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perly classed together in this passage, and with the sinners, who are of that kind and description which were seen to apostatise from the Christian religion, in times of temptation and persecution; especially during the prevalency of the Gnostic doctrines, which encouraged all these enormities, and had begun to exhibit its evil tendency when this prophecy was published.
1 Mosheim, de Reb. Christ. ante Const. Mag. Sæc. ii. seçt xli.
CHAP. xxi. ver. 9, to the end. CHAP. xxii. ver. 1–5.
9 And there came unto me one of the seven angels, which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither; I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb's wife.
*10 And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God.
11 Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper-stone, clear as crystal ;
12 And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel :
13 On the east, three gates; on the north, three gates; on the south, three gates; and on the west, three gates.
14 And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.
15 And he that talked with me, had a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof.
16 And the city lieth four-square, and the length is as large as the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs: the length, and the breadth, and the height of it are equal.
17 And he measured the wall thereof, an hundred and forty and four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of the angel.
18 And the building of the wall of it was of jasper; and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass.
19 And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald ;
20 The fifth, a sardonyx; the sixth, a sardius; the seventh, a chrysolyte; the eighth, a beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst.
21 And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; every several gate was one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass.
22 And I saw no temple therein : for the Lord God Almighty, and the Lamb, are the temple of it.
23 And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.
24 And the nations of them which are saved, shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it.
25 And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there.
26 And they shall bring the honour and glory of the nations into it.
27 And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life.
1 And he shewed me a pure rirer of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God, and of the Lamb.
2 In the midst of the street of it, and of either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.
3 And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it: and his servants shall serve him.
4 And they shall see his face: and his name shall be in their foreheads.
5 And there shall be no night there, and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for, the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.
The main prophecy had already come to its conclusion." He who opened it in the first chapter, had brought it to its final period in this. The end of all worldly things is succeeded by the new creation: and “ the holy city, the new Jerusalem,” had been exhibited, as “ descending from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her hus
I See note, ch. xxi. 5.
band." But a nearer and more particular view of this blissful seat was desirable; and therefore, when the scene was closed, and the throne no longer in view, one of the angels, who had exhibited to the prophet the harlot, the corrupt city, Babylon, condescendingly offers to show him a nearer exhibition of the bride, the heavenly Jerusalem. Thus the contrast between the two is more effectually shown; and therefore this vision, like that of the seventeenth chapter, seems to stand apart from the rest, and is to be accounted as an episode. Therefore the scene, on which it is represented, is also apart. As, in the seventeenth chapter, the angel had transported the prophet into the wilderness, there to behold the harlot, the corrupt city; so he now conveys him in the Spirit, to a great and high mountain, a place of eminent power and worship, to behold the Christian Church, perfect and triumphant, after the renovation of all things.
Ver. 11. And her splendour like a most precious stone.] Here follows a very gorgeous description of the new city, which, conformably to the prophecy of Isaiah, (ch.liv. 11,12,)is built of precious stones, with a superb costliness beyond the reach of earthly potentates. The gems, employed to decorate this glorious city, are such as have ever been in the highest request in the eastern regions which produce them. Upon the
1 See note, ch. viii. 8.
2 Is. Ix. The description of most of these, as given by the ancient writers, may be seen in Pliny's Natural History. See also Dionysii Orbis Descriptio, cap. India; and in works of more modern date, -in Thunburgh's Travels, vol. iv. p. 218, &c.—The Crystal Jasper of ver. 11 is described by Pliny, lib. xxxvii. c. 8, 9.
The connexion of these two gems may be seen in these lines :
Τεμνοις κρυσταλλου καθαρον λιθον, οια τε παχνην
parallel passage in Isaiah, Bishop Lowth has written this judicious observation : “ These seem to be general images to express beauty, magnificence, purity, strength, and solidity, agreeably to the ideas of eastern nations; and to have never been intended to be strictly scrutinized, or minutely and particularly explained, as if they had each of them some moral and precise meaning.” Nothing more seems intended than to afford some general, but lofty and sublime notion of the splendour of this superb and heavenly mansion, which the apostle Paul, following the words of the prophet Isaiah, (1 Cor. ii. 9; Isa. lxiv. 4.) represents to be beyond conception.' And to describe the building, as composed of the very richest and most costly materials, yet such as few persons have seen, or can imagine,
Here the clear crystal, like the winter's ice,
Dionysii Perig. lin. 781.
And again, line 724:
Φυει δε κρυσταλλον, ιδ' ηερόεσσαν ίασπιν.
And in these lines of the same author, are described several of the precious stones, which are figuratively employed to build the New Jerusalem :
Αλλοι δ' ιχνευουσιν επι προβολησιν άναυρων
Some trace among the torrents' rifted beds
Eye hath not seen, nor hath ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for those that love him.”