Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw.

Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.

[a]John to the seven Churches which are in Asia, Grace be with you, and peace [b]from him, [c]Which (A)is, and Which was, and Which is to come, and from [d]the [e]seven Spirits which are before his Throne,

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  1. Revelation 1:4 This is the particular or singular inscription wherein salutation is written unto certain Churches by name, which represent the Church Catholic: and the certainty and the truth of the same is declared, from the Author thereof, unto the eighth verse.
  2. Revelation 1:4 That is, from God the Father, eternal, immortal, immutable: whose unchangeableness S. John declareth by a form of speech which is undeclined. For there is no incongruity in this place, where, of necessity the words must be attempted unto the mysteries, not the mysteries corrupted or impaired by the word.
  3. Revelation 1:4 By these three times, Is, Was and shall be, is signified this word Jehovah, which is the proper name of God.
  4. Revelation 1:4 That is, from the holy Ghost which proceedeth from the Father and the Son. This Spirit is one in person according to his subsistence: but in communication of his virtue, and in demonstration of his divine works in those seven Churches, doth so perfectly manifest himself, as if there were many Spirits, every one perfectly working in his own Church, wherefore after Rev. 5:6, they are called the seven horns and seven eyes of the Lamb, as much to say, as his most absolute power and wisdom: and Rev. 3:1. Christ is said to have there seven Spirits of God, and Rev. 4:5, it is said, that seven lamps do burn before his throne, which also are those seven Spirits of God. That this place ought to be so understood, it is thus proved. For first grace and peace is asked by prayer of this Spirit, which is a divine work, and an action incommunicable, in respect of the most high Deity. Secondly, he is placed between the Father and the Son, as set in the same degree of dignity and operation with them. Besides he is before the throne as of the same substance with the Father and the Son: as the seven eyes and seven horns of the Lamb. Moreover, these spirits are never said to adore God, as all other things are. Finally, that is the power whereby the Lamb opened the book, and loosed the seven seals thereof when none could be found amongst all creatures by whom the book might be opened, Rev. 5. Of these things long ago, Master John Luide of Oxford wrote learnedly unto me. Now the holy Ghost is set in order of words before Christ, because there was in that which followeth, a long process of speech to be used concerning Christ.
  5. Revelation 1:4 These are the seven spirits, which are, afterward, Rev. 5:6, called the horns and eyes of the Lamb, and are now made as a guard waiting upon God.