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Satan again loosed) REVELATION.
(from prisor, ness of Jesus, and for the word of were finished. This is the first resurGod; and which had not worshipped rection, the beast, neither his image, neither 6 Blessed and holy is he that hath had received his mark upon their fore- part in the first resurrection : on such heads, or in their hands; and they the second death bath no power, but lived and reigned with Christ a thou- they shall be priests of God and of sand years.
Christ, and shall reign with him a 5 But the rest of the dead lived thousand years. (K) not again until the thousand years 7 And when the thousand years are
EXPOSITION-Chap. XX. Continued. men's minds being more torpid and inac- endeavour to state the arguments on both tive; but rather hy the consecration of sides with brevity and candour. In favour every power to the service of the Most of a literal interpretation, we shall quote High. "It will be a period of remarkable Bishop Newton, who remarks" is the illumination, during which the light of general, that there shall be such a happy the moon shall be as the light of the sun, period as the Millennium ; tbat' the king and the light of the sun, as that of seven dom and domiuion, and the greatness of days. Every useful talent will be culti- the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall vated, every art subservient to tbe interests be given to the people of the saints of the of man, be improved and perfected; learn. Most High (Dan. vii. 27); that Christ ing will amass her stores, and gevius emit shall have the beathen for his inheritance, her splendour ; but the former will be dis- and the uttermost parts of the earth for his played without ostentation, and the latter possession'. (Psa. ii. 8); that the eartb shine with the softened effulgence of hu- shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, mility and love.
as the waters cover the sea' (Isa. xi. 9) ; “ We have hitherto spoken of the ad. that the fulness of the Gentiles shall vantages of knowledge in general ; we pro. come in, and all Israel shall be saved ceed to notice the utility of religious know- (Rom. xi. 25, 26); in a word, that the ledge in particular. Religion, on account kingdom of heaven shall be establisher of its intimate relation to a future state, is upon the earth, is the plain and express every mau's proper business, and should doctrine of Daniel, and all the propbets, be his chief care. Of knowledge in gene- as well as of St. John; and we daily pray ral, there are branches which it would be for the accomplishment of it in praying, preposterous in the bulk of mankind to at- " Thy kingdom come!' But of all the tempt to acquire, because they bave no prophets, St. John is the only one who immediate connexion with their duties, hath declared particularly, and in express and demand talents which nature has de- terms, that the martyrs shall rise to parnied, or opportunities which Providence take of the felicities of this kingdom, and has withheld. But with respect to the pri- that it shall continue upon earth a thousand mary truths of religion, the case is dif- years; and the Jewish church before bim, ferent; they are of such daily use and ne- and the Christian church after him, baye cessity, that they form, not the materials farther believed and taught, that these of mental luxury so properly, as the food thousand years will be the sereath milleof the mind. In improving the character, nary of the world." the influence of general kuowledge is often The learned prelate here cites several feeble, and always indirect ; of religious passages from the Rabbies, and the early knowledge, the tendency to purify the Christian fathers, to the same general heart is immediate, and forms its pro- effect; and in particular from Justin Mar, fessed scope and design."-(Hall's Sermon tyr, who, in the second century, certainly on Knowledge, p. 10–12.)
maintained, that this resurrection of the
martyrs was to be literally understood, (K) Ver. 4—6. The first resurrection.- and that Jesus Christ would descend from The great question here to be considered beaven, and reign with his saints personally is, whether this resurrection should be lite- in Jerusalem; and that, at the end of this rally or figuratively understood? We shall thousand years, should follow the general
NOTES—Chap. XX. Con.
[of the Millennium. expired, Satan shall be loosed out of 8 And shall go out to deceive the his prison,
nations which are in the four quarters
EXPOSITION. resurrection, and the final judgment. These 2. It seems utterly incongruous to asso. opinions, it is granted, were afterwards car. ciate the children of the resurrection": ried to a pitch of extravagance, which sunk with the subjects of mortality and sin. It them into disrepute; but they were again is true, that some of the saints arose, in purified and revived, and, among the mo- consequence of the earthquake that atderns, have been ably and strenuously de- tended our Lord's crucifixion; but we have fended by Mr. Jos. Mede, Dr. Thos, Bur- good reason to believe, that, like Lazarus nett, Dr. Jno. Gill, Mr. Faber, Mr. Frere, and others miraculously raised, they died Dr. Hales, and others, on the same princi- again, which is not supposed of these ples as Bishop Newton, already cited. The martyrs. (See our Exposition of Matthew Bishop lays particular stress on the fifth xxvii. 45–54.) The children of the resurverse, which asserts, that the rest of the rection “ neither marry nor are given in dead lived not till a thousand years after marriage ;" how then shall they associate the resurrection of the martyrs. Both pas- with flesh and blood? They have rested sages (he contends) must be understood in from their labours upon earth; are they the same mauner.' " Jf the martyrs rise then to renew them for their reward ? only in a spiritual sense, then the rest of 3. The idea of our Lord himself leaving the dead rise only in a spiritual seuse ; but his seat upon the Father's throne in glory, is the rest of the dead really rise, the mar- to vceupy one on earth, seems still more tyrs rise in the same manner.” So argues unscriptural and absurd. He has told us his Lordship, and with considerable force. repeatedly and emphatically, that his
On the other hand, it must be acknow. kingdom is not of this world, and shall he, ledged, that this doctrine of a literal re. after all the glories of his exaltation, stoop surrection, and the personal reigu of Christ to wield an earthly sceptre ? And is he on earth, met with early opposition, parti- again personally to recommence his warcularly from Origen, aud Dionysius of fare with the devil? Every way in which Alexandria : it never was received as the this subject can be viewed, either with reuniversal opinion of the Christian church; spect to himself or the saints, it seems utand the most eminent expositors of mo- terly inconsistent, both with Scripture and dern times lean decidedly the other way, that is, to the figurative or spiritual inter. 4. The very terms in which this resurpretation of this mysterious passage. We rection is spoken of, are thought inapplirecollect particularly, Dr. Whithy, Prof. cable to a literal resurrection, "I saw, Witsius, Pres, Edwards, Mr. Lowman, Dr. the souls of them that were beheaded,” &c. Guise, Dr. Hopkins, Dr. Br. Johnstone, which is an expression never used of the Mr. Fuller, Mr. T. Scott, Dr. Bogue, and resurrection of the body. The reanimaDr. Boothroyd. Dr. Doddridge, and Arch- tion of their spirits, is like the reappeardeacon Woodhouse hesitate. The grounds ance of Elias in the person of John the on which these reason, we shall now ex- Baptist. It is, in the figurative language plain.
of this book, a reanimation of the church, That this resurrection must not be lite- by the same spirit and temper being given, rally explained, they argue, 1. Because as was displayed in the saints and martyrs the removal of saints and martyrs from of former ages; for the same spirit, poured heaven to earth for a thousand years, would from on bigh, will ever form the same holy (they conceive), so far from being a re. and zealous characters. This spiritual reward to their fidelity, prove a deterioration surrection is analogy with the resurrecof their happiness; especially while the tion and ascension of the two witnesses, in world is subjected to sio and sorrow, wbich chapter xi., and, iudeed, with the style of must evidently be the case till after the de- the whole book. feat of Gog and Magog. They cannot sup. Lastly, the idea of the saints, or a part pose the saints in heaven will be gratified of them, being raised a thousand years be, to leave their celestial thrones for earthly fore mankind in general, does not appear ones below, much less to fight with infidels. at all to agree with other descriptions of
NOTES. Ver. 8. Four quarters-i.e. the cardinal points of date the conversion and return of the Jews within the compass. -Gog and Magog.-See Exposition this period, consider this as an attack upon them by of Ezekiel, chap. xxxviii. and xxxix. Those who the Tartars.
REVELATION. (of Gog and Magog. of the earth, Gog and Magog, to out of heaven, and devoured them. gather them together to battle : the 10. And the devil that deceived number of whom is as the sand of them was cast into the lake of fire and the sea.
brimstone, where the beast and the 9 And they went up on the breadth false prophet are, and shall be torof the earth, and compassed the camp mented day and night for ever and of the saints about, and the beloved ever. (L) city : and fire came down from God 11 f And I saw a great white throne,
EXPOSITION—Chap. XX. Continued. the general resurrection; that, in particu- In this the wicked shall be raised to die a Jar, in the close of this chapter, whereiu second death; but over the followers of the dead,“ small and great"-righteous Christ the second death shall have de and wicked-those whose“ names were power. As a pledge of their victory, they written in the book of life," and those not are already made priests of God and of therein written, stand together before the Christ, and shall reign in spiritual prosthrone of judgment. (Compare Matt. xxv. perity from generation to generation, for 31, &c.; Jobu v. 28, 29; Rom. xiv. 10–12; the space of a thousand years." 2 Cor. v. 10; 1 Thess. iv. 14–17, &c.) Now [For farther remarks upon the Millenthough we should admit that “the dead in nium, the writer begs leave to refer to that Christ shall rise first,” that is, before the article in his Dictionary of all Religions.) wicked; yet, that they shall rise a thousand years before the wicked-yea, even before (L) Ver. 7—10. Infidelity supported by the final contest recorded helow (verse 8, the armies of Gog and Magog, which are 9), appears to many, and, we confess, to destroyed by fire from heaven. The imagery us, very improbable and inconsistent. of this chapter is also doubtless borrowed
With respect to the expressiou (ver. 5), from Ezekiel, chap. xxxviii. and xxxix., to “ the rest of the dead lived not,” that may which we beg leave to refer our readers, in be understood figuratively, as well as the order to avoid repetition. By Gog and Maresurrection in ver. 4. So Mr. Lowman gog, we suppose, must be understood some explains “the rest of the dead," of that of the Northern idolatrous nations, who remnant which was slain with the sword bad continued to refuse obedience to the of Him that sat on the white horse (chap: gospel, or, at least, had apostatized ibertxix. 21).. “ Thus (he remarks) the dead from. Indeed, such is human nature, that church raised to life,and living and reigning it is always prone to decline from practical for a thousand years, and the enemies of religion ; and it should seem, that even in the church remaining dead, and not living those who may experience the power of again till the thousand years were finished, religion during the happy period of the will exactly agree in the same figurative Milleunium, there will be a great decline meaning. This will be a sense consistent toward the end of it, and many will be se with the resurrection of the Antichristian duced to listen to the intidel suggestions party also for a little season (ver. 3), after of the devil, as our Lord himself bath said, the thousand years shall be finished.” So “ When the Son of man cometh, shall be also Mr. Fuller.
find faith in the earth ?" (Luke xviii. &) “ Blessed and huly is he that hath part Satan once more loosed froin his prison, in the first resurrection!" So saith our will employ all his emissaries (as under apostolic prophet : they are raised from a the sixth vial) to gather together (as it were) death in sín to boliness in heart and life, “the whole world” from all quarters, to and on such “ the second death (which besiege the camp of the saints and the will be the portion of the wicked) shall beloved city, by which is generally underhave no power."-" The first resurrection stood Jerusalem, rebuilt and enlarged to (says Mr. Fuller) suppose; a second, which accommodate the Hebrew nation ou their seems to be that of the just and the unjust. return. The invaders are neither the fol.
NOTES-Chap. XX. Con. Ver. 9. Went up on the breadth. This seems to and Gomorrah, Gen. xix. 94, 23. us to imply a globular form of the earth, and to re- Ver. 10. Where the beast' and the false prasist present persons as rising from the under hemisphere are.-See chap. xix. 20. on every side. And fire came down, &c. - This Ver. 11. A great white throne. Compare Dal. is an evident allusion to the destruction of Sodom vii. 9.
[resurrection. and him that sat on it, from whose 12 And I saw the dead, small and face the earth and the heaven fled great, stand before God; and the books away; and there was found no place were opened : and another book was for them.
opened, which is the book of life : and
EXPOSITION. lowers of the beast, nor the false prophet, ascertain the commencement of the Milfor they are consigned to their own place; lennium. After examining a variety of but, probably, a host of infidel philo- hypotheses on this subject, with which we sophers, such as are described by Peter think it unnecessary to trouble our readers, (2 Epis. iii. 4) and by Jude (ver. 18, 19). we remark, that having, with Mr. Fuller This is properly the reign of infidelity, (Exposition of chap. i.), commenced the and Satan is their king. But he also is prophecies of this book from the time of taken as the beast and false prophet Pentecost, A. D.33, and using the number had beeu before, and cast into the same of the beast, 666, chronologically (in which Jake of burning. Now is the triumph of we are by no means confident), it will Christ, and the defeat of Satan, complete bring us very nearly to the close of the and final.
seventh century. From this time, date the But, previous to the commencement of 1260 years above mentioned, and they will the Millennium, Christians generally ex- bring us to about A. D. 1960, leaving 40 pect, not only the fall of Popery and Ma- years from the fall of Popery, to prepare hometanism, but the national conversion for the gradual introduction of the Milof the Jews, and the return of a large lennium. This great event, the best exbody of them, at least, to their own land. positors, ancient and modern, commence We have already expressed our sentiments with the seventh chiliad (or 1000 years) on this subject in our Exposition of Jer. from the creation, which ancient tradich. xxx. and xxxi., Romans xi., and other tions, both Jewish and Christian, consider parts of Scripture which seem to us to as the great sabbath of the world. We have an evident reference to this subject. may now compare the respective systems But, we confess, we feel disappointed in of a few of the most popular commentafinding so little in this book that has auy tors on this book of the present day. The explicit reference to this important subject. earliest date usually employed for the comThe restoration of Israel is, by the prophet mencement of the 1260 years, is A.D. 533, Ezekiel, compared to a resurrection, and which is the system of Mr. Frere and the possibly the first resurrection in this chap- Rev. Mr. Irving. But if this were corter may refer to it : the same prophet de rect, the time must have expired in 1793, scribes a new Jerusalem and a new teinple when, it must be admitted, Popery rein terms so analogous to chap. xxi. of this ceived “ a deadly wound," but is not yet Apocalypse, that many alle commentators dead, nor apparently in dying circumthink that chapter may be retrospective stances, though that was 34 years ago. Mr. that is, that it may refer to the Millennium, Faber dates from A.D. 606, when the Pope and describe the call of the Jews together assumed the title of Universal Bishop; with the fulness of the Gentiles; but on and, accordingly, expects the fall of Po. this we shall further remark presently.
One other inquiry, which we have hi- Mr. Low man, though an earlier comtherto passed over, now demands some at- mentator, is (we believe) far more genetention ; and, indeed, has been an object rally followed ; and he commences the of primary importance with many com- 1260 days from about 756, when, by aid of mentators-namely, that of the disciples Pepin, King of France, the Pope obtained to our Lord—“Tell us, wheu shall these considerable temporalities. This carries things be?" (Matt. xxiv. 3.) That this, on the reign of Popery to 2016, or sixteen when properly and modestly conducted, is years into the commencement of the Mil. a lawful subject of inquiry, we have no iennium, as it is generally reckoned. Dr. doubt, since we are in some measure fur- Bogue, however, who is one of the most pished with the means of answering it. able, recent and temperate writers on this The contiouance of the beast and false subject, thinks this carries the period on prophet, the sojourds of the woman (or twenty or thirty years too late : and these cburch) in the wilderness, the prophesying years deducted will carry back their comof the witnesses in sackcloth, are all li. mencement nearly to the time above sugmited to 42 months, or 1260 days or years, gested; and we cannot pretend to be as we are expressly told; and if we can
Certain it is, the Pope began to find their beginning, it will be easy to find acquire secular power, and temporal postheir close; and, consequently, nearly to sessions, very early in the eighth century.
pery in 1866.
The last judgment.)
REVELATION. (New heaven and earth. the dead were judged out of those written in the book of life was cast things which were written in the books, into the lake of fire. (M) according to their works.
CHAP. XXI. 13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it ; and death and bell AND I saw a new heaven and a new delivered up the dead which were in earth : for the first heaven and them: and they were judged every the first earth were passed away; and man according to their works.
there was no more sea. 14 And death and hell were cast 2 And I John saw the holy city, into the lake of fire. This is the second New Jerusalem, coming down from death.
God out of heaven, prepared as a 15 And whosoever was not found bride adorned for her husband.
EXPOSITION-Chap. XX. Continued. (M) Ver. 11-15. The general resur- register of mercy, in which, as good Ba rection and final judgment. There is Beveridge expresses it, “the black lines of something peculiarly sublime in the scene our sins are crossed out by the red lines now before us-"a great white throne". our Saviour's blood." All whose names are that is, a throne, not of ivory, nor of silver, not written there are without hope, though but of white and pure light.' of him that their names may be written on earth in fills the throne there is no description ; marble or in gold. but his presence is of such awful majesty, But what is the meaning of being judged that heaven récedes before him, and the according to our works? Applied to masearth vanishes. Nothing is great enough, kind in general, it implies a judgment or pure enough, to be visible when he ap- proportioned to their sins, and to the cir. pears : so the glow-worm becomes in vi- cumstances under which they are place. sible as the sun rises.
Applied to believers, though ia no case can But the dead, “small and great," any degree of merit be admitted, yet does that is, of every rank and class, must ap- it furoish the scale of measurement, if we pear before him as their judge. It is ob. may so speak, by which their rewards will servable that we have here no description be adjusted, as respects their diligence and of the process of the resurrection-such as fidelity. “To them who, by patient cod poets and painters have sometimes inju- tinuance in well-doing, seek for glory, and diciously attempted. The Judge appears, honour, and immortality, [he will give] and the dead -just and unjuststand in- eternal life." (Rom. ii. 7.) stantaneously before his bar. The books Thal death and the grave (or jurisiiske are opened, and the dead are judged out world) gave up their dead we can easily of the things written in those books, ac. understand ; but what is meant by death cording to their works. The record of and hell," or the grave, or invisible world their actions is written by the pen of being "cast into the lake of fire," is not omniscience and eternal justice; and who so clear. We apprehend, with Mr. Lore dare object? But here is mention of an- man, that it is designed to intimate that other book, of which we often read in the there will be in future no intermediate sacred Scriptures-it is “ the book of life state, no death, do grave — the whole the book of life of the Lamb slain,”--that human race will in future be found in is, as we humbly conceive (in allusion to heaven or hell, in eternal life or everlasthuman affairs), the Lamb's own book, in ing misery ! -Awful thought! how import which he enters the objects of his love ant is it to secure a place for our names in and grace. The records of justice would the Lamb's book of life! certainly condemo us all; but this is a
NOTES. Ver. 13. And hell.-Marg. " the grave."
the beasts, both or Daniel and St. John, rose out el
that state of trouble and commotion which is report CHAP. XXI. Ver. 1. A new heaven, &c.-Com- sented
by the sea, the cause shall be now dode na pare Isa. Ixv. and Ixvi. and Exposition. -No more for ever. I taken literally, it may intend, that the sea.This may metaphorically intend, that whereas whole globe will be rendered habitable.