Изображения страниц

The general]

[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 Mil. for 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 vf 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 leonium. 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)

n 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 commenta. findiog 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 aisle 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 assuined 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, pery in 1866.

One other inquiry, which we have hi Mr. Lowman, 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 coin. 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, when shall these cousiderable 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 suhject, thinks this carries the period on prophet, the sojourns 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 exact. 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,

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. 13 And the sea gave up the dead

CHAP. XXI. which were in it; and death and hell AND I saw a new heaven and a per delivered up the dead which were in 4* 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.

[ocr errors][merged small]

(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 iu 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 mas earth 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 in 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 obo 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, she will give] and the dead -just and unjust-stand 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 bet 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-itis “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 everlast human 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


Ver. 13. And hell.-Marg. " the grave."

CHAP. XXI. Ver. 1. A new heaven, &c.Com pare Tsa. Ixv. and lxvi. and Exposition. No more sea. This may metaphorically intend, that whereas

the beasts, both or Daniel and St. John, rose out el that state of trouble and commotion which is represented by the sea, the cause shall be now dope RH for ever. I taken literally, it may intend, that the whole globe will be rendered habitable.

The tabernacle)


[of God with mėn. 3 And I heard a great voice vut of 6 And he said unto me, It is done. heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle I am Alpha and Omega, the beginof God is with men, and he will dwell ning and the end, I will give unto with them, and they shall be his people, him that is athirst of the fountain of and God himself shall be with them, the water of life freely. and be their God.

7 He that overcometh shall inherit 4 And God shall wipe away all all things ; and I will be his Gud, and tears from their eyes ; and there shall he shall be my son. be no more death, neither sorrow, nor 8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, crying, neither shall there be any more and the abominable, and murderers, pain : for the former things are passed and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and away.

idolaters, and all liars, shall have their 5 And he that sat upon the throne part in the lake which burneth with said, Behold, I make all things new. fire and brimstone : which is the And he said unto me, Write: for second death. (N) these words are true and faithful.

9 [ And there came unto me one of


short extract on the scene before us. Dr. (N) Ver. 1-8. The new heaven and B. supposes the conflagration now uniearth, and who shall be excluded therefrom. versal and complete; and seated, as it were, -Before we enter upon this chapter, it upon a vagrant cloud, he looks down and will be necessary to revert to some pas- asks,“ Where are now the great empires sages in the second Epistle of Peter, and of the world, and their great imperial other Scriptures, which we have already cities ?-their pillars, trophies, and monubriefly noticed. St. Peter tells us, that ments of glory? Show me where they “ The heavens and earth which are now, stood !” And then turning his eye, as it are kept in store, reserved unto fire against were, to look for a spot of peculiar interest, the day of judgment and perdition of un he exclaims-“ Rome itself, eternal Rome, godly men ;-that the day of the Lord the great city, the empress of the world, There spoken of will come as a thief in whose domination and superstition, anthe night ; in the which the heavens shall cient and modern, make a great part of pass away with a great noise, and the ele- the history of this earth-what is become ments shall melt witb fervent heat; the of her now? She laid her foundations earth also, and the works that are therein, deep, and her palaces were strong and shall be burned up. .... Nevertheless we, sumptuous. She glorified herself, and according to his promise, look for new lived deliciously, and said in her heart, I heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth sit a queen, and shall see no sorrow ! But righteousness.” Let us now contemplate her hour is come; she is wiped away from the fulfilment of this Scripture; but pre- the face of the earth-buried in perpetual vious to our surveying the new heaven and oblivion. But they are not cities only, and earth, let us pause a moment, and admire works of men's hands, but the everlasting the astounding scene, of

hills, the mountains and rocks of the earth, “ A God in glory, and a world on fire!" are melted as wax before the sun, and their Dr. Thos. Burnett, whose “ theory of place is no where found.” the earth” is too philosophical, or rather “ The cloud-capt towers, the gorgeous palaces, too fauciful, to be adopted in our pages, The solemn temples, the great globe itself, has some contemplations that have been Yea, all which it inherits shall dissolve, admired for their beauty and sublimity,

And like the baseless fabric of a vision, and well deserve to be read for their prac

Leave not a wreck behind.” tical effect. From these we shall give one


NOTES Ver. 7. Shall inherit all things.-Marg." These Ver. 8. The fearful, and unbelieving.-Woodh, things.” So the Alexandrian MS., Vulgate, Sy. “The cowardly, and the faithless." Lowman, " The riac, and Arabic versions.

cowardly and distrustful."

Description of the] REVELATION.

[New Jerusalem. the seven angels which had the seven twelve foundations, and in them the vials full of the seven last plagues, names of the twelve apostles of the and talked with me, saying, Come Lamb. hither, I will shew thee the bride, the 15 And he that talked with se Lamb's wife.

had a golden reed to measure the city, 10 And he carried me away in the and the gates thereof, and the wall spirit to a great and high mountain, thereof. and shewed me that great city, the 16 And the city lieth four-square, holy Jerusalem, descending out of and the length is as large as the heaven from God,

breadth : and he measured the city 11 Having the glory of God: and with the reed, twelve thousand furher light was like unto a stone most longs. The length and the breadth precious, even like a jasper stone, clear and the height of it are equal. as crystal ;

17 And he measured the wall there12 Aud had a wall great and high, of, an hundred and forty and four and had twelve gates, and at the gates cubits, according to the measure of a twelve angels, and names written man, that is, of the angel, thereon, which are the names of the 18 And the building of the wall of twelve tribes of the children of Israel: it was of jasper : and the city was

13 On the east three gates ; on the pure gold, like untu clear glass. north three gates ; on the south three 19 And the foundations of the wall gates; and on the west three gates of the city were garnished with all

14 And the wall of the city had manner of precious stones. The first

EXPOSITION-Chap. XXI. Continued.

But let us turn our attention to the new is cast into the bottomless pit, to be libeheavens and the new earth now before us. rated no more for ever. God and redeemed We have already mentioned, that many sinners are completely and for ever re divines, those in particular who expect the conciled, therefore will he dwell for ever personal reign of Christ in the Millennium, with them, and be their God. But he that consider this chapter as retrospective, and is now shut out of this celestial state, must designed to give a more full account of the be shut out for ever. « The fearful and events of that period, and particularly the unbelieving"-by whom we do not under restoration of the Jews. But, upon a most stand timid and weak believers, but curattentive cousideration of the subject, we ardly apostates, and impenitent transconfess ourselves compelled to reject that gressors," the abominable, and moridea, and chiefly for this reason, that sin, derers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and sorrow, and death, are now for ever and idolaters, and all liars, shall bave their done away; which caunot be the case in part in the lake which burneth with fire the Millennium, because that will end with and briinstone; which is the second the insurrection of Gog and Magog. But death.” On the contrary, he that has no enemy now remains : not only the beast been" faithful unto death,” and overcome and the false prophet, but Satan himself, the world, with its temptations and its

NOTES-Chap. XXI. Con.

Ver. 14.. With alternate lay eendered foundationie

Ver. 19apare Jsa. liv. 11. These seem to

Ver. 14. Twelve foundations. The ancients built their walls with alternate layers of brick and stone, here improperly (perhaps) rendered foundations. But instead of this wall being built with alternate layers of brick and common stone, it is built with layers of various precious stones, which rendered even the foundations inconceivably beautiful and splendid.-Orient, Customs, No. 1400.

Ver. 16. The city lieth four-square.-Woodhouse, " quadrangular;" i.e. having four equal sides. Twelve thousand furlongsi. e. says Mr. Lowman, 1600 miles in compass, each side being 375 miles long. The length, and the breadth, and the

height equal.-Mr. Lowman explains this, no es forming an exact cube, but as having all the parts in a due proportion; or as being of a uniform height.

Ver. 19. Garnished with all manner of precious stones.-Compare Isa. liv. 11, 12; on wbieb Bishop Lowth pertinently observes, « These seem to be se neral images, to express beauty, magnificence, po rity, strength, and solidity, agreeably to the ideas al eastern pations; and to have never been intended to be strictly scrutioized, or minutely and parties. larly explained, as if each of them had some mara

adu precise ineaninouch of them

[ocr errors]

arcadih, and the

Its splendour]

(and glory. foundation was jasper ; the second, in it: for the glory of God did lighten sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. the fourth, an emerald;

24 And the nations of them which 20 The fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, are saved shall walk in the light of it: sardius; the seventh, chrysolyte; the and the kings of the earth do bring eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the their glory and honour into it. tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a 25 And the gates of it shall not be acinth; the twelfth, an amethyst. shut at all by day : for there shall be

21 And the twelve gates were twelve no night there. pearls ; every several gate was of one 26 And they shall bring the glory pearl : and the street of the city was and honour of the nations into it. pure gold, as it were transparent glass. 27 And there shall in no wise enter

22 And I saw no temple therein: into it any thing that defileth, neither for the Lord God Almighty and the whatsoever worketh abomination, or Lamb are the temple of it.

maketh a lie : but they which are 23 And the city had no need of written in the Lamb's book of life. (O) the sun, neither of the moon, to shine

EXPOSITION. nares, “ he sball inherit all things ;" or, naan, that they were " walled up to heais the margin explains it, “ all these veu(Deut. i. 28), it could not be an unhings," great and blessed as they are, warrantable hyperbole to say of the New which God has provided and reserved for Jerusalem, that its height was equal to its them that love him.

breadth. The ideas meant to be conveyed,

were certainly grandeur and security. (0) Ver. 9—27. The New Jerusalem de. To view this city, St. John was conducted scribed, with the privileges of its inhabi- to an exceedingly high mountain, from tants.—The quadrangular was the favourite whence he saw the New Jerusalem, or perforin of the ancieuts, in building both their haps a model of it, gradually descending cities and their houses. And though, as from the throne of God in heaven. She is Mr. Lowman suggests, there may be no spoken of as the bride, the Lamb's wife, and necessity for supposing the height of the is said to be “adorned as a bride for her walls equal to the dimensions of the city; husband," which acconnts for the gold yet as the foundations were twelve layers and jewels with which she (the city) is so leep, so the walls were, doubtless, fur. richly embellished. Her foundations being nished with lofty turrets, which would of precious stones, and inscribed with the make the whole appear very considerable ; names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb, 190 bigh walls and towers were thought plainly indicates the precious truths which 10t only an ornament, but a protection to they delivered in his name. (See 1 Pet. ii. i city." Wherefore the Psalmist says— 4, 7.) Her gates are pearls, on which are

Walk about Zion, and count the towers engraved the names of the twelve tribes of hereof. Mark ye well her bulwarks; con Israel; intimating, that noue but Israelites ider her palaces.” (Ps. xlviii. 12, 13.) indeed are admitted within these walls. Iod if the proud sons of Babel (Gen. xiv.) When it is said, the street, or open part of vere ambitious to build their tower to the the city, is “ pure gold, transparent as kies; and if it is said of the cities of Ca- glass," we may understand, that the ma.

NOTES. Ver. 21. The street of the city. This seems even Lowman and Dr. Doddridge give this explica. rell understood by Grotius (says Mr. Lowman), of tion: and let no philosopher sneer at it, since Dr. be Forum, or place of public assembly, which is Herschell thinks that he has discovered our son to escribed as paved either with squares of gold and be an opaque body, enlightened by a phosphoric at. hrystals, or with chrystal squares set in gold bor mosphere! ers; than wbich imagination can conceive nothing Ver. 24. The kings of the earth do bring their tore rich and magnificent."

glory and honour into it--That is, says Doddridge, Ver. 23. The glory of God did lighten it.-Not is If you were to conceive all the monarchs upon nly Mr. Fleming, and other Millenarians, explain earth uniting all their treasures to adorn one single bis of the shechinah, or cloud of glory, which led place, they would produce nothing comparable to he Israelites through the red sea, and in their sub- what I then saw. Compare Isa, Ix. 3. equent journies (Exod. xiv. 20, 24, &c. &c.); but

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »