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Epistle to the]
REVELATION. [Church of Philadelphia. to die : for I have not found thy works he that hath the key of David, he that perfect before God.
openeth, and no man shutteth; and 3 Remember therefore how thou shutteth, and no man openeth ; hast received and heard, and hold fast, 8 I know thy works: behold, I bare and repent. If therefore thou shalt set before thee an open door, and ni not watch, I will come on thee as a man can shut it: for thou hast a little thief, and thou shalt not know what strength, and hast kept my word, and hour I will come upon thee.
hast not denied my name. 4 Thou hast a few names even in 9 Behold, I will make them of the Sardis which have not defiled their synagogue of Satan, which say they garments; and they shall walk with me are Jews, and are not, but do lie; in white : for they are worthy. behold, I will make them to come and
5 He that overcometh, the same worship before thy feet, and to know shall be clothed in white raiment; and that I have loved thee. I will not blot out his name out of the 10 Because thou hast kept the word book of life; but I will confess his name of my patience, I also will keep thee before my Father, and before his from the hour of temptation, which angels.
shall come upon all the world, to try Ő He that hath an ear, let him them that dwell upon the earth. hear what the Spirit saith unto the 11 Behold, I come quickly : beld churebes.
that fast which thou hast, that no man 7 And to the angel of the church take thy crown. in Philadelphia write; These things 12 Himn that overcometh will I saith he that is holy, he that is true, make a pillar in the temple of my
EXPOSITION—Chap. II. Continued. God often sends afliction to bring him stood all mysteries," as St. Paul saitá back again. And if any of our family idols (1 Cor. xiii. 2), but “had not charity;" have been taken from us, it is not only they boasted tbeir acquaintance with " our duty to submit (for that we must do), deep things of God," which they perverter but also to return to the only ohject whom and abused to the " depths of Satan." The we can love without the danger of excess. sect of Gnostics (or knowing oues, as the He " whose eyes are as a flame of fire,” word means) is not yet extinct; and a may “ kill our children," to save boih have seen, with much pain, the pleasure their souls and ours. We shall never know which such persons take in supposing all the advantages of our afflictions in the themselves wiser than their fellow Christpresent state : and woe unto those who ians—that is, generally, in being "1s are spared in this life, to be punished in above what is written."' It is not, boxanother!
ever, speculation, but faith and obedience But some of these members of the only, that can gain the victory; but he the church of Thyatira were, it seems, so little overcometh shall be exalted to a throue, and sensible of their degeneracy, that they to a kingdom, like bis Lord and Master. boasted of their attainments : they" under
NOTES-Chap. III. Cor. Ver. 3. Come on thee as a thief.-See 1 Thess. v. Ver. 7. He that is koly, ke that is truc-pott, 1-7.
* The Holy one, the True One"The kry Ver. 4. A few names-i. e. names enrolled in the David. - This represents the Saviour as steward of book of life-verse 5.-Shall walk with me in the family of God. See Isa. xxii. 29; Heb. i. !, a white.- White robes were constantly worn on occa- Ver. 8. An open door-- That is, have giren thee ! sions of festivity, joy, or victory.
sphere of usefulness which none can hinder. Ver. 5. I will not blot.- Daddr, says, " I think Ver. 9. Synagogue of Satan-i.c, unbelieving and this plainly implies, that some names shall be blotted out from the book of life ; and, consequently, as
persecating Jews. See chap. ii. 9. — Worship be
fore thy fret—that is, to acknowledge my protecio nothing can occasion an alteration of the decrees of ing hand over thee. God, I think it proves that the book of life does not Ver. 12. A pittar_That is, be shall bare signify the catalogue of those whom God has abso
abiding residence in God's temple abore, sed for lutely purposed to save. - 1 will confess his name. ever remain a monoment of his grace. The Ne - Compare Matt. x. 32.
Jerusalem. See Gal. iv. 26; Heb. si. 10–16.
Epistle to the]
CHAP. III. [Church of Laodicea. God, and he shall go no more out: him my new name. and I will write upon him the name 13 He that hath an ear, let him of my God, and the name of the city hear what the Spirit saith unto the of my God, which is new Jerusalem, churches. (E) shich cometh down out of heaven 14 | And untu the angel of the rom my God : and I will write upon church of the Laodiceans write; These
get comfort under our declensions; but to (E) Ver. 1-13. Epistles to the Churches recover those views and sensations, which
Sardis and Philadelphia.–Sardis was we had at the beginning of our Christian he ancient seat of Cresus and the Lydian course. ... ings, but is now a beggarly village, called "" The few names which had not defiled jart, in which seven Christians only were their garments,' are highly commended. ounted a few years ago, and they were not To walk with God at any time is accepta llowed to build a church on the site of able to him ; aod to do this, while others he ancient city, but built one on the plain around us are corrupt, is more so. This is djacent, where they keep a priest, and being faithful among the faithless. They lave sometimes collected forty hearers. shall walk with Christ in glory, honour, It the time in which this Epistle was ad. and purity. With this agrees the promise Tressed to them, they are described as to them that overcome : . They shall be eing dead wbile they lived, which is the clothed in white raiment; and Christ will escription St. Paul gives of those who live not blot out their names from the book of a pleasure, which was probably the case life. The blessed God is represented as vith the inhabitants of this city generally; keeping a register of his servants ; not as od partially, with respect to the church elect, nor as redeemed, nor as called; but tself. “ It is bad for the world to be dead as bis professed followers. When any turn says Mr. Fuller); but for the church to be back, their names are blotted out: hence, o is worse : this is salt without savour; at the last judgment, it is made the rule of yhich is neith er fit for the land, nor the condemnation. Whosoever was not found lunghill. It is bad for individuals to be written in the book of life, was cast into lead; but for the hody of a church to be the lake of fire.' Some were never there, 0, is deplorable. It is implied, that they having never professed to be the followers vere not only destitute of spirituality, but of Jesus; while others, who had been ad defiled their garments by worldly con- there, were blotted out: in either case, ormity.
their names would not be found there. " There had been some good amongst Hence, also, it is the rule of admission hem, or they would not have been called into the New Jerusalem." (See chap. XX.
remember how they had received and 15 ; xxi. 27.) So far Mr. Fuller. eard ;' and some remains of it might con- But we hasten to the church of Philanue. As no complaint is made of false delphia, of which all that is said is comoctrine, it is likely they continued ortho. mendatory, uomingled with censure or re?x, and kept up the forms of godliness. proof. Yet even these are warned to exe here seems to bave been something of pect trials and temptations; and guarded ath, love, and zeal ; but they were, like against supineness and neglect." Behold, ving embers, ready to expire.
I come quickly : hold fast that thou hast, "Christ admonished them to wake from that no man take thy crown." There is eir supineness, to take the alarm, and to no state to which we may attain in the prerengthen the things which remained that sent life, that does not require watchful, ere ready to die. This is done by each ness and prayer. ginning with himself. ...... The means
recovery from such a state are, • Reembering how we received and heard' The address to the church of Philadele gospel at the firsi. [We should] call phia is the only one of the seven epistles remembrance the former days, not to wholly commendatory, without reproof or
NOTES. ler. 14. Church of the Laodiceans.-Marg." in the creation.-So Dr. Pye Smith, Messiah it
. 682, dicea." -The beginning Marg. “chiel"-of See Note on Col. i. 15.
[and invitation things saith the Amen, the faithful and mayest be clothed, and that the shape true witness, the beginning of the of thy nakedness do not appear; and creation of God ;
anoint thine eyes with eye-salve, that 15 I know thy works, that thou art thou mayest see. neither cold nor hot: I would thou 19 As many as I love, I rebuke were cold or hot.
and chasten: be zealous therefore, and 16 So then because thou art luke- repent. warm, and neither cold nor hot, I will 20 Behold, I stand at the door, and spue thee out of my mouth.
knock: if any man hear my voice
, 17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and open the door, I will come in to and increased with goods, and have him, and will sup with him, and be need of nothing; and knowest not that with me. thou art wretched, and miserable, and 21 To him that overcometh wil poor, and blind, and naked :
I grant to sit with me in my 18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold throne, even as I also overcame, ani tried in the fire, that thou mayest be am set down with my father in his rich; and white raiment, that thou throne.
EXPOSITION—Chap. III. Continued. censure. None of our readers, perhaps, was the case with those of the first and se need be told, that the Philadelphia here cond temple, in the days of Nebuchadnetmentioned is not the capital of North Ame- zar and the Romans : so, figuratively, sa rica ; but a Greek city, so called, because less a pillar in the church thao Peter, onu built by Attalus Philadelphus. It is si- gave way; and those who did not, wenn tuated at the foot of mount Tmolis, about all removed by death. But when planted 27 miles from Sardis; and was, prior to in the New Jerusalem, they " shall gato St. John's time, terribly shaken by earth- more out” for ever.–2. They are most. quakes. It was the last of these cities that mental pillars, and inscribed with“Grare, fell into the hands of the Turks; and has Grace," on every side. “ I will write a now more remains of Christianity than him the vame of my God of the ciye either of the others. The Rev. Mr. Lind- my God-and my new pame;" all which say, who visited it in 1816, says, there are expressions of the goodness and merry were “ about 1000 Christians in it, chiefly of God to sinners. The inscription of these Greeks, who, for the most part, speak only names doubtless implies the enrolment es Turkish :" also, “ 25 places of Worship, the conquerors as citizens of the heavens five of which are large regular churches. world; and a record of their victory, ", br To these there is a regular bishop, with the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of 20 inferior clergy." * Mr. L. gave them a their testimony." modern Greek Testament, which thankfully received, and considered as a “ Who then shall conquer ? Who maintain the fight treasure. (See Orient. Lit. No. 1553.)
Even they who walk by faith, and not by sight; The promise of being made pillars in
Who, having wash'd their robes, and made then God's temple of the New Jerusalem, im
white, plies two ideas :-1. Their firmness and stability. On carth, the strongest pillars Press toward the mark, and see the promis 'd lusi, may give way; some conqueror may over- Not dim and distantly, but near at band.” turn the building, and carry them off, as
NOTES-Chap. III. Con. - Ver. 16. I will spue.- Doddr. “ cast.” Woodh. Ver. 20. Sup-"The kingdom of Christ is described * pauseate.”
as a feast. He is the bridegroom, and bis servant Ver. 18. I cotinsel thee to buy.-See Isa. lv. 1, 4. sit in his house to a late hour, waiting his arrival,
-Gold tried in the fire.-See ] Peter i. 7. -And when returning from the wedding, according white ruiment" which is the righteousness of the Eastern custom, he knocketh, and they open to his saints." Chap. xix. 8.
and he maketh
them sit down to eat. Woode. Ver. 19. As many as I love.- Compare Heb. xii. See Luke sii. 30, &c. 5-12,
A door opened
[in heaven, 22 He that hath an ear, let him as it were of a trumpet talking with hear what the Spirit saith unto the me; which said, Come up hither, and churches. (F)
I will shew thee things which must be
hereafter. CHAP. IV.
2 And immediately I was in the
Spirit: and, behold, a throne was set AFTER this I looked, and, behold, in heaven, and one sat on the throne.
a door was opened in heaven : 3 And he that sat was to look upon and the first voice which I heard was like a jasper and a sardine stone : and
EXPOSITION. (F) Ver. 14-22. Epistle to the Church gious ...... No man thinks the worse of of Laodicea.--This church, and that of religion for what he sees in the openly proColosse, were, in the time of St. Paul, sis- fane ; but it is otherwise in respect of reter churches (Col. ii. 1), and, it has been ligious professors. If he that nameth supposed were, in St. John's time, united. the name of Christ depart not from iniquity, The city of Laodicea bordered on the river the honour of Christ is affected by his misLycus, and had been before, and was, pro- conduct." bably, in St. Jobn's time, rich and Aourish- These men, however, it appears, were ing; so completely, however, have been wealthy and proud, and (as often is the fulfilled the awful threatenings of the Chief case with such) witbal very ignorant. and Head of God's creation, in case of their With such men to be rich, is almost every not repenting (as they evidently did not)thing which they can desire; but with that, of the city nothing remains but ruins, Christ it is, on the other hand, a great imand of Christianity, not a vestige.“ The pediment to happiness. “ How hardly prayers of the mosque (says Mr. Lindsay) shall they that have riches enter into the are the only prayers heard near the ruins kingdom of God!" (Mark x. 23.) of Laodicea, on which the threat seems Difficult as this is, however, it is not to have been fully executed, iu its utter impossible. Let but a man be convinced rejection as
a church.” (Orient. Lit. of his spiritual poverty and wretchednessNo. 1554. See also Miss. Reg. 1827, p. 296.) that he is miserable and blind and naked
Oar attention is here called to the awful avd here is the offer of the true gold to evstate of this church, and to the offers of rich him, white raiment to clothe him, and mercy here made to them.
mental eye-salve to open the eyes of his 1. As the Philadelphian church was com- understanding. Nor is tbis all: these mended without an 'abating circumstance, blessiugs are not only offered, but urged. so is the Laodicean church censured with: “ Behold, I stand at the door and knock : out a circumstance of palliation. It is de- if any man shall hear my voice, and open scribed as lukewarm, neither hot nor cold; the door, I will come in unto him and sup and, therefore, nauseating as an emetic with him.” When Christ comes to be a This is the charge of " the faithful and guest, he always brings bis provisions with true witness." Mr. Fuller remarks, “ They him, and therefore it is added, “ And he may be said to be cold who have no reli- with me:" in which it is evident enough, gion, and pretend to none; and they to be that he alludes to the enjoyment of the hot, who are zealously engaged in Christ's heavenly state. “ To him that overwork: but these people were neither this cometh,” it is added, “ will I grant to sit por that. They were not decidedly reli- with me on my throne, even as I also overgious, and yet would not let religion came, and am set down with my Father on lone." Like Israel in the days of Elijah, his throne.” Here is counsel!-here is bey were halting between two opinions. warning !-here is encouragement!—“He 'To halt between truth and error, God that hath an ear to hear, let him hear what ind the world (continues Mr. F.), is worse, the Spirit saith unto the churcbes !" n many respects, than to be openly irreli.
CHAP. IV. Ver. 1. The first voice, The Greek
wards.” Woodh. “ must happen after these."
3. A jasper and a sardine stone.-The jasper, according to Woodlouse, is a pellucid gem, variously
A vision of ]
[the celestial ekrome. there was a rainbow round about man, and the fourth beast was like a the throne, in sight like unto an fying eagle. emerald.
8 And the four beasts had each of 4 And round about the throne were them six wings about him; and they four and twenty seats: and upon the were full of eyes within : and they seats I saw four and twenty elders rest not day and night, saying, Hols
, sitting, clothed in white raiment; and holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which they had on their heads crowns of was, and is, and is to come. gold.
9 And when those beasts give glory 5 And out of the throne proceeded and honour and thanks to him that sat lightnings and thunderings and voices : on the throne, who liveth for ever and and there were seven lamps of fire erer, burning before the throne, which are 10 The four and twenty elders fal the seven Spirits of God.
down before him that sat on the throne, 6 And before the throne there was and worship him that liveth for ever a sea of glass like unto crystal : and and ever, and cast their crowns before in the midst of the throne, and round the throne, saying, about the throne, were four beasts, full 11 Thou art worthy, O Lord, to of eyes before and behind.
receive glory and honour and power: 7 And the first beast was like a for thou hast created all things, and lion, and the second beast like a calf, for thy pleasure they are and were and the third beast had a face as a created. (G)
xii. 2), we cannot tell, and perhaps be (G) Ver. 1-1. Vision of the celestial could uot. The scene was, however, irthrone, and the worshippers around it.-A effably sublime and magnificent, strongly grand scene presents itself before us : a door resembling the visions of Isaiah, chap. vi, is opened in heaven-a trumpet sounds the and the opening of the prophecy of Ezekiel invitation, and the Divine is instantly A throne of infinite magnificence is seen wrapped in prophetic vision, and carried in beaven, and One is seated thereon. le up to heaven-whether “ in the body or other instances, a glorious human ferm out of the body” (as St. Paul says, 2 Cor. appears, no doubt meaning the Son of God,
NOTES-Chap. IV. Con. coloured; and the sardine, of a fiery tinge; the eme- have parts and appearances which beasts bases rald is of a green hue. A rainbow round about.A rainbow is always considered as a semicircle
[as wings, &c. , and are represented as in the big best
sense rational." Pull of eyes before and bedist. which here mast be supposed to surround the throne Ver. 7. The first beast (living creature) was het as a glory.
a lion.-Some of the Rabbies (as Aben Ezra) bare Ver. 4. Round about the throne-i. e, round the represented the form of these creatures as borrower front of it: go, when we speak of surrounding the from the standards of the camp of Israel; but of throue of a prince, the chair of a public teacher, or this, Mr. Lowman thinks there is very little evithe bed of a siek friend, we never mean behind dence (as does also Dr. Woodbouse); And Witsist them.-- Seats.--Doddr. " thrones." These, as we thinks the notion is ridiculous. Like a calfunderstand it, formed a semicircle in front of the Woodh. " a steer, or young bullock;" which last throne, but of course below it.
is unquestionably the true meaning. See Schlessery Ver. 5. Lamps of fire-Not lamp-bearers, as in Ver. 8. Each of them six wings about bim -D chap. i. 12, but the lights themselves. The seven Woodhouse alters the punctuation thus : " And the spirits of God.-See chap. i. 4.
four living creatures, having each of them six wiars, Ver. 6. A sea of glass. - This we suppose to have are full of eyes around and within." And they been in the area, between the throne and the wor. rest not.-Marg. " have no rest;" 1. c. they are per shipping hosts in front. Dr. Woodhouse supposes petually moving (as is usual with winged creatures! this an allusion to the brazen sea in the court of and continually praising --Hoiy, Aoly, kety, &c. temple, and that it represented the purifying efficacy -See Isa. vi. 2, 3, and Exposition. of the blood of Christ. Compare chap. xv. 2. Ibid. Four beasts.- Doddr. and Woodb. "living tures) give glory, ......... the elders fall down
Ver. 9, 10. And when those brasts ! or living cred creatures. The former says, “ It was a most un. happy mistake in our translators, to render the word Christian
conquerors are exalted upon thrases, they (204) beasts. The word beast not only degrades are to be considered only as tributary princes, fent the signification, but the animals here mentioned ing all their bonours at the
feet of tbeir Redeezer.