher. So only can we learn the new song of his redeemed.

IV. ITS MEMBERS ARE WITHOUT FAULT. After that the blessed condition of the redeemed has been set forth, we are next shown their character. The general and symbolic expression which tells how they all have the "Father's name written on their foreheads" is expanded and explained by the more definite declarations which we must now notice. It is said "they are without fault," or "blameless," as the Revised Version reads; and the apostle specifies four of the chief temptations to which they had been exposed, and which they had resisted and overcome.

1. And the first he names is that of impurity. In the unusual expression in which this sin is referred to, there is no countenance of any teachings which would give higher place to the single over the married life. If the unmarried alone are amongst the redeemed, it is questionable if one of the apostles of our Lord would be found there. But that which is pointed at is those sins of which it is best not to speak, but which we know full well have their roots in the very centre of our nature, and which it is a lifelong struggle to repress and subdue. But this must be done, and - blessed be he who saves not only from the guilt, but the might of sin! - it may be done, and is being done, even as it was with "these" of whom our text tells.

2. Half heartedness. Great was, and great is, the temptation to follow Christ only along paths not difficult. But to follow him "whithersoever" he went - ah! how many would be and are sore tempted to shrink from that! They would follow their Lord for some way - even at times a long way; but to follow where difficulty, danger, disgrace, death, waited for them - from that how many would shrink! But "these" did not.

3. Conformity to the world. "These" had the holy courage to be singular, to come out "from among men," to go against the stream, to be other than the rest of men. low difficult this is those only know who have tried to do as "these" did. The assimilating power of the society in which we mingle is almost resistless, and often it is full of spiritual peril. It was so to those for whom St. John wrote, and not seldom it is so still. Hence we have to go unto Christ "without the camp, bearing his reproach." "These" did this, and so won the high honour and rich reward told of here.

4. Insincerity. When to confess Christ meant, perhaps, the loss of all things, yea, their very lives; when martyrdom was the guerdon of faithful acknowledgment of their Lord, how tremendous must have been the temptation to tamper with truth, to conceal, to compromise, to evade, to equivocate! But of "these" it is said, "in their mouth was found no guile." He who is the God of truth, yea, who is the Truth, ever lays great stress on this virtue of guilelessness, whilst deceit and lies are declared abominable in his sight.

CONCLUSION. Such was the character of that perfect Church - "the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb." Doubtless there were all other forms of Christ likeness - love, patience, meekness, and the rest - for the varied forms of Christ's grace as seen in character are generally found in clusters. Where you find some you generally find others, yea, in some measure, all of them. But as we read of only what is said here, our heart well nigh despairs, and would altogether were it not that the same source of all goodness is open to us as to them of whom we here read.

"Oh, how can feeble flesh and blood
Burst through the bonds of sin?
The holy kingdom of our God,
What man can enter in?" And the sad reply would be, "None," were it not that he who summons us to such high attainment ministers all needed grace. Therefore we may and we must be "holy as he is holy." - S. C.

Thrust in thy sickle, and reap.
It is held by many that both these refer to the same fact of God's judgment against sin and sinners. And no doubt, at times, the "harvest" does mean such judgment (Joel 3:13; Jeremiah 51:33). In Matthew 13. both harvests — that of good and evil alike — are told of. "Let both grow together until," etc. Still more commonly the figure stands for the people of God and their ingathering into His blessed presence. And we think that here, whilst there can be no doubt as to what the vintage means, the "harvest" does not mean the same, but that gathering of "the wheat into His garner" which shall one day most surely be accomplished. For see the preface (ver. 13) to this vision. It speaks of the blessed dead and their rest. And but for the plain pointing out that the vintage did not refer to them, that also would have been so understood. And the Lord Jesus Christ — for He is meant — is Himself the Reaper (ver. 14), Himself thrusts in the sickle (ver. 16), whilst the vintage of judgment is assigned to an angel (ver. 17), indicating that it is a different work from the other. And the figure itself, the harvest, the precious corn fully ripe, belongs generally and appropriately to that which is also precious and an object of delight, as is the company of His people to the Lord whose they are. It is not the time of the harvest, but the corn of the harvest, which is spoken of here, and this is ever the type of good, and not evil. Thus understood, let us note —

I. THE HARVEST. "The harvest of the earth." This tells of —

1. The multitude of God's people. Who can count the ears of corn even in one harvest-field? how much less in the harvest of the whole earth?

2. The preciousness of them. What could we do without the literal harvest of the earth? Our all, humanly speaking, depends upon it.

3. The joy of God in them. "They shall joy before Thee with the joy of harvest."

4. The care that has been needed and given.

5. The "long patience" that has been exercised. Who but God could be so patient? We often cry, "How long, O Lord, how long?" But He waits — and we must learn the like lesson — for the harvest of the earth, for that which is being ripened in our own soul.

6. The evidence of ripeness. We know of the natural harvest that it is ripe by the grain assuming its golden hue. And when it is thus with the people of God, when the golden light of the Sun of Righteousness shines on them and they are transformed thereby, then the evidence of ripeness is seen, and the season for the sickle has come.

7. God will certainly gather in His people. "Harvest shall not fail"; nor shall this harvest either. "Look up, lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh."

II. THE VINTAGE. Under the altar on which was "the fire," over which the angel told of in ver. 18 "had power," were the souls of them that had been slain for the testimony of Jesus (Revelation 6:9). They had asked, "How long, O Lord dost Thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?" And now the answer is given. The vintage of vengeance has begun. For the "grapes" of the "vine of the earth" are fully ripe. It is the judgment of the whole earth, when "all nations" shall be gathered (Matthew 25.) before the Son of Man. The square of four — four ever the symbol of the earth — amplified by hundreds, the "one thousand and six hundred furlongs" of ver. 20, likewise point to the universality of this awful judgment. Minor fulfilments — presages, predictions, and patterns of the final judgment — of these there have been many and will be many; but in this vintage of vengeance upon the world's sin all are summed up and fulfilled. But will there be any such event at all?

1. Men have ever felt that there ought to be such judgment.

2. And now it is declared that such judgment shall be. Conscience assents to it.

3. Human law and justice strive after right judgment.

4. And the judgments that come now on ungodly nations, communities, and individuals are all in proof.

(S. Conway, B. A.)

I. THE ILLUSTRIOUS PERSONAGE INTENDED. This we conceive to be no other than the Lord Jesus Christ, the exalted Messiah, who, for the suffering of death, was made a little lower than the angels, and is now crowned with glory and honour.

1. His characteristic designation — "The Son of Man." This was the form or similitude He wore. The manhood of Christ is exalted to the throne of Deity.

2. His high exaltation. He is said to be throned on the clouds of heaven, and dignified with the highest honours.

3. The insignia appropriate to His office. He is advanced to the dignity and authority of a king, and therefore is invested with a crown of gold, and a sickle — an emblem of power, answering to a sceptre or sword, but put in this form, as having a relation to the service which was immediately to be performed in reaping the harvest of the earth. These are the regalia of His kingly office.


1. He is seated on a white cloud. On a cloud, to betoken His elevation and empire. On a white cloud, to signify the immaculate purity of His nature, as the Holy One of God; the unimpeachable rectitude of His administrations, transparent as the fleecy vapour of which these visible heavens are composed; and the blessed consequences of His government, when purity shall be universally established, and "white-robed Innocence," returning to our forsaken world, shall take place of fraud and rapine, violence and blood. Furthermore, on this luminous cloud He is said to have been seated, as on a throne, expressing at once the high dignity and perfect repose which He enjoys.

2. On His head was a golden crown. The crown is an emblem of empire and dominion, and a crown of pure gold fitly represents the validity of His title, and the honour and glory by which He is encircled.

3. In His hand there is a sharp sickle. This I apprehend to be an emblem of His judicial authority and retributive vengeance. To Him the Father hath given authority to execute judgment, because He is the Son of Man, and hath put all things into His hands. What havoc and slaughter shall be made by the sharp sickle, with which He is invested, when His irreclaimable enemies shall be made the helpless victims of His inexorable indignation! When the great day of His wrath is come, who shall be able to stand?


1. We infer the high and honourable conceptions we should form and entertain of the Lord Christ.

2. We infer that, "before honour is humility."

3. Let us learn how important it is to ascertain whether we are among the subjects of this exalted Prince.

4. Let us learn to rejoice in the perfection of His administration.

5. Let us learn how terrible will be the final doom of all the enemies of this mighty Prince.

6. If such be the advantages and pleasures connected with the sight and contemplation of a glorified Saviour in this world, what will the beatific vision include? To see Him as He is, without the interposition of any obscuring veil, any dense medium!

(G. Clayton.)

The expression is a singular and, indeed, a striking one.

I. GOD PREPARED THE EARTH FOR HIS SEEDING. Scientific men may wrangle over the ages and order of creation. It is enough for us to know that, at a given time, God had prepared the earth to be the scene of a moral trial for a new race of beings. The farmer cleans, and ploughs, and manures, and harrows, and ridges, his fields, in precise adaptation to the crop that he intends to grow upon it; and earth is the prepared field of God, made ready for His sowing.

II. GOD SEEDS HIS PREPARED EARTH WITH MEN. Scattering the seed all over the earth, that man's probation may be carried on under every varying condition of soil, and landscape, and climate, and relationship. God keeps on seeding the earth with men; every seed with a great possibility in it; every seed set where its possibility may freely unfold, and where the God-provided influences all tend to the nourishment of all its best possibilities. Men, men everywhere are the seed of God. They are quick with Divine life, and sown in the earth to grow into a harvest for God.

III. THE HARVEST GOD SEEKS FROM HIS SEEDING IS CHARACTER. God sows His earth with moral beings, in the hope of reaping moral character. But what is moral character? It is the proper fruitage of the earth-experience of moral beings. But can we understand it a little more fully than that? A moral being is one that can recognise a distinction between good and evil, and, when the distinction is seen, can choose for itself which it will have, the good or the evil. But a moral being must be put into such circumstances as will offer it the choice between good and evil. And substantially the test amounts to this: good is doing what is known to be the will of the Creator: evil is doing the will of the moral being himself, when that is known to be not the will of the Creator. The story of a life is the story of that conflict. It is the growth, through the long months, of God's seed into the "full corn in the ear" of established moral character. It is the unfolding of what God would gather in from His seeding of men, the righteousness of the accepted will of God. One thing only does man take through the great gates — the character that he has gained. It is the full ear that heads the stalk, and ripens for the reaper.

IV. GOD HAS ANXIOUS TIMES WHILE HIS SEED OF MEN IS GROWING INTO HIS HARVEST OF CHARACTER. Every blade that breaks the earth in the farmer's field has to fight for its life with varied foes: insects, worms, mildew, rust, living creatures, varying temperatures, crowding weeds; the growth of every blade to stalk and ear is a hard-won victory. The stalk can do its best, and be its best, only at the cost of unceasing struggle and watchfulness. And the field of earth is but a type of the world of men. Every character is the product of a stern experience, the issue of a hundred fights; a triumph from an unceasing struggle. The problem of each man's dealings with his surroundings — helpful be they, or injurious — God is intensely interested in. He is anxious as the farmer is anxious over his growing blades. The one thing of profoundest interest to God is the making of characters in His great earth-fields. Be it so; then a fact of infinite sadness has to be faced. The issue is disappointing, for God's harvest-hope of reaping character from His sowing of men is only partially fulfilled.

(R. Tuck, B. A.)

I. THE TRUE THEORY OF A GOOD MAN'S LIFE RIPENING FOR THE HARVEST. Did you ask, while you saw the farmer plodding his weary way, what means that sowing? Did you ask, as you saw the wind and the snow fulfilling the word of a higher power, what means the white flake and the rough blast? You have now the plainest answer in the growing of the corn. And if you again inquire, What is it growing for? the harvest will explain that. When the ear has been well filled, and the heat hath ripened and moulded the wheat, and the golden treasures are gathered home amid the reapers' song of joy, and the barns are filled with plenty, the result will sufficiently explain the theory of agricultural toil and of natural influences. And in like manner the growth of the soul explains the moral discipline of life; and the harvest of souls in heaven explains their growth on earth. The days we spend at present are all days of discipline. Now, is this the theory of your life? Are you conscious of such growth and ripening? "No," says some poor, timid, cast-down Christian, "there is no growth, no ripening in me; my heart is as hard and cold as ever it can be." But, are you not conscious of resisting temptation? You cannot deny that you are fighting against sin. H you cannot boast of any good, and have a great deal of evil to lament, still you can conscientiously admit that if you did not make a decided stand you would have a great deal more of evil than you have at present. And is there not hope in that fact — that casting off of evil, and striving and praying and wishing to get rid of spiritual death? — is not that a sign of spiritual life, of spiritual growth, at least in its earliest stage? Thank God, there is hope. It is God working in you; He will not fail to watch over you for your good.

II. THE TRUE THEORY OF DEATH as illustrated by the text. First of all, it is never premature. If the wicked are not cut down until they are ripe for judgment, we cannot believe that God's people are cut down till they are ripe for glory. Fitness for heaven, be it remembered, consists not in the particular state of mind in which a man may happen to be when the death-stroke overtakes him. It does not depend upon his being in a state of religious consciousness. No; it depends upon the habits in previous life, upon the principle of his previous history. Nor shall we be dismissed till we have had full opportunity of doing all that the Master intends us to do. There are different degrees of service, even as there are varied kinds of service. The terms of service are sometimes long and sometimes short. Nor forget that there may be much living to good purpose when the length of life has been very limited. We often measure life by length. Does not God measure it by depth and breadth? We look at quantity, does not He look at quality? The harvest is never premature, and is always carefully gathered in, and nothing lost. There is something very instructive in the signs of careful preparation for the harvest, which are indicated in the text. Before it is commenced, a voice announces the arrival of the time, and the purpose is calmly and deliberately executed. In the death harvest there is no haste and nothing lost. "Of all that the Father hath given Me," said Christ, "have I lost nothing." He is as careful of what there is of value in the soul as of the soul itself. How very apt are we to fancy, when such an one is suddenly cut off, that the great stores of his mind are wasted, that his acquirements by study and discipline are now lose to him. No, no, we may rely upon it, that there is not anything worth carrying into the eternal world that that sanctified soul will leave behind it; not one noble affection but is nobler than it ever was; not one great principle but it is stronger in the soul than ever, not one spiritual habit but it has grown in force, not one true excellence but it excels in beauty. And the harvest gathered in without less is preserved afterwards without loss: "Gather the wheat into My garner." Corn is laid up to be preserved; but that is not all, it is also laid up that it may be used. At the death harvest, the soul is placed for ever beyond the reach of harm. The accidents to which it was exposed while growing, the moral frost, and blight, and mildew, and the blast of the lightning, they are all among the former things, and have passed away. But the soul is preserved where it will be of greater use than it ever was. The best use of the corn comes when it is cut. All before was subordinate usefulness, beautifying the landscape and furnishing subjects for poets and painters; but when it is cut, it feeds and sustains the nations. So the best use of the soul and its acquirements will be in heaven, not here.

(J. Stoughton.)

Babylon, Mount Zion, Patmos
Ears, Harpers, Harping, Harpists, Harps, Harp-singers, Heaven, Instruments, Loud, Music, Peal, Players, Playing, Resembled, Roar, Rushing, Thunder, Voice, Waters
1. The Lamb standing on Mount Zion with his company.
6. An angel preaches the gospel.
8. The fall of Babylon.
15. The harvest of the world.
20. The winepress of the wrath of God.

Dictionary of Bible Themes
Revelation 14:2

     4852   thunder

Revelation 14:1-3

     1655   hundreds and thousands

Revelation 14:1-4

     8204   chastity

Revelation 14:1-5

     4442   firstfruits
     8278   innocence, teaching on

Revelation 14:2-3

     5332   harp

The Approval of the Spirit
TEXT: "Yea, saith the Spirit."--Rev. 14:31. The world has had many notable galleries of art in which we have been enabled to study the beautiful landscape, to consider deeds of heroism which have made the past illustrious, in which we have also read the stories of saintly lives; but surpassing all these is the gallery of art in which we find the text. Humanly speaking John is the artist while he is an exile on the Island of Patmos in the Aegean Sea. The words he uses and the figures he presents
J. Wilbur Chapman—And Judas Iscariot

The Declensions of Christianity, an Argument of Its Truth.
"When the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?" That the coming of the Son of man, is here intended of Christ's coming at the commencement of the latter day glory, hath been alleged in the preceding discourse, and several considerations adduced in proof. Additional evidence will arise from a view of the prophecies relative to the great declensions which were to take place in the church, during the gospel day. These, we observed, are of two kinds, one, a corruption of religion,
Andrew Lee et al—Sermons on Various Important Subjects

Heavenly Worship
"Up to her courts, with joys unknown, The sacred tribes repaired." Between the wings of the cherubim Jehovah dwelt; on the one altar there all the sacrifices were offered to high heaven. They loved Mount Sion, and often did they sing, when they drew nigh to her, in their annual pilgrimages, "How amiable are thy tabernacles O Lord God of hosts, my King and my God!" Sion is now desolate; she hath been ravished by the enemy; she hath been utterly destroyed; her vail hath been rent asunder, and the virgin
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 3: 1857

20TH DAY. Bliss in Dying.
"He is Faithful that Promised." "Blessed are the dead that die in the Lord."--REV. xiv. 13. Bliss in Dying. My Soul! is this blessedness thine in prospect? Art thou ready, if called this night to lie down on thy death-pillow, sweetly to fall asleep in Jesus? What is the sting of death? It is sin. Is death, then, to thee, robbed of its sting, by having listened to the gracious accents of pardoning love, "Be of good cheer, thy sins, which are many, are all forgiven thee?" If thou hast made up thy
John Ross Macduff—The Faithful Promiser

Wherefore Also the virgins of God Without Blame Indeed...
49. Wherefore also the virgins of God without blame indeed, "follow the Lamb whithersoever He shall have gone," both the cleansing of sins being perfected, and virginity being kept, which, were it lost, could not return: but, because that same Apocalypse itself, wherein such unto one such were revealed, in this also praises them, that "in their mouth there was not found a lie:" [2205] let them remember in this also to be true, that they dare not say that they have not sin. Forsooth the same John,
St. Augustine—Of Holy Virginity.

Let the Inner Ear of the virgin Also...
24. Let the inner ear of the virgin also, thy holy child, hear these things. I shall see [2284] how far she goes before you in the Kingdom of That King: it is another question. Yet ye have found, mother and daughter, Him, Whom by beauty of chastity ye ought to please together, having despised, she all, you second, marriage. Certainly if there were husbands whom ye had to please, by this time, perhaps, you would feel ashamed to adorn yourself together with your daughter; now let it not shame you,
St. Augustine—On the Good of Widowhood.

Letter Xlix to Romanus, Sub-Deacon of the Roman Curia.
To Romanus, Sub-Deacon of the Roman Curia. He urges upon him the proposal of the religious life, recalling the thought of death. Bernard, Abbot of Clairvaux, to his dear Romanus, as to his friend. MY DEAREST FRIEND, How good you are to me in renewing by a letter the sweet recollection of yourself and in excusing my tiresome delay. It is not possible that any forgetfulness of your affection could ever invade the hearts of those who love you; but, I confess, I thought you had almost forgotten yourself
Saint Bernard of Clairvaux—Some Letters of Saint Bernard, Abbot of Clairvaux

Whether virginity is the Greatest of virtues?
Objection 1: It would seem that virginity is the greatest of virtues. For Cyprian says (De Virgin. [*De Habitu Virg.]): "We address ourselves now to the virgins. Sublime is their glory, but no less exalted is their vocation. They are a flower of the Church's sowing, the pride and ornament of spiritual grace, the most honored portion of Christ's flock." Objection 2: Further, a greater reward is due to the greater virtue. Now the greatest reward is due to virginity, namely the hundredfold fruit, according
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

The Glory of the virgins and Religious.
Here are two other bright throngs that present themselves. They are the holy Virgins and the Religious. Let us first contemplate the bright glory of the virgins. I quote again from the Apocalypse: "And I heard a great voice from heaven. . . . And the voice which I heard was as the voice of harpers, harping upon their harps. And they sang as it were a new canticle before the throne. . . . And no man could say that canticle but those hundred and forty-four thousand. These are they who were not defiled
F. J. Boudreaux—The Happiness of Heaven

Naked or Clothed?
'As he came forth of his mother's womb, naked shall he return to go as he came, and shall take nothing of his labour, which he may carry away in his hand.'--ECCLES. v. 15. '... Their works do follow them.'--REV. xiv. 13. It is to be observed that these two sharply contrasted texts do not refer to the same persons. The former is spoken of a rich worldling, the latter of 'the dead who die in the Lord.' The unrelieved gloom of the one is as a dark background against which the triumphant assurance of
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Ripe for Gathering
'Thus hath the Lord God shewed unto me: and behold a basket of summer fruit. 2. And He said, Amos, what seest thou? And I said, A basket of summer fruit. Then said the Lord unto me, The end is come upon My people of Israel; I will not again pass by them any more. 3. And the songs of the temple shall be howlings in that day, saith the Lord God: there shall be many dead bodies in every place; they shall cast them forth with silence. 4. Hear this, O ye that swallow up the needy, even to make the poor
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Which Sentence Dishonoreth the Holy Martyrs, Nay Rather Taketh Away Holy Martyrdoms Altogether. ...
3. Which sentence dishonoreth the holy Martyrs, nay rather taketh away holy martyrdoms altogether. For they would do more justly and wisely, according to these men, not to confess to their persecutors that they were Christians, and by confessing make them murderers: but rather by telling a lie, and denying what they were, should both themselves keep safe the convenience of the flesh and purpose of the heart, and not allow those to accomplish the wickedness which they had conceived in their mind.
St. Augustine—Against Lying

Therefore, if we Compare the Things Themselves, we May no Way Doubt that The...
28. Therefore, if we compare the things themselves, we may no way doubt that the chastity of continence is better than marriage chastity, whilst yet both are good: but when we compare the persons, he is better, who hath a greater good than another. Further, he who hath a greater of the same kind, hath also that which is less; but he, who only hath what is less, assuredly hath not that which is greater. For in sixty, thirty also are contained, not sixty also in thirty. But not to work from out that
St. Augustine—On the Good of Marriage

Letter Lii to Another Holy virgin.
To Another Holy Virgin. Under a religious habit she had continued to have a spirit given up to the world, and Bernard praises her for coming to a sense of her duty; he exhorts her not to neglect the grace given to her. 1. It is the source of great joy to me to hear that you are willing to strive after that true and perfect joy, which belongs not to earth but to heaven; that is, not to this, vale of tears, but to that city of God which the rivers of the flood thereof make glad (Ps. xlvi. 4). And in
Saint Bernard of Clairvaux—Some Letters of Saint Bernard, Abbot of Clairvaux

A Treatise of the Fear of God;
SHOWING WHAT IT IS, AND HOW DISTINGUISHED FROM THAT WHICH IS NOT SO. ALSO, WHENCE IT COMES; WHO HAS IT; WHAT ARE THE EFFECTS; AND WHAT THE PRIVILEGES OF THOSE THAT HAVE IT IN THEIR HEARTS. London: Printed for N. Ponder, at the Peacock in the Poultry, over against the Stocks market: 1679. ADVERTISEMENT BY THE EDITOR. "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom," and "a fountain of life"--the foundation on which all wisdom rests, as well as the source from whence it emanates. Upon a principle
John Bunyan—The Works of John Bunyan Volumes 1-3

Appendix the Daughters of Jerusalem
The question is frequently asked, Who are represented by the daughters of Jerusalem? They are clearly not the bride, yet they are not far removed from her. They know where the Bridegroom makes His flock to rest at noon; they are charged by the Bridegroom not to stir up nor awaken His love when she rests, abiding in Him; they draw attention to the Bridegroom as with dignity and pomp He comes up from the wilderness; their love-gifts adorn His chariot of state; they are appealed to by the bride for
J. Hudson Taylor—Union and Communion

Vanity of Human Glory.
"The world knoweth us not, because it knew Him not."--1 John iii. 1 Of St. Simon and St. Jude, the Saints whom we this day commemorate, little is known[1]. St. Jude, indeed, still lives in the Church in his Catholic epistle; but of his history we only know that he was brother to St. James the Less, and nearly related to our Lord and that, like St. Peter, he had been a married man. Besides his name of Jude or Judas, he is also called Thaddaeus and Lebbaeus in the Gospels. Of St. Simon we only
John Henry Newman—Parochial and Plain Sermons, Vol. VIII

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