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supposed to be fully revealed, as the occupant of the throne ; this is to be gathered from the subsequent narration. The Rider of the white horse, the King of kings, the Word of God, the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world, after having brought all enemies under subjection, may be now considered manifested upon this tribunal of judgment. On this account, we think our Greek to be here the correct reading.
In the commencement of this chapter, (v. 5,) after speaking of the souls of those slain by the are, the remainder of the dead were said not to live again until the termination of the thousand years. The narrative then continues without interruption ; in the course of which the thousand years is represented as having terminated; and in the twelfth verse, aster the intervening of six verses only, the dead are described as seen standing before the throne. This closeness of connection seems to leave us no choice, but to suppose the dead thus seen to be the remaining ones of the dead mentioned in the fifth verse ; and these, for the reason given, ($ 449,) we suppose to be the dead slain in the great battle of Armageddon by the sword of the Word—the dead who did not rise till after the expiration of the thousand years.
Those reigning with Christ during the thousand years cannot be the dead now seen, for, having had part in the first resurrection, having been pronounced blessed and holy, and having been declared exempt from the power of the second death, they must have been justified, and therefore no longer the subjects of judgment. Those overcome in the second campaign, (the attack upon the camp of the saints,) are said to be all destroyed by fire from heaven ; and the action of fire appears to be uniformly in Scripture the figure of a final destruction. In addition to this, the terms “small and great” correspond with the description given of the forces of the beast, among whom there appears every variety of rank and grade ; while the forces of Satan, in the assault upon the beloved city, are mentioned only as the nations of the earth.
These dead, then, appearing at this second judgment, we apprehend to be the component parts of the forces of the kings of the earth, and of the followers of the beast, including perhaps some of them coerced into the service of the blasphemous despot; that is, they are the inhabiters of the earth—the dwellers upon the earth—those against whom, with a certain exception, the three woes were pronounced. Apocalyptically, we suppose them to be all the elements or principles peculiar to the earthly system.
All these followers of the beast, with the kings of the earth, were slain by the sword out of the mouth of the Word, and their flesh was given to the birds ; but, notwithstanding this, it is implied that, like human beings slain in battle, they are capable of being resuscitated, and of appearing in judgment: their destruction on the field of Armageddon was not final. Their leader, however, (the beast,) with his aid, (the false prophet,) met with a different fate : they were both of them cast into the lake of fire, whence we do not afterwards hear of their being delivered, even for a
As among the inhabiters of the earth, there were apparently some that did not worship the beast, and that did not receive his mark, (Rev. xiii. E, and xvii. 8,) so it seems to be implied that, amongst those now said to be standing in judgment, there are some (exceptions to a general rule) to be found in the book of life—the trial itself turning upon this issue.
$ 458. "And the books were opened: and another book was opened ;' or, ' And books were opened.'—There being no article in the original in connection with the word books, we may understand it or not, as accords best with the sense. If understood, we seem to be directed to some books previously mentioned ; and in this Apocalypse we meet with no allusion to any other books than that opened by the Lamb, and the little book swallowed by the apostle, together with the book of life, (Rev. iii. 5, xiii. 8, and xvii. 8,) and this book of Revelation itself; or, if we retain the article, we may suppose the books to designate the books of the Old Testament, received by the Jews as canonical, comprehending the law and the prophets to the time of the restoration. As the term is used in Ezra vi. 1, “ Search was made in the house of the books,” (margin :) and Dan. ix. 2, “I understood by books ;” that is, of course, the sacred books, called, amongst the Jews, probably by way of distinction, the books.
Written without the article, however, we may suppose an indefinite plural to be put here for the dual number, (as in the use of the word times, Dan. xii. 7, and Rev. xii. 14;) the books opened being two books, and these two books, the law and the testimony, pre-eminently criteria in matters of doc
-as it was said of all pretensions to an interpretation of the divine will, Is. viii. 19, 20, “ When they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits,” &c.
“Should not a people seek unto their God ?"
" To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.”
It will be perceived that, as we do not suppose this judgment scene to represent literally the trial of human beings, so neither do we suppose these books to represent records of the actions of such beings : they represent only something analogous to such records, and to things pertaining to such
Elements of doctrine, compared with the law and the testimony, or with Moses and the prophets, are represented as human beings, tried by what is written of them in certain books of record.
Corresponding with this view, we take the other book-the book of life—to represent the gospel ; or, rather, all that belongs to that plan of salvation of which we have an account in the gospel. This book of life, we
presume to be the same as that spoken of on former occasions as the Lamb's . book of life ; of which we have before remarked, ($$ 87, 305,) that its contents are not the names of human beings, in a literal sense, but the principles or elements of the economy of grace. The use of these two first books, accordingly, may be that of ascertaining whether the principles, doctrines, or systems tried, belong to God's plan of salvation (the other book) or not. If not, they are given over to the exhibition of their true character, represented as a trial by fire—the action of the Word of Godas a perpetual test : an action compared to that of an immense furnace or lake of fire and brimstone ; the latter element representing the unceasing and perpetual character of this trial.
And the dead were judged out of the things written in the books, according to their works.'—Principles of a certain character generate only what Paul terms dead works, (Heb. ix. 14 ;) works involved in those elementary views which the disciple is exhorted to lay aside, as he advances in the knowledge of the truth, (Heb. vi. 1.) Opposites of these dead works are those of him who serves the living God. Faith in the atonement of Christ changes the character of these works, purging the conscience from apprehension of the penalty of guilt, and inducing a service of God from a sense of gratitude. The principles generating dead works, we take to be those impelling the disciple to action from mercenary motives—the dread of punishment and the hope of reward ; the opposite principles are such as stimulate his obedience by a grateful remembrance of the unmerited mercy of God, in the salvation of his soul. The latter principles are those found in the Lamb's book of life ; for in that there is no room for the element of apprehension. The other principles tried by the law and the testimony, are proved and manisested not to belong to this book of life; and, consequently, are doomed to an endless exhibition of their condemnation. Both classes are judged according to what is written of them in the two books, the law and the testimony; and by this trial, comparing their tendencies with what these statutes require, it is ascertained whether they belong or not to the third book.
The dead here seen on trial we suppose to be of both classes ; all of them have been slain while in the service of the beast ; but when released from this service, some of them, like captives released from Babylon, may prove to belong to the true view of God's plan of redemption, (the book of lite.) “The law is good, if a man use it lawfully;" so the principles of the law are good, if lawfully used ; in which case they may be said to be found written in the Lamb's book of life ; but is unlawfully used, they are in the service of the beast and of the accuser. It is then that they are slain by the sword of the Spirit, and that they are given over to trial by the Word of God as by fire. Some principles, however, are no doubt radically and
altogether wrong; they are incapable of serving God, or of promoting his glory; and these, when tried by what is written in the law and the testimony, are utterly condemned. Such are all the elements of self-righteousness, self-dependence, pride, and vainglory, “small and great.”
$ 459. “And the sea gave up the dead which were in it.'— Three different receptacles of the dead are described in this passage as simultaneously giving up their contents. In the ordinary sense, one of these death) would comprehend the other two; those drowned in the sea, as well as those in the grave, or in hades, (hell,) being all the subjects of death. The peculiarity of the classification is itself a caution against the adoption of any ordinary sense. The earth (the land) and the heaven having fled away, the first may
be said to have given up its dead, in the persons of those described as the remaining ones, (oi 2017oi,) dwellers upon the earth, elements of the earthly system. The sea, as distinguished from the land, we have taken to be the figure of juaicial wrath, ($ 124 ;) a system exhibiting the terrors of the law. As such it has its dead principles—principles extending no further than to influence the disciple's conduct from motives of fear, being in themselves dead elements, and bringing forth only dead works. Some of these principles may be contemplated, perhaps, like those of the law lawfully used, as bringing the disciple to Christ; in which case they are found in the book of life—the action of the present judgment being, as we suppose, that of making the discrimination between them.
And death and hell gave up the dead which were in them.'-We have already given our reasons for considering these terms appellations of doctrinal systems, (S$ 156, 157,) creating positions analogous to those usually imputed to death and the grave, or the state immediately subsequent to death. To these inseparable companions (inseparable so far as the sinner out of Christ is subject to them) power was given (Rev. vi. 8) over the fourth of the earth, to kill with the sword, with hunger, with death, and with the beasts of the earth, (9$ 158, 159.) They may be now contemplated as called upon to give an account of their use of this power. Their dead may be those whom they have killed—the principles, motives, &c., which through their instrumentality are manifested to be dead works ; or their dead may be the elements of the systems by which their power has been exercised: perhaps the result under either construction would not materially differ. They are systems, in effect, of condemnation, sustained by the element of self-righteousness, (the green horse,) an opposite of the divine righteousness represented by the white horse. Their own elements, or those subject to their power, are equally dead works.
"And they were judged every man according to their works;' or, as the original may be rendered, “They were judged each according to their works;'
Και εκρίθησαν έκαστος κατά τα έργα αυτών. Et judicati sunt singuli secundum opera ipsorum, (G. and L.) The words every man, in our common and other English versions, seem to have been introduced under a misapprehension of the subjects in contemplation. The sea, and death, and hell, have given up their dead, and they are judged each* according to their works—according to what they have just given up. These systems are judged; the tendencies of their principles are examined—compared with what is written in the books (the law and the testimony.) The sea is not said to be condemned—the law, lawfully used, may be found written in the book of life ; but the other two, as appears from what follows, have not a saving principle in them.
We usually suppose hell to be the place of punishment after judgment and condemnation ; but here we see hell delivering up its dead to be judged. We cannot suppose punishment to be inflicted first, and judgment to be passed afterwards. Neither can we suppose the sea, in the ordinary sense, to have some dead to give up, and death some others, and hell some others; Jut there is no difficulty in supposing them, as so many systems, to have each their respective principles or elements—their tendencies or works—by which they are now judged.
$460. “And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire.'—These two elements, according to the preceding verse, have just been tried ; sentence has been passed upon them, and they are now described as undergoing the execution of that sentence. The sea is not mentioned as exposed to the saine fate ; apparently because, for the reason just given, ($ 459,) it is not a subject of condemnation. It is besides correct in itself, and therefore has no fallacies calling for the action of fire to expose their true character.
This lake is the same, no doubt, as that into which the false prophet, the beast, and the accuser have been cast: and the purpose with regard to
* The Tyndale, Cranmer, and Geneva versions, employ the term every man; the Rheims version renders the passage, “and it was judged of every one." Wiclif uses the distributive pronoun each, but by his previous use of the expression dead men, it is evident that he takes the whole representation in the ordinary sense: “I saie deed men, greet and smale, stonding in the rigt of the trone: and bookis werun opened, and another book was opened: which is the book of liis, and deed men werun demed of the thingis that weren writun in the bookis astir the werkis of hem, and the see gaf his deed men : that werun in it, deeth and helle gauen her deed men: that weren in hem, it was demed of eche: after the werkis of hem, helle and deeth weren sent into a pool of fier, this is the secunde deeth, he that was not foundun writun in the book of liif: was sente into the pool of fier.”
The Greek term rerpos, thus rendered dead in the singular, and dead men in the plural, might be more strictly rendered dead body or dead bodies ; the term in the Greek being commonly applied to human carcases,
s—Vid. Donnegan-vezoós, a dead body. In this sense it is used, Rev. xvi. 3, aipa ós rexpoy, blood, as of a dead body. So we find it employed by the LXX, in the account given, Gen. xxii. 3-15, of the