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element of eternal life but the merits of Christ, the fruit and the leaves of the tree of life; it shows us no light or perfection constituting a portion of this scheme but that of Jehovah himself. At the same time, it shows us that all these elements are but so many modes of exhibiting one means of eternal life-God in Christ reconciling the world unto himself. The foundation or mountain, the wall, the gates, the river, the tree of life, the light, are all so many representations of God the Saviour ; and all of them such representations as have been elsewhere set forth by prophets and apostles, and to which the whole burden of the Old and New Testament revelations bears a uniform testimony ;—the manifestation of truth exhibited in this vision of peace, in which God and the Lamb appear one and the same divine Being, showing us what the apostle declares (1 Cor. xv. 28) is to be finally manifested—that God is all in all-Jehovah our righteousness. As it is said, (Is. xii. 2) “ Behold, God is my salvation ; I will trust and not be afraid : the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song."
$ 523. That such is the interpretation to be given to this portion of the Apocalypse may be readily granted ; but the question will still occur, Why is this exhibition of the economy of grace denominated the Lamb's wife or bride?
To answer this inquiry we go back to the account first given of the institution of marriage, and learn that its prominent characteristic is that of an accounted identity, resulting from the union of two parties by this rite, (Gen. ii. 24 ;) an identity referred to by Jesus Christ himself, as the
peculiar feature of the same union, (Matt. xix. 5, 6 ;) and an identity alluded to by Paul as analogous to that of the mysterious union of Christ and the church, (Eph. v. 31, 32.) To say that the new Jerusalem is the wife of the Lamb, is equivalent, therefore, to the declaration that the new Jerusalem and the Lamb are to be accounted identic :—whatever is represented by the one is represented by the other ; whatever is revealed concerning the one is revealed concerning the other ; whatever the holy city represents, with her walls, her gates, her light, her river, her structures of gold, and her tree of life, is represented also by the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. That the Lamb of the Apocalypse is a figure of the divine Being to wliom the appellation of “ the Lamb of God” was given by the Baptist, (John i. 29, 36,) must be indisputable. This Lamb of God is Jesus Christ : whatever is revealed then under the symbol of the bride or Lamb's wife, must be accounted identic with Christ; and a revelation or unveiling of the bride or holy city, must be accounted equivalent to an unveiling of Jesus Christ himself; corresponding with the construction ($ 2) put upon the title of this book, (Rev. i. 1,) “ The Revelation of Jesus Christ;" that it is the unveiling of his character, and offices, and work, in what may be termed their peculiarly spiritual aspect.
Jesus Christ reveals himself in this vision of the apostle, and he makes this revelation of himself through the instrumentality of the new Jerusalemthe wife of the Lamb ;—what she represents, He is; He is represented in her. As the woman is the glory of the man, (1 Cor. xi. 7,) so the new Jerusalem exhibits the glory of the Lamb, or rather of God and the Lamb, one Being. The glory of the Lamb is the glory of God, ($ 504 ;) as Christ is declared (Heb. i. 3,)* to have been the express image of the Father, the glory of the holy city, or that exhibited by the holy city, is the glory of God. This glory of God is his goodness ; the new Jerusalem is an exhibition of the goodness or glory of God. The disciple, in contemplating the heavenly Jerusalem, sees what Moses, when in the cleft of the rock, was permitted to see, this goodness passing before him, (Ex. xxxiii. 19.) The goodness of God, in the sense here alluded to, we apprehend to be his loving-kindness (Fr. bonte) in the work of redemption. The holy city of the Apocalypse is an exhibition of the loving-kindness or glory of God in all its particulars; it is an exhibition in detail of the merciful purpose of God to save by sovereign grace. This merciful purpose of God is his glory, of which glory Christ is the manifestation in the first instance, and the economy of grace, as identic with Christ, the further exhibition, under the figure of the new Jerusalem.
$ 524. Corresponding with this view, we have in the preceding pages assumed the apocalyptic Jerusalem to be a representation or vision of the economy of redemption ; a true picture, as opposed to that afforded by the harlot city, (Babylon,) which we denominate a false picture. The economy of redemption in truth is the economy of grace ; the economy of grace is God's purpose to save by grace; the purpose of God is the mind, fiat, determination of the Supreme Being ; it is the word of God: and this Word, it is declared, was made flesh, and manifested on earth in the person of Christ, the Lamb of God. The new Jerusalem, therefore, both as identic with the Lamb, and as an exhibition of the economy (dia0 ijxn) or purpose of sovereign grace, is a vision or picture in detail of the word of God; representing the goodness or loving-kindness involved in that word or purpose, and which goodness constitutes the glory of the Deity ; this glory being exhibited in the economy of redemption, through the instrumentality of Jesus Christ. As it is said of the holy city, the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the lamp thereof.
The Lamb and the New Jerusalem of the Apocalypse are figures, but Christ and the economy of grace (the Word) are realities. We do not say, therefore, of the figures, that they are identic with the realities; but the one is as much identic with the other as the appearance of a man's face in the
Χαρακτήρα της υποστάσεως αυτού. The representation of the divine principle
mirror is the same as the man's face. The Lamb, the holy city, and the Rider of the white horse, as figures, are identic ; and the Supreme Being, Christ, and the divine purpose, (word,) are identic, as realities. He that makes all things new is manifest in the Lamb, and the Lamb is manifest in the bride ; so God is manifest in Christ, and Christ is manifest in the economy of redemption—the divine purpose or word ;-God the Father, the Son, and the Word, being so many manifestations of the same Saviour.
In the Old Testament writings, God is expressly declared to be the only Saviour, and the part taken by the Son in the work of redemption, is but dimly shadowed forth. In the Gospels, the Acts, and the Epistles of the New Testament, Christ is expressly declared to be the Redeemer, and his name is said to be the only name wherewith we can be saved. In the A pocalypse the overcoming principle (ó vixõr) is brought forward as the conqueror and inheritor of all things. This overcoming principle (the purpose of sovereign grace) we apprehend to be revealed under the figure of the Word of God or Conqueror in the narrative portion of the book of Revelation, and under the figure of the bride or wise in the last or descriptive portion of the same book. At the same time, we have not here an exhibition of three Saviours, or three powers of salvation ; we have only the representation of the same Saviour, the same saving power, brought home to our understandings, and presented for the contemplation of our faith in three different ways—as the King of kings, the Faithful and True, and the Word of God, were all revealed in the person of him who had trodden the wine-press alone, (Rev. xix. 11-16.) Christ while on earth revealed the divine purpose of grace (the Word of God) in all he did and taught and suffered—Christ, in the Apocalypse, reveals the same Word or purpose in the particulars given of the Conqueror, and in the illustrations afforded by all that is said of the new Jerusalem, or bride. In the first instance, the truth as it is in Jesus may be said to have been veiled in the flesh—in the last, (the apocalyptic revelation,) it is unveiled in the spirit, and, thus spiritually understood, it is an unveiling of Christ himself.
$ 525. This unveiling of Christ, spiritually understood, may be considered, therefore, in a certain degree, a fulfilment of the promised coming of the Comforter, (the Holy Spirit, of whom it was said to the disciples of Jesus, " He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you,” John xiv. 27 ;) the testirnony borne by the Comforter being collateral with that to be borne by the apostles, as we gather from the assurance subsequently given : “He shall testify concerning me, and ye also shall testify”—upprvohozi nepi tuov xai vurig då uagrvozīte (John xv. 26, 27)—the Comforter bearing no other testimony than that contained in the whole volume of inspiration.
Of this Comforter (Paraclete*) it is also said, “ He shall reprove the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment,” (John xvi. 8,) or as we think the expression might be understood, He shall confute the world concerning sin, and concerning justification, and concerning condemnationελέγζει τον κόσμον περί αμαρτίας και δικαιοσύνης και περί κρίσεως. The teachings of the Spirit will convince those of sin who believe themselves to be without sin. It will convince the self-righteous of the necessity of justification, through an imputed righteousness; and it will show the certainty of condemnation where this means of salvation is wanting.
The world here spoken of (xóquos) must be that which Jesus says, in the same connexion, he has overcome, (John xvi. 33.) We suppose it to be the arrangement of principles placing the disciple in a position of dependence upon his own merits. The word rendered reprove, as above, signifies primarily “ to confute,” to put to shame, (Rob. Lex.) Accordingly, the operation of this revelation by the Holy Spirit is to confute, or put to shame the pretensions of this self-righteous economy, figuratively termed the world : this confutation of the pretensions of the world by the Holy Spirit being equivalent to the overcoming of the world by Jesus Christ. It is not merely a convincing of the thoughtless and profane and dissolute, who are literally living without God and without hope, that they are sinners; an assertion which for the most part they would not pretend to deny ; but it is a convincing of those trusting to their own merits, who go about to establish their own righteousness, that they are especially the sinners in contemplation—that even with them, in their position out of Christ, sin lieth at the door. This is pre-eminently the work to be accomplished : Hoc opus, hic labor est.
To effect this work, the just sense of the written word of revelation is requisite, and for the attainment of this just sense, the illustrations of the Apocalypse are given. A large portion of these illustrations, as we have seen, are applied to the elucidation of errors and erroneous systems opposed to the great truth of salvation by sovereign grace; these errors having been overcome, the book closes with an exhibition of the truth itself—the economy
of grace illustrated by all the particulars here given of the heavenly Jerusalem. This exhibition, showing as it does, God's purpose (Word) to be a purpose of mercy, comes to the desponding disciple certainly as a comforter. Its language is, ' Be of good cheer; the sovereign grace of God is sufficient for thee. Behold the ample provision made for thy salvation :' while coming as it does immediately from God out of heaven, setting forth a
* lapažantos, one who has been called to give assistance; an intercessor, an advocate in a court of justice, (Donnegan.)
way of redemption in which human merit can have no part, its direct tendency must be lo confute the pretensions of every self-righteous system, and 10 point out the only path—the strait and narrow way to eternal life—the gate of pearl inestimably precious.
The view here taken of what is represented by this spiritual city, bride, or wise, corresponds with our remarks in assigning a reason for the appellation beloved, given to the besieged city, ($ 453.) God's purpose of grace and mercy is his beloved purpose, and this purpose, or word, personated in Christ, is his beloved offspring. For the same reason, perhaps, the apostle bearing the name of the grace of the Lord, (John,) was distinguished as the disciple whom Jesus loved; although he also loved them all even unto the end, (John xii. 1.) The same construction enables us to understand why the Messiah of the Old Testament (the Christ of the New) is prophetically spoken of as the servant in whom the Lord delighteth, (Is. xlii. 1 ;) and why it is prophetically said of the exhibition of the economy of grace, restored (as we apprehend it to be in this Apocalypse) from its once perverted state, “ Thou shalt no more be termed forsaken, neither shall thy land any more be termed desolate, but thou shalt be called Hepzibah, and thy land Beulah, for the Lord delighteth in thee, and thy land shall be married.”
V. 6, (continued.)—And the Lord God και κύριος ο θεός των πνευμάτων των of the holy prophets sent his angel to προφητών απέστειλε τον άγγελον αυτού δείShow unto his servants the things which ξαι τους δούλους αυτού, α δεί γενέσθαι εν must shortly be done.
$ 526. “And the Lord God of the holy prophets,' &c.; or, according to our edition of the Greek and others, the Lord God of the spirits of the prophets, which, for the reasons we have given, ($ 437,) may be equivalent to the declaration, “And Jehovah of the spirits of the prophets hath sent,” &c. That is, the same Being who was spoken of by the prophets as Jehovah, and was contemplated in the spiritual sense of the prophecies as Jehovah, he has sent his angel or messenger. The difference may not be material, except that our mode of rendering this appellation calls up an association of ideas not usually accompanying the ordinary rendering. Without this, however, the consideration suggested by the text is very important. The God of the holy prophets is the God of the Apocalypse. The same Being makes the revelation in both cases. The same spirit of inspiration which dictated the writings of Moses and the prophets, dictated also that of