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future blessings of the Church in one view. Thus we read of an anathema Isa. Lxv, 20, as yet existing at this glorious period, which is totally abolished on the new earth, Rev. XXII, 3.
Verse 1. And I saw a new heaven and a new earth : for the first
heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there
was no more sea.
1. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down
from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for
her husband. 3. And I heerd a great voice out of heaven,t saying Behold,
the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God bimself shall
be with them, and be their God, Here St. John comences his vision of a new world. His language abounds in sublime and majestic hieroglyphics, of most glorious import, and his descriptions are such, as can only be realized on a new earth. Pause reader, and contemplate this great and marvellous change! This world shall not be annihilated ; the heavens shall only be dissolved by fire, and the elements melted with fervent head, and the residue will be the substance, of which the Lord shall form a new heaven and a new earth, 2 Pet. m, 13. She has been the theatre of the first Adam, who brought sin and death with all their train of calamities on his posterity ; on which the second Adam established the institution of redeeming love by his precious blood, for the recovery of mankind ; and she will in a purified and renewed state, remain the theatre of Christ's redemption, until all the purposes of God in Christ are accomplishesul with the human family. Isa. Lxv, 17. LXVI, 2. Murmur not, humble follower of the Lamb, that you are thus to consider this our maternal earth your everlasting and eternal home. Christ will be with you, and in his company you cannot want felicity. This world in her reno
The Vulgate reads. Et audivi vocem magnam de throno.
vated and glorified state, will afford you all the heaven, you shall be capable to enjoy. The conflagration will reduce her to her first elements, and she will obtain a clarified, heavenly form and surface, in which the glory and presence of God will be seen and felt every where. The ethereal atmosphere will be all health and purity. Our own bodies will be immortal, incorruptible and glorified, I Cor. xv, 40. 41; and all the productions of nature, in all her admirable variety and magnificient spendour, will be so many lessons of divine instruction. Thus St. John saw this new heaven and earth in more than paridisical delightfulness and beanty, in which there was no more Na, ol' ocean. The ever flourishing plains on this new earth, are watered by fountains, streams and rivers in a different manner, from what we see now. The tree of life will be free for all, and no serpent will there excite a desire to tast forbidden fruit any more.
Verse 2. The holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven. That great and tremendous conflict between the Son of God, and the powers of darkness, was brought to a glorious issue, and the divine sentence executed against all his enemies on earth. Heaven, earth, and all physical nature are now purged of the curse, and of every natural cause of sin and death, and this world renewed to a heavenly paradise. All the faithful followers of the Lamb, and all who were judged worthy of participating in the fruits and benefits of Christ's redemption from among the whole human family, were raised to immortal life, and shall here find a new habitation of bliss and glory, according to their different qua lifications, deserts, and degrees of perfection. The holy prophet now proceeds to give us a detailed and specified account, of what he beheld of the new earth in his prophetic vision. He first describes the city of new Jerusalem, and then the nations who dwell all around her on the new earth.
The old city Jerualem in Palestine, will probably be rebuilt during the Millennium, and become the capital of of Christ's kingdom. Though it is termed the beloved city, and will be the glorious residence of the great king. Matt. v, 35; it is yet only temporal, and all its inhabitants mortal men. But new Jerusalem is an eternal and incorruptible city, descending from heaven to the new earth, which according to St. Johns description, cannot be compared with any city in this world of sin. This Jerusalem has been mentioned by the apostle Paul Gal. iv, 26. Hebrews XII, 22, as the heavenly city of the living God, and the spiritual mother of us all ; (See also Hebrews xi, 10, 16.) which proves at least, that it existed long before it descended to the new earth, and that it is more than meiely a literal city, such as we behold on earth.
In contemplating St. Johns description of New Jerusalem, we may indeed say, that the mind of the prophet in this vision, was raised by a divine influence, to the very confines of the material and intellectual world, where he beheld the first sources of all natural and moral relations between man and his creator, the Church and her supreme head, nature and its God. These views were always neither merely sensitive, nor purely spiritual, but a mixed mode of representation ; in ander to confirm the minds of these extraordinary instruments, and serve as a substratum to their new and primitive ideas, and divine discoveries of spiritual objects or moral truths. Moses and John, seem to have obtained a view of this whole celestial scenery; while others, chosen for inferior purposes, only had a partial sight. These views, perhaps, formed the groundwork in the minds of those holy men, of their different degrees of light, and of that surprising harmony and accordance of ideas, which they deliver on the same subjects, even when they were not under the influence of immediate inspiration. St. Johns description of new Jerusalem in this chapter, is the most complete view of the
future world, our eternal home, which man was ever iv. trusted with ; and his ideas often rise beyond the limits of human understanding, and reserve those mysteries, for lessons of a future dispensation, or a future world. I therefore readily acknowledge and lament my ignorance, on many points of this vision. And though, perhaps, I may view some things in a different light from others, yet let the indulgent reader remind himself, that we are all here, only on our first stage of existence. Those things in this vision, which are not within the sphere of our reason, are yet made the objects of our hopes and fear's ; because the testimony of God is deserving of our assent and confidence.
The new heaven and the new carth, are the future kingdom of God, for which we are desired to pray as the greatest blessing the Lord bestows on man. And New Jerusalem, the eternal city upon the renovated earth, rcpresents the united assembly of the Church militant and triumphant ; the whole number of the clect, who were saved through the redemption of Jesus Christ, and educated in those four great Church-Economies, as divino iustitutions preparatory to their appointed stations in a future world ;-together with all the benefits of Christ to his people. This may account for the sublime Prosopopeia here, why New Jerusalem is termed the bride, the Lambing wife avlorned for her husband, and yet described as a glorious city. In this description, St. John has first given the gencral outlines of her happiness, by way of introduction from ver. 2-8 ; and then a full detail of the city itself in all her glory, from Ver. 9-23.
Coming down from God out of heaven. During the conflagration of the world, and its subsequent formation into the new heaven and new earth, both which great events will take up a considerable time, the whole Church millitari, probably, will be removed to some celestial habitation anul united with the Church triumphant, untill this
earth is prepared for their reception. When this earth is again formed into a heavenly paradise, the Lord in his holy manhood, at the head of his innumerable hosts of saints, will celebrate their solemn entrance, and take possession of it to all eternity. This appears to be the meaning of the descent of the holy city. But this seems to be an exclusive privilege of the freeholders, and active citi-zens of New Jerusalem, in which ņumber, the rest of the inhabitants of the new earth are not included.
The tabernacle of God is with men. New Jerusalem is the capital of the whole human family, the residence of Jesus Christ their head and King; where he will now dwell with them personally, in all his glory, and the covenant of grace will have its full accomplishment through all eternity. Of this the apostle is assured by a great voice from heaven. The tabernacle, tcnt, temple of God, Sxgvos, Orxmud, væos, often signify the bo:ly or human nature of Christ. John II, 19.
Verse 4. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes ; and
there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain : for the former things
are passed away. 5. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all
things new. And he said unto me, Write ; for these thing's
are true and faithful. 6 And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega,
the begining and the end, I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.
As a tender-hearted, kind and affectionate mother would receive the distressed darling of her soul, when flying from hlood and danger to her arms, and wipe away the tears from its innocent eyes, and listen to the accounts of its sufferings and escape with great concern ; thus will the Lord comfort his people in new Jerusalem. They shall never more have cause to weep on their own account, or for others near and dear to them, no reason of sorrow or