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We cannot suppose the reward mentioned in this passage of the Apocalypse to be that of the wages, or hire, of human beings. The wages or reward of sin is death. Sin is the transgression of the law. He that transgresses one commandment of the law, is guilty of the whole. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves ; consequently all are sinners, and all, when rewarded according to their works, must receive the wages of sin, which is death. Consistently, however, with our uniform construction of this book of Revelation, we think this reward or hire applies to principles, elements of doctrine, and not to human beings. As it is said of works, 1 Cor. iï. 13, “ Every man's work shall be made manifest; for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work, of what sort it is. If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss : but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.” In the season of trial, the work which is incapable of abiding the test is to be destroyed, but not the man. If the work or doctrine be correct, its reward is the manifestation of its correctness.

As in remarking upon Rev. xi. 18, ($ 262,) we suppose doctrines or principles of doctrine to be personified as men, although the word man or men is not here expressly employed. That no man is saved by works, (Eph. ii. 9,) is so repeatedly and expressly set forth in other portions of Scripture that there can be no possibility of mistaking that position, and we must presume every doctrine taught in the Apocalypse to be consistent with it. If no man can be saved by his works, still less can his works entitle him to hire, compensation, wages, or reward ;* neither can we suppose the Supreme Being to have occasion of a day or of an hour when He is to determine whether this or that man be a sinner or not; or whether this or that human being be less of a sinner than another: to imagine this would be to imagine something entirely inconsistent with all that is revealed in Scripture of the omniscience of God. So far as the language of the Apocalypse is concerned we think, therefore, there can be no hazard in considering the reward in question to be that of a manifestation of the truth or falsehood of all doctrines and principles of doctrine ; a manifestation probably effected through the just construction of the written word of revelation, comprehending that law and testimony by which every work, and device, and doctrine

* The most faithful disciple is but an unprofitable servant, he can do more than it is his duty to do, (Luke xvi. 10.) As Paul says of himself, (1 Cor. ix. 16,) “ Though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me: yea, wo is unto me if I preach not the gospel !” His preaching was nothing more than the performance of a duty; and if he had neglected to preach, this neglect would have been the absolute transgression of a command. If the apostle then could no pretend to a reward or recompense from God for his works, what reason is there for supposing the pretensions of others in this respect to be well founded ?

are to be tried as by a chemical test, the coming with reward being identic with the coming as by fire, as elsewhere described.

• I am Alpha and Omega,' &c.—We have already commented upon this annunciation. The importance of its introduction here appears to be that it identifies the present speaker with him who sat upon the white throne, (Rev. xxi. 6 ;) with him who declares himself to be the Almighty, (Rev. i. 8;) and with him whose voice, as of a trumpet, directed the apostle (Rev. i. 11) to write all that he has written in this book, and to send it to the seven churches of Asia.

Vs. 14, 15. Blessed (are) they that do Μακάριοι οι ποιoύντες τας εντολάς αυthis commandments, that they may have του, ένα έσται η εξουσία αυτών επί το ξύλον right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. For της ζωής και τους πυλώσιν ειςέλθωσιν εις without (are) dogs, and sorcerers, and την πόλιν. "Έξω οι κύνες και οι φαρμακοι whoremongers, and murderers, and idola- και οι πόρνοι και οι φονείς και οι ειδωλολάters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a τραι και πάς ο φιλών και ποιών ψεύδος. lie.*

$ 535. “ Blessed are they,' &c.—This declaration, taken in a literal sense, would imply that there is a certain portion of mankind who do all the commandments of God, and who, accordingly, by their perfect obedience acquire a right to participate of the tree of life. We have said enough, however, to show why we do not and cannot take these words in a literal sense; if the reading be correct as above, we suppose those doing the commandments in the sense of the text, to be elements of doctrine in strict conformity with the truths of the economy of grace-principles admissible into that economy, and forming constituent parts of it; corresponding with such as we suppose allowed to enter the gates, ($ 507,) admitted by the angels at the gates, ($ 485,) and probably identic with the one hundred and forty-four thousand sealed ones; their right, or rather power, (ifovoia,) to the tree of life, consisting in their correspondence with the truth represented as the tree of life. As we might say of such doctrines, that all belonging to the divine plan of salvation must correspond with the representation, that the imputed righteousness of Christ is the only element of eternal life. It would be a mere truism to say of human beings, that it would be well for them, or that they would be happy, if they kept the commandments of God. If Paul could have hoped for happiness in this way, he would not have said of himself, as well as of others, “when the commandment came sin revived, and I died.”

The term rendered commandment, or commandments, occurs in no other place of the Apocalypse connected with the verb to do, (rotéw,) but it is

* These two verses appear to be the interlocutory response as of a chorus, although they may be taken for the words of the apostle, or of the angel ; but the expression, his commandments instead of my commandments, appears intended to show that they are not directly the language of Him who declares himself to be Alpha and Omega.

found in two other places with the verb to keep, (ingéw.) The dragon and the accuser made war with those keeping the commandments of God, and having the testimony of Jesus, the remnant of the seed of the woman clothed with the sun, ($ 291 ;) and those that keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus are also spoken of, Rev. xiv. 12, apparently as exercising patience, ( 336.) In both these cases, we have considered the keeping in the sense of custody ; and the personification, that of principles, keeping as watchmen, sentinels, or guards, the true elements of the plan of salvation by grace. This personification we suppose to be preserved throughout the whole book, and accordingly feel no hesitation in giving to the expression, do his commandments,” a construction similar to that of keeping his commandments. Here, those doing the coinmandments of God are said to do them that they may enter by the gates into the city, as well

power over the tree of life. The two powers are apparently equivalent figures of the same privilege, indicating the congeniality of character between the elements entering by the gate and the city, and between the elements having power over the tree and the tree itself; as the good shepherd (John x. 1) enters by the door into the fold, while the thief or robber climbs over the wall. The congenial element has the freedom of the city; and, by the same token, has power over or upon the tree of life.*

as have

* Some editions of the Greek, instead of the words roloŨNTES Tds {vrolás, doin ? the commandments, have the words alúvortis tàorolás, uashing the robes. Such is the reading preferred by Lachman, and said to be that of the Alexandrine version; it is also followed by Wiclif, “ Blessid be thei that waischen her stoolis: in the blood of the Lambe that the power of hem be in the tree of liif and enter bi the gatis in to the citee, for with outen forth houndis and wicchis and unchast men and manquellers. and servynge to idols and ech that loveth and makith lesinge.” So the Rheims version, "Blessed are they that wash their stoles,” &c. The Greek words and letters in the two readings so nearly resemble each other, that the mistake of transcribers of manuscripts in the first instance may very innocently have been made, and the different readings once introduced, it depended upon other copyists to prefer the expression most in conformity with their own peculiar opinions. The transcriber influenced by legal views, without attending to the mere truism of the proposition in an ordinary sense, preferred the construction setting forth a happiness consisting in keeping the commandments ; the more evangelical transcriber preferred that which placed the same happiness in the efficacy of the Saviour's atonement. If we interpreted the passage literally, we should certainly prefer the last reading, as most coneistent with the whole tenor of divine revelation. But looking upon the expression as altogether of a spiritual and figurative character, we do not consider it of much importance which reading is adopted. The elements personified as disciples washing their robes, must represent principles assimilated by this process to the city and to the tree; the privilege they possess, therefore, is a result of congeniality of character. Whether as disciples keeping the commandments of God, or as disciples washing their robes in the blood of the Lamb, they represent doctrinal elements according with the character of the city and tree, and therefore possessing the power to enter the gates of one, and to participate of the fruit of the other. The city is a figure, and the gate is a figure, and therefore whatever enters by the gate into the city must be a figure

$536. For without are dogs and sorcerers,' &c.—These characters, with the exception of the first, we have already remarked upon ($$ 477, 478) as principles of false doctrine working abomination, and making a lie, (Rev. xxi. 27 ;) on that account not permitted to enter the city, and for the same reason subjected to the never-ending trial of the second deaththe trial as by unquenchable fire ; the two figures (exclusion from the city, and everlasting trial or torture in the lake) being nearly convertible symbols—as we may say, to be excluded from the city is to be cast into the lake, and to be cast into the lake is to be excluded from the city.

The appellation dogs is very generally admitted to be figurative, but it is as generally almost literalized by being considered figurative of human beings of a shameless character. In a spiritual sense, however, we construe the term more exactly : we suppose dogs here, as well as sorcerers, &c., to represent doctrinal principles ; and we take the character of the principles represented by these animals more especially from the habits of these animals in eastern countries in respect to their food. The dogs of Western Asia are scarcely domesticated ; in the cities and towns they herd together, and are almost as ferocious as wild beasts. They are regarded as unclean animals, and as outcasts amongst animals; and, having for the most part neither homes or masters, they subsist upon every species of offal coming in their way ; generally preferring carrion, and vile and putrid animal substances, to attacking and killing other animals for food.* Thus, subsisting in preference upon unclean aliment, they represent, we think, principles specially of a self-righteous character; the dogs of the Apocalypse, as elements of doctrine, corresponding in character with the teachers of false doctrine, alluded to, Phil. iii. 2, under the same appellation. We do not imagine an essential difference between the doctrines represented by these excluded characters : they are all of them rather so many different figures of the same false principles ; a self-righteous principle or doctrine, in its different relations, being in effect a dog, a sorcerer, a whoremonger or adulterer, a murderer, an idolater, and a thing defiling, working abomination, and making and loving a lie, in the sense already attached to these expressions.

so the tree is a figure, and the fruit of the tree is a figure, and therefore whatever has power over the tree is a figure. We have no authority for taking part of the representation in a figurative, and part in a literal sense.

* Dogs licked the blood of Naboth and Ahab, and devoured the body of Jezebel, 1 Kings xxi. 19, and xxii. 38. Amongst the Hebrews, the unburied carcasses of criminals appear to have been left a prey to dogs, as part of the sentence passed upon them. They may be considered, in this light, instruments of judicial vengeance : sword to slay, and the dogs to tear," Jer. xv. 3; “Dogs have compassed me," said David ;—“ Deliver my soul from the sword; my darling from the power of the dog," (Ps. xxii. 20.) That which was holy, or set apart, was not to be given to dogs, (Matt. vii. 6;) while flesh torn by beasts was not to be eaten by the Israelites; it was to be cast to the dogs, (Ex. xxii. 31.)

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Vs. 16, 17. I Jesus have sent mine angel 'Εγώ 'Ιησούς έπεμψα τον άγγελός μου to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring εγώ είμαι η ρίζα και το γένος Δαυίδ, ο αστήρ

μαρτυρήσαι υμϊν ταύτα επί ταϊς εκκλησίαις: of David, (and) the bright and morning. star. And the Spirit and the bride say, ο λαμπρός ο πρωϊνός. Και το πνεύμα και Come. And let him that heareth say, ý výugn héyovoirëgyov. xuì o uzotaw siCome. And let him that is athirst come. πάτω: έρχου, και ο διψών έρχέσθω, και θέλων And whosoever will, let him take the λαβέτω ύδωρ ζωής δωρεάν. water of life freely.

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$ 537. I Jesus have sent,' &c.—In the sixth verse of this chapter it is said, “the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to show unto his servants the things which must shortly be done.” It is now as expressly declared, that the angel was sent by Jesus. The inference, therefore, is unavoidable, that Jesus and the Lord God of the holy prophets are different appellations of the same Being, the same source of truth. This book of Revelation, or rather the revelation itself, as it was made to the apostle, may be figuratively termed an angel or messenger ; Jesus, therefore, may be said to reveal himself, in this messenger or message, as by an angel.

The same Jesus who was declared to be the Lamb of God, (John i. 29, 36,) and who, as the Lamb, is revealed to us occupying the throne or seat of God, is here declared to be the Lord God of the prophets; and the same Jesus who is called (Rev. i. 5) the faithful and true witness, testifies or bears witness in this revelation as through the instrumentality of a messenger. The same Jesus who first exhibited himself to the apostle in this vision, in the midst of the golden candlesticks, as one like unto the Son of Man, (Rev. i. 13,) afterwards reveals himself as the Lamb opening the sealed book, and consequently as the author of the whole revelation resulting from that opening. At the same time, as the Word of God, this Jesus is revealed in the rider of the white horse ; first, as going forth to overcome, (Rev. vi. 2.) and subsequently as actually overcoming, (Rev. xix. 20, 21 ;) lastly, he reveals himself in the person of his bride, the holy city.

The name Jesus signifying the Saviour, God the Saviour must be Him by whom the angel here spoken of is sent; or, rather, dropping the figure of the angel, God the Saviour is the author of this revelation, as the book is entitled the Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him, (Rev. i. 1 ;) so we may say God reveals himself in this book as the Anointed, the only Saviour, for there is none other. God was, in Christ, reconciling the world

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