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of the virgins in the former part of finally shut out.
Our Lord closes the 25th chapter, I conceive, is in- this reply to the second question of tended to describe the state of his the disciples with a repeated exvisible Church, previous to his second hortation to “watch.” coming. It would (notwithstanding The specific answer to their third his warnings to continue watchful) question commences with the parable have a season of slumber as to the of the talents, which shews the reexpectation of his coming.–And ward every one will receive at the how marvellously has the great body, end of the world; and the remaineven of serious christians, slumbered ing portion, as well of the chapter, for ages as to the doctrine of the as of this answer, is a detail of the second advent! But when the cry awful proceedings of the general is made, “Behold the bridegroom judgement; which will take place, cometh !" (not be it remembered “ when the Son of Man shall (have)
' he is come”) “ go ye out to meet come in his glory, and all the holy him," the wise trim their lamps, angels with him, and he shall sit and go to welcome his approach ; (as Judge) upon the throne of his while the foolish are confounded and * glory."
ORIGINAL NOTES ON THE APOCALYPSE.-~BY H.
(Continued from Page 271.)
*** The Reader need scarcely be reminded, that he must have his Bible open before him at the perusal of these Notes, so that the text of the several divisions of the verses may be first read; or the whole will be unintelligible.
of the Revelation. Thirdly, “ The
things which shall be hereafter.” In the 19th verse of the former These words clearly separate the last chapter the Lord commanded John from the two former series of visions, to write his visions according to as to prophetic history, though three modes of classification. First, preachers and individuals may ac
Write the things thou hast seen ;" commodate and apply passages for that thus believers may have a faith- present edification. ful representation of the approaching Some view the Lord's addresses advent of the Judge, in the glory of to the seven churches as prophetic the Godhead, and in the person of of the concerns of an
concerns of an indefinite that Son of Man to whom his hea number of churches, (because the venly Father had committed all number seven denotes what is comjudgement. Secondly, “ The things plete,) and the peccant state of the which are,”' i.e. the state of the seven whole line of the Gentile “ witness” " churches existing in Asia at the time till the second advent, But I prefer
following the Lord's division of the Christ, and applied by the Holy subject of his Revelation to John. Ghost.-Those verses do seem to
By Acts xix we learn that Paul render each address inclusive of the established these seven churches; succession of Gentile churches most of which fell into ruin before throughout the whole christian disthe great apostacy of the sixth or pensation ; but the internal evidence seventh century. As the first church of all the other verses leads me to of Jerusalem under James; those also conclude, that these epistles refer of Antioch and Alexandria, founded only to the period of pagan persecuby Mark; of Rome, probably founded tion, when millennial doctrines were by Paul; of Corinth, Galatia, &c. are the great support of the harassed beomitted; the addresses appear not to lievers, and when they encouraged be of a general character, even as to each, as single combatants, to fight that period, much less in reference the good fight of faith in view of the to periods then future. The locality promised recompence of reward. of those named indicates their having That these doctrines were the comnothing to do historically or pro- fort of the Church of God in the phetically with subsequent churches; early ages, is proved by the apostolic which might have seemed more writings; and by the primitive faprobable, had the mother churches thers, Justin Martyr, Papias of Jerusalem and Rome been singled Melito, &c. The latter, being
But the real division of the bishop of Sardis, could not be ignoprofessing Church, into the true rant of the traditions of that and the and the apostate, includes all the rest of the seven churches in regard churches of the christian dispensation to the Apocalypse, on which he under collective symbols, as
the wrote a comment; nor to its docchaste woman and the harlot.
trines. These epistles contain admoni- We must therefore restrict the tions against the apostacy, and primary meaning of the concluding therefore relate to times during verse of every epistle to the individwhich it began to work, though uals of each church, who, overcoming apparently previous to its prevalence. the persecutions and trials of faith They also refer to the earliest appear
from the false doctrines of their
age, ances of heresy.—Mr. Frere says they should at the end of the dispensation relate to a period prior to christi- attain the first resurrection unto life; anity becoming the religion of the which was the crown every christian empire. This seems agreeable to warrior contended for, and which the text; whether his limitation be all the New Testament writers place correct or not when he adds,
before the believer. period whose principal action is In the 20th verse of the 1st chapformed by the ten persecutions, ter, our Lord authorizes the explaclosed by that of Diocletian, A.D. nation of symbolic language by his 313."
own declaration, that the angels of I acknowledge however, that there the seven churches are denoted by is force in the argument, that every
the seven stars : stars therefore are address to these seven churches con- the uniform symbol for ministers. cludes with an exhortation, appli- The seven churches themselves have cable to those of all ages, who, in the seven lamp-candlestick for their the Spirit, apprehend the promises emblem ; a candlestick therefore is of millennial felicity, given them by the emblem of collective churches
under one jurisdiction.* This our self we hope to consider, if spared, Lord calls "
a mystery :"i.e. a thing when we arrive at that chapter. hidden from our understanding till Verse 8. The Lord Jesus prorevealed.a
claims his original self-existence in These addresses present a glorious the divine nature; and his victory assemblage of divine titles and at- over death by his resurrection in the tributes, appropriated by our Im- human nature, as the first fruits from manuel to himself.
the dead. Chapter ii, 1, declares His almighty Verse 9 exhibits his omniscience power and incessant agency in re- respecting the deeds, sufferings, and pect to these churches, and his con- temptations of his people in Smyrna. . tinual presence with all of them : Be it remembered, the Church is the “ Lo! I am with you always to the garden of the Lord, enclosed out of end of the age.” Verse 2 declares the waste wilderness of this world ; his omniscience ;—verse 3, his ob- into which the beloved goes down servance of motives of action ;- to feed in the gardens and to gather verse 4, his independent judgement lilies; or, wherein he delights himupon their failure in the true prin- self in his ransomed ones, waters ciple of action; -verse 5, his sove- them every moment with the dew reign power to remove that lamp of of his blessing, sustains, protects the candlestick whose light no longer and comforts them. shines to his glory; -verse 6, his
Verse 10 shews his prescience of cognizance of the deeds of his the particulars of those sufferings, enemies and of his people's mind and his independent power to bestow relative to them.
the crown of life upon those found In verse 7 we have also his ex- faithful unto death.-In 2 Tim. iv, 8, hortation to individuals of every age Paul anticipates receiving that crown and church, whose ears are of righteousness from the Lord, at stopped to hear the Spirit's voice that day; referring to verse 1 where to all churches, thus in his office he says, the Lord Jesus shall judge taking of the things and words of the quick and dead at his appearing Christ and manifesting them to the and kingdom.-Nor to him only will conscience. The promise which the it be adjudged, but likewise to all Spirit here applies is, that the second them that love his appearing, See Adam will restore what the first Heb. ix, 28 and Rev. xix, 11-21 Adam forfeited. The tree of life in explanation of the judgement was in the earthly paradise; here meant. Christ proposes to give to him who Verse il compared with chapter overcometh to eat of the tree of life XX, 6-14 and xxi, 7, 8, shew that which is in the midst of the paradise millennial blessedness is intended, of God: and chapter xxii, 2, presents and exemption from the condemnato view a street and river, in mil- tion of those who live not again till lennial days, planted with this tree the 1000 years are finished. of life ; therefore it is on earth, and Verse 12 presents Christ to the to be bestowed on the childrenre church at Pergamos as the Avenger, the resurrection.—The emblem it- bearing the two-edged sword of
* It may be worth while here to remark that the Jewish sabbath-lamp, which in many instances is even now supended from the ceilings of their houses, contains places for seven wicks, and is filled with pure olive oil.
a 1 Cor. ii, 7. b Gen. ii, 9, and iii, 22.
justice for her enemies.--Mean- acquittal, a black one for condemnawhile, verse 13 shows his watchful- tion. This stone was inscribed with
believers amidst the that “new name" in virtue of which temptations of Satan and persecu- the believer is entitled to acquittal, tions unto death; and verses 14 because it is the consequence of his and 15, his hatred of a temporizing, union with Christ, who was made unclean and antinomian spirit.
sin for us that we might be made Verse 16 indicates that, in pity to 'the righteousness of God in him." the enemies of God, believers should It is new as it bears reference to watch their own spirit and conduct, time, and regards Him who is The lest all be involved in common de Eternal ; and those who are made struction : for if the salt of the new creatures in Christ Jesus,” by earth has lost its savour, wherewith the new birth of the Spirit.—This shall it be salted ?—if the light that union and title no one knows but he is in them be darkness, how great who receives the acquittal, and to is that darkness! The threats of whom the inscription on the stone is God's judgements may be intended, made legible by the Spirit's agency. by the sword of his mouth ;” but It may be that, as christians now more probably the Lord's weapons bear the name of Christ (a name to of war,--that instrumentality of live!) because they are supposed to angels and men, by which in his participate in the same unction of second advent he will literally de- the Holy Ghost; so in the new stroy his enemies. (See Ps. cxlix, 6.) Jerusalem, where he will dwell with That period, in every repetition of men as Immanu-EL, God-with-us, his threatenings and promises, he his elect will receive a corresponddescribes as coming quickly ;" for ing name, denoting that their life is with the Lord a thousand years are hid with Christ in God; which none as one day.
can apprehend but by experience, Verse 17. The oft repeated ex- any more than the true signification hortation, “He that hath an ear, &c.” of the christian name. Such is the shows, that it is the office of the divine love, that in regard to all the Holy Spirit to apply every word of benefits acquired by Jesus for his Christ to the believer's heart and people, and to all his communicable mind ; especially those exceeding graces, they have a similar designagreat and precious promises by tion.
If he is a the Lamb of God," which he becomes a partaker in the they are " the sheep of his pasture
Read the comment and the lambs” which he carries in on the particular promise in this his bosom. Is he - the vine ? they verse in John vi, 29–58, and are its branches.” Is he " the lily of Psalm lxxviii, 25, where manna is the valley ?” they are
the valley ?” they are “ the lilies.” Is called “ angels' food;" heavenly in he
he“ the plant of renown?” they are its origin, abundant, satisfying the “his pleasant plant.” Is he" the tree multitude of the redeemed. Manna
Manna of life?” they are “trees of righteouswas the type of Christ, who is the ness; the planting of the Lord, that source and sustenance of spiritual he may be glorified!” He being "the life in angels and men. The white Christ of God, His Anointed," and stone is the token of justification, “ the Son of God;" they are also “his and alludes to the custom of Grecian anointed ones," and sons of God.” tribunals, where those who gave Verse 18. To the Bishop of suffrage respecting a prisoner of Thyatira Jesus declares his divine justice, cast in a white stone for nature as the Son of God; and a
son always partakes of the nature with death ;” an expression equiof his father, though in office he may valent to that in Genesis, “dying be subordinate. As when he ap- thou shalt die," and signifying, in peared to John as Son of Man ;c regard to the soul, its endless separaso now as Son of God, “his eyes tion from God. Oh! what a bounden are like a flame of fire, and his feet duty it is to call to them while there like fine brass.” The 23rd verse is time, “Come out of her, that ye again shows, according to the sym- be not partakers of her sins, and bolic description, that he possesses
'that ye receive not of her plagues." the prerogative of Jehovah.d
But to return to those who have the churches shall know that I am “not known these depths of Satan;" He which searcheth the reins and the Lord promises to put on these hearts; for the purpose (as it no other burden; (i. e. no other follows) of giving to every one ac- injunction, command, or doctrine ;) 'cording to his works.”—Oh! how but to hold fast such as they had ought this gracious intimation to already received, till he comes.' quicken our exertions in the cliristian That this is the sense of the word race, and strengthen us for self- • burden,” see Mat. xi, 30. Christ's denial ! Observe in regard to the holy requirements are a burden to declaration, all the churches shall the old Adam, or unrenewed part of know him as the Searcher of hearts," his own people; though still" light” that this is the design of all his in comparison with the yoke of inrevelations : see Ezek. xxxvi, 23; iquity : but when “he comes,” sin xxxix, 22; Zech. ii, 9, 11.
being done away, and our vile body Verses 19_23 show, that his eye fashioned like unto his glorious body, is in every place discerning between his law will be so written in our the righteous and the wicked, ab- hearts, that we shall perform it horring literal and spiritual harlotry; without finding any opposing law which latter signifies idolatry, mani- in our members. But “to him that fested by various doctrinal heresies, overcometh,” this opposition of “the as well as by turning from the living flesh lusting against the Spirit," and God to created objects. The“ bed? that perseveres in obedience of faith of infirmity and death, bodily and “to the end,”—or, bears in bespiritual, is the result.
lieving remembrance the works of Verse 24. The individuals are
Jesus which testified to him as God excepted who have not this doc- the Saviour,eto him
will he ever trine" of devils, (i. e. idolatry,) be mindful of his covenant.” “While taught in the collective churches, the praises of God are in his mouth, symbolized by the woman Jezebel ; a two edged sword will be in his who assumes to be a prophetess, and hand to execute the Lord's vengeance teaches and seduces to idolatry, on the heathen and punishments on and to eat of the pretended sacrifice the people, to bind their kings with of the mass, thus rendered, nay
chains and their nobles with fetters worshiped, as an idol.*
of iron, to execute upon them the Her children are to be “ killed judgements written.- This honor
* An English gentleman told the writer, that on visiting an uncle in Italy, when he first heard bells tinkling in the street, he asked, what they meant ?
The reply was ; “ Do not you know that God is passing by?" He looked out and saw the host ele- . vated, and the people bowing the knee, &c. c Chap. i, 15. d Jer, xvii, 10.
e See John vi, 28 ; Psalm Lxxviii, 10, 11, 32 and iii, 2-8.