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is figuratively to say the same thing." Yet, that the
1 , reader may not confine his notions to earthly splendour only, at the twelve gates are twelve angels, and on each of the gates is inscribed a name of a tribe of Israel; 2 and the foundation is raised (as in Eph. ii. 20; and 1 Pet. ii. 5,) " on the apostles and prophets; Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner-stone.' Every thing unclean and faulty is excluded from this city; whence we may
deduce an additional proof that this prophecy is not to have its final completion in this world, where the good and the bad, the wheat and the tares, are to grow together until “ the end,” (Matt. xiii. 40.) Some commentators have been led to a different interpretation, by observing that the new city descends from heaven, and is therefore, say they, upon earth : but this objection will be completely removed, by remarking that the earth, to which the heavenly Jerusalem descends, is not the earth we now inhabit. A new heaven and a new earth are produced ; -“ Behold,” says the Creator, “ I make all things new,” (ch. xx. 11; xxi. 1, 4, 5.) This vision therefore appears to exhibit the future mansions of the blessed. It succeeds the general judgment of the dead; and to no other mansion can in any wise be applied the glorious representation 'which describes the favoured inhabitants admitted to see “ the face of God,” 3 and reigning for ever and ever, (ch. xxii. 4, 5.) Such is the city alluded to by the apostle to the Hebrews, who, speaking of this world, says, “ here we have no continuing city, but seek one to come,” (Heb. xi. 10, 16; xii. 22.) Agreeably to which, in this prophecy it is declared that there is “here no temple.”
1 This figurative language thus applied, may be seen by consulting Lam. iv. 1–7; and 1 Cor. iii. 12—15.
2 See note, ch. vii. 4.
ch. xxi. 9–27, &c.] THE, APOCALYPSE. c
407 In this world, as now constituted, religion cannol subsist without her temples, without some externar mode of bringing men to God. But when
But when “just men, made perfect, see face to face” the glories of their God, faith and hope, on which the worship is founded, being absorbed in reality, the nearer presence of the Deity will supersede the use of a temple. The superior light and knowledge, emanating from his glorious presence, will remove darkness and error, and the necessity of that stated worship, which is the ordinary means of preventing man from being estranged from his Maker. Here
Here we know in part, and prophesy in part;" that is, imperfectly: “ but when that which is perfect is come, that which is in part shall be done away.
Chap. xxii. Ver. 1. And he shewed me a river of water of Life, &c.] In a thirsty soil and hot climate, like that of Palestine, where most of the prophecies were delivered, water is a necessary means of fructification; and the practice of irrigation is much used in agriculture." But as water is to the soil, supplying health and vigour to its languid plants, so is the influence of God's Holy Spirit to the human soul, when sinking in its spiritual progress. Thus refreshed, the soul brings forth “ fruits unto holiness, and the end everlasting life,” (Rom. vi. 22.) Water is therefore used, in Scripture, as the symbols of such supplies of divine grace, (Isaiah viii. 6; xxx. 25; xxxii. 20; xxxv. 6, 7; xli. 17; xlix. 9; xliii. 20; lv. 1 ; liv. 13; lvii. 11; Jer. ii. 13; xvii. 13; Ezek. xlvii. 2; Joel iii. 18; Zech. xiii. l; xiv.
1 1 Cor. xiii. 9, 10.–Many passages of the ancient prophets, some of which may have been typically or partially fulfilled, seem to belong to these times, and still to await their final completion. Isaiah iv. 3–6; xxv. 6-9; lx; lxi. 10; Ixvi. 20-24; Ezek, xl; xliii, 7; xlvii. 1-5--12; xlviii. 20, 35.
8; John iv. 13, 14; vii. 38, 39.) The waters of the river of Life proceed from the throne of God, and of the Lamb; ' from the fountain of all mercy; and the salutary streams support the tree of Life, which is to be seen in this Paradise regained, a never-failing source of immortality. The fruit, continually renewing, supports the body to eternal life; whilst the leaves (that no part may be unserviceable) are a balm or healing application for the wounds of sin, to those of the nations who had lived in ignorance of the divine laws, but now partake the benefits of redemption.
The remaining expressions describing this blissful state, will be found explained under note, ch. i. 16; ii. 10; iii. 22.
Ver. 2.] Some MSS., says Dr. Jortin, “ instead of “ εντευθεν και εντεύθεν, read εντευθεν και εκειθεν" sed nil opus. And he quotes ενθεν και ενθεν, as used by Aristotle, Herodotus, Sophocles, and in Const.
. Apost. ; and observes, “ Nothing is more common than evda kai evda : and hinc et hinc, in the Latin poets. And he remarks, that the very same expression is used by St. John, in his Gospel, ch. xix. 18.2
1 See note, ch. ii. 1. % Discourses on the Christian Religion, p. 210. 2d edit.
CHAP. xxii. ver. 6, to the end. 6 And he said unto me; These sayings are faithful and true. And the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to shew unto his servants the things which must shortly be done.
7 Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book.
8 And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things.
9 Then saith he unto me; See thou do it not: for I am thy fellow-servant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book : worship God.
10 And he saith unto me; Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book : for, the time is at hand.
11 He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.
12 And behold, I come quickly: and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.
13 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.
14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city
15 For without, are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.
16 I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.
17 And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth
say, Come. And let him, that is athirst, come: and whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.
18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book.
19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.
20 He which testifieth these things, saith, Surely, I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.
21 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.
Ver. 6. And he said unto me, &c.] The angel commissioned to exhibit this closing scene of the prophecy, being now about to depart, addresses the prophet with some short sentences, directing the use and application of what had been exhibited.
First:-Ver. 6. The vision may be confidently relied on, as representing events soon to be disclosed.
Secondly :-Ver. 7. A blessing is pronounced on those, who in faith and patience expect the completion of the prophecy, and who direct their lives conformably to such expectation. And here it is observable, that the angel, as ambassador of Christ, to whom the vision in all its parts most certainly appertains," speaks in the august person of his Lord, using his very words: “Behold, I come soon,” (ch. iii. 11:) words, which being evidently those of the Redeemer, before whom the prophet had prostrated himself without rebuke, (ch. i. 17,) occasion him again to fall prostrate. And now the reproof of chap. xix. 10, is repeated."
1 See notes, ch. i. 1, 2, 3. 2 See ch. i. 1, and note.
3 This circumstance may in some measure account for the repetition of this action, if it be such. But there may be some reason to doubt whether the action be repeated, or the description of it only; whether St. John does not merely describe over again his attempt to worship the angel; for it might seem necessary to repeat the description, which positively forbids it, for the benefit of the