Page images

church. It is a kingdom of great power and glory, yet not after the fashion of this world; for it is neither acquired nor preserved by arms. It is not founded on worldly policy, over which it is destined to prevail. It is the stone of Daniel's vision, which, cut out of the mountain without hands, breaks to pieces the kingdoms of the world, miraculously increasing till it fills the whole earth.

" And the king“ dom and dominion, and the greatness of the king“ dom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the “people of the saints of the Most High, whose king“ dom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions “shall serve and obey him*.”

Ver. 28. The morning star.] A star is a teachers; Ú while our Lord is eminently such ; and such he intitles himself

in ch. xxii. 16. ô 23THỌ Azumos Mai ogeuvos, “the shi

ning and morning star.” As such he was foretold intra

in Numbers, xxiv. 17; and a star, in the eastern and 41. 'morning quarter of the hemisphere, preceded his

As this star, seen by the wise men, sige nified to them his first coming; so by the star, promised in this passage, we must probably understand the signs denoting his second coming; a knowledge of “ the mysteries of the kingdom of hea

ven ,” and of its approach in power. Saint Peter,

speaking of prophecy, whose office it is in part ./../? to reveal these mysteries, recommends us to attend

diligently to this light shining in a dark place,” until some

clearer manifestation shall be revealed; εως 8, ημερα διαυγασε και Φωςφορος ανατελη εν ταις mcpdiccis wv, until the day shine forth, and the day

birth I.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

* Dan. vii. 27. See the note, ch. ii. 7. and the Scriptures there quoted. This reign of the saints is again described in ch. xix. 15. + See note, ch. i. 16. Matt. ii. 2. $Matt. xiii, 2.

star 12.!

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Leidene ste dage


[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


60712nenlerenduse: mida someon. ihr 10the vegade of the book fosse, te la Ch. ii. 18-29.]

77 ,

porno star (or morning star, for so it should be translated,). shall rise in your hearts : until that time, when the prophetical information, imperfect in its nature, be- Virusi ing “ done away,” that perfect knowledge shall suc- . ceed, which is like knowing “ face to face *.” But beside this time of perfect consummation to which

( both these apostles may be thought principally to refer, there is a time promised when the Divine Power shall remove the veil spread over all nations t,” he and the earth “ be filled with the knowledge of the lenicem, a

glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea [." I. This glorious and extensive reign of Christ and of his level? religion, is the subject of many sublime prophecies, and is copiously prefigured in the sequel of this viis book. To those, whether they be churches or individuals, who, in full assurance of faith, resist the temptations, and surmount the difficulties of their Christian warfare, looking forward to the accomplishment of the divine promises with spiritual discern- fi ment, to such shall be granted the dawnings and first on??..!!! light of these happy times; they shall see them, though afar off ş; and seeing, they shall rejoice |!; and this joy no one shall take from them f.

[ocr errors]

* 1 Cor. xiii. 10. & 12.

Heb. xi, 13.

+ Is. xxv. 7.
ll John viii, 56,

Hab. ii. 14.
John xvi. 22.




The Address to the Church in Sardis.

1 Και των αγγέλω της

έν Σάρδεσιν έκκλησίας γράψουν Τάδε λέγει ο έχων τα έπια σιεύματα τ8 Θεέ, και τες inlà ásépaese Oide

τα έργα, ότι όνομα έχεις, ότι

Sæs, rj vexpòs i. 2 ring yonogã, ry

σήριξoν τα λοιπά, ,
α μέλλει αποθανείν
& γαρ εύρηκα σε τα
έρα τσεπληρωμένα

ενώπιον τε Θεέ με. . 3 Μνημόνευε έν, πως

ελληφας και ήκισας, και τηρεί, και μελαγόησον εαν εν μη γρη ορήσης, ήξω έπι Gè és miams, xe και μη γνως, ποίαν

ügay nimi oi. 4 'Αλλ' έχεις ολίγα

ονόμαλα εν Σάρδεσιτ. . & εκ έμόλυναν τα μάτια αυτών, και, σεριπατήσεσι μετ'

έμα εν λευκοίς· ότι 5 dlžuolion. 'Ovxv,

έτος περιβαλείται έν έμαθίοις λευκούς:

CHAP. iii. VER. 1-6. 1 And to the angel of 1 And unto the angel

the Church in Sardis of the Church in Sarwrite: Thus saith he dis, write, These things who hath the seven

saith he that hath the Spirits of God, and seven Spirits of God, the seven

stars. I and the seven stars; know thy works, that I know thy works, that thou hast a name,

that thou hast a name, that thou livest, and thou thou livest; and art 2 art dead. Be watch 2 dead. Be watchful and

ful, and strengthen strengthen the things the things remaining, which remain, that are which are about to ready to die: for I die; for I have not have not found thy found thy works per works perfect before

fect before my God. 3 God. Remember there3 Remember therefore fore how thou hast re

how thou hast received ceived and heard, and and heard, and hold hold fast, and repent. fast, and

If therefore thou shalt if thou shalt not be not watch, I will come watchful, I will come on thee as a thief, upon thee, as a thief; and thou shalt not and thou shalt not know what hour I will know at what hour I

4 come upon thee. Thou shall come upon thee.

hast a few names even 4 But thou hast a few in Sardis, which have

names in Sardis, which not defiled their garhave not defiled their ments; and they shall garments; and they walk with me in white: shall walk with me in for they are worthy. white, for they are 5 He that overcometh, worthy. He that over the

shall be

repent. For


και ε μή εξαλείψω το όνομα αυτά εκ τα βίτλο της ζωής, , και ομολογήσω το όνομα αυτά εσώπιον το σαθρός με, και

ενώπιον των αγγέλων 6 xútg. 'o iyawo es,

ακεσάτων, τι το σνεύμα λέγει ταϊς εκκλησίαις. .

cometh, the same shall
be clothed in white
raiment; and I will
not blot out his name
from the book of life ;
and I will confess his
name before my Fa-

ther, and before his
6 Angels. He that hath

an ear, let him hear
what the Spirit saith
unto the churches.

clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot vut his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Fa

ther, and before his 6 angels. He that hath

an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saitha unto the churches.

Ver. 1. Sardis.] Sardis, situated on the Pactolus, the ancient seat of Cresus, and of the Lydian kings, was proverbially the seat of Riches. This city had suffered grievously by an earthquake some time before the date of this vision; but, by the bounty of Tiberius Cæsar, had been restored to splendour *. Sardis possessed, from its natural situation, extraordinary means of acquiring riches. But riches are corruptive, and are apt to lead to that supineness in religion, and profligacy in morals, which in this epistle are so severely rebuked.

Sardis is now no more than a village. An ancient Christian church supplies the Turks, who inhabit it, with a mosque.

The few Christians (if such they may be called) who still continue there, are represented to have neither Church nor minister.

Ib. The seven Spirits of God.] See note, ch. i. 4.
Ib. The seven Stars.] See note, ch. i. 16.
Ib. Name.] Character or reputation.

Ib. That thou livest, and thou art dead.] In the same figurative language, our Lord coinmanded his Strabo ii. p. 931.


disciples to “ let the dead bury their dead *.” The word vergos, a dead body, is used in its metaphorical sense ; dead,as Saint Paul expresses it, “in tres

passes and sins; alienated from the life of God 7." The same metaphor occurs frequently in Scripture. A person living in the defilements of the world, in whom the spiritual life in Christ hath little or no vigour, is said to be “ dead while he liveth ;” as, on the contrary, of him who meets death in the discharge of his Christian duty, it is pronounced, that “ he liveth, though he die .” " The use of this me

taphor has been so common with the Jews, that, as “ Maimonides informs usỹ, they proverbially say,

Impii etiam viventes vocantur mortui, The wicked are dead, even while they are alive; for he, saith “ Philo l, who lives a life of sin, tedyYXE TOV Eudaimove, “is dead as to a life of happiness: his soul is dead, “and even buried in his lusts and passions. And “ because the whole Gentile world lay more especially "under these unhappy circumstances, whence the "apostle styles them sinners of the Gentiles s, it “ was proverbially said by the Jewish doctors, Populi “terrarum, i. e. Ethnici, non vivunt, the heathens do not live **"

An attention to this use of the words death, die, dead, &c. in this figurative language of Scripture, will tend to illustrate many passages otherwise obscure. Such are Matt. xxii. 32. iv, 6. Luke i. 79. Rom. vi. 2. viii. 6. 2 Cor. 1. 9, 10. iii. 6. 1 Pet. iv. 6. So likewise in the sequel of

* Matt. viii, 22.

| Eph. ii. 1,5. iv. 18. John xi. 26. Matt. iv. 16. Rom. viii. 6. Eph. v. 14. 1 Tim, v. 6. 1 Pet. iv. 6. 1 John iii. 14. Jude 12. s More Neroch. lib. 1. Il Leg. Alleg. c. 1. Gal. ii. 15. ** Whitby on 1 Pet. iv. 6.

« PreviousContinue »