Page images


saw these visions, so must we ask Verse 6. Nay more, he has not to be, claiming the promise, “ ask only ransomed us from the pit, but and ye shall have;" for spiritual has exalted us to be “ joint heirs” truths are revealed only to the with him of the heavenly inheritance enlightened understanding, renewed of which he cometh to take posaffections, and rectified will of the session on our behalf as our federal new creature in Christ Jesus.

Head and our King, that the mem“ The time is at hand !” even of bers of his body, the Church, may the fulfilment of the latter part of be“ kings and priests unto God” the succession of events herein de- when awaked up in his likeness. clared : therefore “ keep,” meditate False humility but gives the lie to upon, and watch for the coming to the word and testimony and merits pass of the words of this prophecy. of Christ Jesus. To Him ascribe

Verses 4, 5. The attribute of the glory of his power and grace eternal, underived existence may be while rejoicing in it. As yet he is here selected to characterize the “ the Prince" by right, but not person of the Father; because, after manifested on his throne. So we the Spirit is spoken of (not as to his heirs of promise :" the title personal subsistence, but in his and claim are purchased for us by sevenfold energy, or in the plenitude Jesus the Christ; but we shall not of his diffusive influences, proceeding enter into possession till he cometh. from the throne of Him which is Observe however, that though and was and is to come,) unto the the Holy Spirit and Christ are here

churches distinctly,-after spoken of in their characteristic this, Jesus Christ is named in his work; yet in unity with the Father mediatorial character only, as the both are co-equally the fountain of Witness who was with God " in the grace and peace. beginning of his way,” as the first Verse 7. John's salutation to the fruits of the resurrection, " the Churches concludes with stating • Prince on whose shoulder was to the prime object of the Revelation; be the government, of whose in- viz. Christ's second coming for the crease there will be no end upon destruction of his and his people's the throne of David and upon his enemies, who dwell in the seat of



kingdom, to order it and to es- the fourth and last empire pro* tablish it with judgement and with phesied of by Daniel, Zechariah,

justice even for ever.”d He is de- and John; which is therefore the scribed as perfecting love by wash- platform whereon all the transactions ing us his servants" from our to be described will take place. sins in his blood. Take all this This verse is an epitome of the conconsolation! Be sure there needs tents of the Book of Revelation : no more washing. Sin forgiven is Behold! HE COMETH with clouds.' forgiven, sin washed away is washed Just as Daniel foretold in respect away,

“ his work is perfect : it is to this second advent :e « Behold! finished !”

one like the Son of Man came

* We should understand the Book of Revelation more clearly, were it studied with Daniel's concise predictions of the same empire and double apostacy, concluding with the deliverance of the elect of his people : with Ezekiel's details relative to the personal return of the Son of God to dwell in the midst of his chosen people and spread his glory over the earth : with Zechariah's general sketch of empire and Church, concerning literal Israel : with Joel's, &c., as to the particular judgements described.

d Isa. ix, e Dan. vii, 13.

[ocr errors]

And every

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

with the clouds of heaven, to the to say, whether he was The Christ Ancient of days, and there was

the Son of God, Jesus replied, * given him dominion and glory and “ Thou hast said ; nevertheless I a kingdom, that all people, nations

say unto you, hereafter shall ye and languages should serve him : see the Son of Man sitting on the his dominion is an everlasting do- right hand of power, and coming minion which shall not pass away,

in the clouds of heaven." The * and his kingdom that which shall high priest said, he had spoken ' not be destroyed,” like the four blasphemy; which it would have preceding monarchies. The same been if untrue. In the great conchapter shews, that this dominion summation therefore God will manicommences upon the destruction of fest“ the Truth” of this and every the fourth beast, or kingdom, and part of his Son's honor and glory. of the papal horn or power : upon This is the object to which all that whose destruction “ the kingdom is described in the Book of Revela' and dominion and greatness of the tion is preparatory. kingdom under the whole heaven eye shall see him.” Yes,

the cry” is given to the people of the saints of his servants is already gone forth,

of the Most High, whose kingdom Behold! the bridegroom cometh !" ' is an everlasting kingdom, and all and through the thickening darkness dominions shall serve and obey of the midnight the eye of faith

him.” This predictive vision of discerns the kindling ray of this Daniel, of which John's vision “bright and morning Star," and particularizes the fulfilment, best every faculty is exercised in earnest interprets what we are to understand anticipation of the predicted results, concerning this fulfilment : when he shall come to be glorified that it occurs at the end of the pre- in his saints, and admired in all sent dispensation, by the personal them that believe.f exaltation of the Son of Man to his Every eye shall see him, and mediatorial throne as Son of David, they also which pierced him.” This whose throne assuredly was upon was the deed of Romans literally ; earth, or as Daniel says,

but, alas! it was likewise the deed the whole heaven.”

of all “who put him to open shame, By Matt. xxiv, 36, Jesus himself by trampling under foot the blood predicted his return in the same of the covenant." Therefore all language, as the Son of Man, and kindreds of the earth, (Christendom, causing the tribes of the earth to the seat of the ten kingdoms and of wail ; i.e. the persecuting tribes of the papal horn,) shall wail because the Roman empire, styled in Luke of him.” Paul, rejoicing over those ii, 1, "all the world,and whose who patiently endured the pereagles hover over their Hebrew prey secution of pagan Rome, spoke of till his return, when “the shout of it as a token of their being reckoned a king shall be heard among all the worthy of the kingdom of God, tribes of Israel.” Jesus also fore- so when the Lord Jesus shall be told, that he should be seen by them revealed from heaven with his

'the Son of Man coming in the * mighty angels, in flaming fire • clouds of heaven, with power and taking vengeance on them which

great glory.” And again, when · know not God and obey not the adjured by the typical high priest Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ;




f 2 Thess. i, 10.

[ocr errors]

who shall be punished with ever- occasion their wailing and gnashing lasting destruction from the pre- of teeth, before the righteous shall sence of the Lord and from the shine forth as the sun in the preglory of his power when he shall sence of their Father. * come, &c.g

As his servants conclude the If "

every eye shall see him,” he ascription of glory to him by their must come visibly, and therefore Amen; (v. 6 ;) so here they receive substantially ; for the unregenerate, the announcement of “the day of who wail because of him, cannot vengeance that is in his heart, and discern him spiritually : like Tho- of the year of his redeemed being mas, they must see the holes in his come,”i with

even so! Amen!" hands and feet and side, or they Verse 8. The Lord Jesus Christ will not acknowledge him. Again; asserts his own godhead by apare clouds visible ? so will be his propriating to himself that incomcoming, visible in its glory as the municable attribute by which God lightning that shineth from the east is designated in the fourth verse, even to the west;" and so will be eternal, underived existence. In his person, visible as when Moses proof of this we find him, as the saw God face to face, and Abraham Messiah, declaring by Isaiah, j “I conversed with Jehovah, and Ma- · have not spoken in secret; from noah beheld him ascend in the the beginning, from the time that sacrificial flame, and Daniel fell at ' it was, there am I; and now the his feet as dead, and Ezekiel saw · Lord God and his Spirit hath sent him remove from the river to the ( me.” The person sent by the plain and thence to the city, ascend Father and the Spirit declares here from Olivet and again descending his co-existence, whether verse 12, make that very mountain the place “I am the First, I also am the of the soles of his feet; h_visible as Last,” be spoken by him or by the when he went up and a cloud re- Father.-Thus Paul describes « Jeceived him out of his disciples' sus Christ, who is before all things, sight, and angels assured them, and by whom all consist, since by

this same Jesus shall so come in him were all things created that like manner as ye have seen him are in heaven and in earth, &c. go into heaven ;' i.e. with the who is THE BEGINNING.”k Here in glorified body, rendered visible to Rev. i, 8, he calls himself “ The Peter, James and John on Tabor, Almighty.” So in Isaiah ix he is callwhen they saw him transfigured be- ed "The mighty God :" the original fore them.

Al is always appropriated to the His advent will be pre-millennial. second person, as Aleh is to the He comes to avenge his own elect, first, and Ruach to the third person. and to cause all kindreds of the At the commencement of his proRoman earth to wail, because he phecy of his approaching judgement will require of them the blood of and reign in the omniscience and his saints which they have shed. omnipotence of the Godhead, his By Matt. xiii, 39–43 Jesus declared annunciation of his divine majesty the procession of the events which occurs with peculiar propriety.

[ocr errors]

* Thus Isa. is, “The Son given” us by God, is “the Father of this everlasting age," the dispensation of his mediatorial reign on David's throne.

8 2 Thess. i, 4—10. Compare Dan. vii, 7, 11, 26 ; Isa. xxiv, 16–23 ; xxvi, 21, &c. h So also Zech, xiv, 4.

i Isa. lxiii. j Isa. xlviii, 12-16. k Col. i.

same manner

are less

Verses 9-11. John states where to be symbols of the Jewish and and when this Revelation was re

Gentile Churches. ceived, with the command of Him This candlestick, being the first whom he worshiped as God, re- object which met John's eye, indicognized in the glorified person of cates that the scene of this vision is the well known Son of Man in the Holy of holies beside which it whose bosom he had lain. John stood ; and from above the cherubim was in the Spirit when he heard a within which, upon the mercy seat great voice as of a trumpet,* re- above the ark, the Glory of Jehovah peating his claim to the attributes was wont to appear. of Godhead with power irresistible. The Son of man as Head of his Observe, he is visible to John in the Church now enters into the concerns

as to Daniel and of the Gentile witness to his truth, Ezekiel. He commands him to warning it against the two apostacies write what he saw and send the which would corrupt it in particular, book to his Churches. This perhaps until he comes to destroy them. refers to that which concerned the The concerns of Israel then existing Churches, (v. 19) or to brought forward in tliis Revelation that great truth on which the whole than in Old Testament prophecies : Church is founded and which John though not wholly omitted, any continually affirmed.

more than were those of the GenVerse 12. This vision commences tiles under the former dispensation : with a particular answerable to that but each predominates under its own in Zechariah's vision,—a candlestick dispensation, mutually benefiting with seven lamps and seven pipes, — each other as proselytes only. the symbol, as I apprehend, of the We must consider the following Hebrew Church there, and here of verses in two different views : first the Gentile Church. The typical as regards the Church; next in recandlestick in the sanctuary had lation to the apostacies. seven lamps ;) and in Rev. iv, 5, Verses 13, 14, present a graciseven lamps burn before the throne, ous indication of the nearness of the which are explained to be symbolical Redeemer, in his assumed nature, of the seven Spirits of God, denoting with all its holy sympathies, to his the plenitude of the Spirit of illu- suffering Church. The Son of Man, mination, of glory and of God in the power of the eternal Spirit, vouchsafed to maintain their holy dwells in the midst of his Gentile fire. That verse

of the fourth Churches as their universal Head, chapter explains this, and shows Bishop, or Shepherd; for he said, that John saw the seven lamps sup- Other sheep I have which are not plied with oil from the golden of this (the Jewish) fold; them also candlestick. A more explicit state- 'I must bring :" but when he shall ment of the meaning of the symbol return to reign amidst his ancients is reserved for its recurrence in the gloriously, it will not be merely in eleventh chapter, when John sees the power of the Spirit, but persontwo candlesticks, (which no other ally as their King: or there would prophet did,) and which are believed be no meaning in the word

[ocr errors]


* Sir I. Newton says-In allusion to the trumpets which sounded at the morning and evening sacrifices, upon hearing which the people in the outer courts fell down and worshiped.

1 Exodus xxv, 31-37.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

turn;" since on departing he said, and wrath of Almighty God. Like “ Lo! I am with you always unto metal well refined, he is perfect in the end of the age," or dispensa- power to destroy, and able to sustain tion; that is, in the power of the unhurt the fire of the furnace in Spirit, whom on departing he sent.m which he tramples down the ene

Still as the Holy One of Israel mies of his Church. Thus in Isaiah : who took on him the Seed of Abra- My fury it upheld me and I will ham, his garment is that of the ' tread down the (Goyim, Gentile naJewish High Priest, his girdle that tions, or) people, in mine anger, of royalty, his manifestation that of and bring down their strength to the Son of Man as to Daniel and the earth.”n The same glorious Ezekiel, and agreeably to his own Being appeared to Daniel as prophecy relative to his return. man clothed in linen, girded with It is remarkable that he appears as fine gold, his body like the beryl, the Ancient of days himself appeared (flame,) his face as the appearance to Daniel, with a garment white as of lightning, (visible in his manisnow, and the hair of his head like festation, if words can prove it,) pure wool; for he comes in the his eyes as lamps of fire, his arms glory of the Father-glorious in and feet like polished brass, and holiness, fearful in praises, doing the voice of his words like the wonders ; nay, he comes as

the (voice of a multitude."o Thus Brightness of his Father's glory Ezekiel says concerning the return ' and the express image of his per- (by the way of the east, by which

son;" he comes as the Eternal Ezekiel had seen him depart,) of the “I AM," asserting the original personal glory of Jehovah to dwell authority of his claim to the priestly in the sanctuary of literal Israel, throne. His eyes as a flame of fire “ His voice is as

His voice is as the sound of many discerning the thoughts and intents waters ;''p that thus his identity in of the heart, is another characteristic executing every prophecy of both of Deity, indicating that his award dispensations, to Jew and Gentile, is that of absolute justice, perfect might be indisputable. That voiceknowledge and unerring wisdom. how infinite in power! the same In chapter ii, 18, when the Son of that said, Let there be light ! and God judges the Church of Thyatira; light was;” and the same that shall and chapter xix, 12, when he comes awake the dead of all ages and as King and Judge to unite opposing nations ;-now spake to John, no nations; he is thus characterized. longer the gracious words of the

Verse 15, the metaphor of “ his meek and lowly Redeemer, but as a feet being like fine brass, as if they trumpet, promulgating judgements. burned in a furnace,” is taken from Ezekiel adds and the earth the ancient manner of treading corn

shined with his glory.” Thus by oxen shod with iron or brass, Jehovah shined from Paran and not to destroy the wheat, but to came with ten thousands of his separate the chaff from it. He saints.”q Thus Judah and even comes with unrelenting justice to Rechab's sons expect him still, as tread the winepress of the fierceness

" the King of glory."* The prayer

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

m John xiv, 3, 16-19, 26, 28, and xxvi, 5, 7, 8, 10, 14, 17, 22. n Is, lxiii, 5, 6, and see Micah iv, 13.

ó Dan. x, 6. p Ezek, xliii, 2. a Deut. xxxiii, 2. * When the missionary Wolff urged a Rechabite to receive Jesus as the promised Messiah, he quoted Deut. xxxiii, 2 in scornful rejection of a suffering Saviour. Thus

« PreviousContinue »