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congregated under the Assyrian in the land of Israel, and there trodden under foot (Isa. xiv. 25; Ezek. xxxix. 17; Dan. xi. 45; Zeph. iii. 8; Zech. xiv. 2). And as the church of Christ shall be gathered to him in the air by the first act of judgment, and thenceforth be for ever with the Lord, and witness his mighty actings, and come with him when he comes, and reign with him when he reigns : so at the same time shall those of the Jewish people who have not been converted to Christ be brought, through severe trials and sufferings, into their own land; those who are infidel among them being destroyed, and those who believe in God, but are obstinate and rebellious, like their fathers in the wilderness, being chastised but not cast off, and brought into a state of humiliation and sorrow, so as to receive with the fullest gratitude, love, and adoration, that Messiah whom they had pierced, now coming to save them from their enemies in the hour of their utmost need. To them he comes as a deliverer, having already trodden the wine-press of Babylon. They had previously been gathered out of the wine-vat, and brought from Bozrah and Edom into their own land; and therefore it is said, concerning them (Isa. lxii. 3), “Of the people there was none with me. For as Christ alone died for the sins of the world, so he alone shall vindicate offers of mercy rejected, and punish the slaughter of his saints. And tremendous indeed shall be the vengeance, when his sword shall be bathed in heaven, and come down upon the people of his curse to judgment (Isa. xxxiv. 5). Flesh and blood may not abide it, and we even turn from the thought of it with dread ; but this is not our wisdom: let us know the danger we incur by any hesitation ; let us enter with boldness into the holiest by the blood of Jesus ; let us draw near with a true heart, and in full assurance of faith ; let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering, and so much the more as we see the day approaching; and let us shake off our listlessness, and quicken ourselves, by presenting to our minds the dreadful alternative, the fate of every one who rejects the offered Gospel. For if“ hé that despised Moses' law died without mercy, of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of Grace? For we know Him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me; I will recompense, saith the Lord. The Lord shall judge bis people. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Heb. x. 19, 31).
The deluge of fire by which the apostates are consumed, will fall, we believe, upon the seat of the Papacy, as upon Sodom and the cities of the plain, just before the birth of Isaac, the child of joy, the type of the true Heir; and as the site of the cities of the plain became a sea, so do we believe that the
sea of glass, the pavement of the New Jerusalem (Rev. xv. 2, xxi. 21), will be 12,000 furlongs (ver. 16), and cover that portion of the earth which the fire will then have purified for the holy of holies to the world. In this tabernacle, which every comparison must fall short of, and which the heart of man cannot now conceive, God himself shall dwell with men, raised men, glorified men, men fitted for communion with God. (Rev. xxi. 3.) This glorious Shechinah of God and his glorified church will be, like the tabernacle of old, the oracle for the government of the world, and the nations of them that are saved shall walk in the light of it (ver. 24). But, as of old the people entered not into the holy place, but received their directions through Moses and the priests ; so shall the Jewish people become at that time the medium of communication with the other nations of the earth, the channel through which all the families of the earth shall be blessed, the teachers by whom the knowledge of the Lord shall cover the earth as the waters cover the channels of the deep.
And here discretion bids us stop, for distinct revelation ends; and though imagination might lawfully go much further, even it would stop short of reality, "since eye hath not seen,
, nor ear heard, nor hath it entered into the heart of man to conceive the joys prepared for them that love God.” But " the Spirit searcheth all things, yea the deep things of God;" and much profitable meditation is found in such passages as these : “He who blesseth himself in the earth, shall bless himself in the God of truth.” “Be ye glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create; for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy.” “Rejoice ye with Jerusalem, and be glad with her, all ye that love her : rejoice for joy with her, all ye that mourn for her : that ye may suck and be satisfied with the breasts of her consolations; that ye may milk out and be delighted with the abundance of her glory. For thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river, and the glory of the Gentiles like a flowing stream. . As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you; and ye shall be comforted in Jerusalem.” And the whole mystery is contained in Psalm xcix., the reign of the Lord, for which we daily pray in “hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come.” For then it shall be said in the letter, "The Lord reigneth; the Lord is great in Zion, and he is high above
, all the people. ... Let them praise thy great and terrible name, for it is hallowed.... Thou dost establish equity, thou executest righteousness in Jacob.... Moses, Aaron, Samuel, they called upon the Lord, and he answered them. He spake unto them in the cloudy pillar.... Thou answeredst them, O Lord our God. Thou wast a God that forgavest them, though thou tookest vengeance of their inventions. Exalt the Lord our God, and worship at his holy hill: for the Lord our God is holy.”
COMMENTARY ON THE seveN APOCALYPTIC EPISTLES.
(Continued from Vol. ii. p. 776.)
“And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write, These things saith he that hath the sword, the two-edged, the sharp” (Rev. ii. 12).—There are two very different Greek words employed in the New Testament, which are both translated “ sword."
The one is μαχαιρα, and the other ρομφαια the word employed in the text. The former derived from
μαχεομαι to fight, expresses no more than a cutting weapon. Accordingly, its employment in Heb. iv. 12, where the word of God, in whose sight every creature is manifest, is declared to be more cutting than any two-edged sword, will be seen to demonstrate that the word there spoken of is not the personal but the written word; for the saying (pnua) of God is expressly called the cutting weapon (viaxaipa) of the Spirit, Eph. vi. 17. But the word poupara, from peupw to turn, has an evident reference to the bright revolving blade which appeared at the gate of forfeit Eden to guard the access to the tree of life; the peculiar property of the Incarnate Son, who has right to the tree of life by his Godhead knowledge of good and evil, and has had the promise thereof by having become man (Gen. ii. 9; iii. 22, 24). That this is the sword of judgment is evident from Isa. Ixvi. 16, xlix. 2, Luke ii. 34, Rev. ii. 16; and more particularly from Rev. xix. 15, 21, which describe the apparel of the Lord in his personal coming to judge the beast and the false prophet. In Isa. xi. 4, 1; Jude in, and 2 Thess. ii. 8, we are presented with the Lord's judgment of the wicked one, under the figure of his slaying him with the spirit of his mouth, and cancelling, or paralysing, him with the epiphany of his presence. And, therefore, as Christ snall descend with a shout, or command (1 Thess. iv. 16), and with a loud voice (Rev. xvi. 1); and as the saints shall, when they share in his judgment, have the high praises of God in their mouths; so I believe that the two-edged sword in Christ's mouth is the command of his judgment, asserting the tree of life in the New Jerusalem-a command put by commission into the hands of his risen saints (Psa. cxlix. Rev. xvi. 1). Why this should be called a two-edged sword, I cannot tell, unless in one of two respects : viz. either because a double-edge is proper to a sword which proceeds forth direct, and does not cleave, as in Heb. iv. 12; or else because, as the great work of separation between the wheat and the tares, the sheep and the goats, shall then commence, an edge is allowed to each, that the same righteous and discerning judgment may be seen to adjudicate such opposite conditions. But be this as it may, the peculiar application of the title to the church of Pergamos is
most manifest, when we reflect that in this church arose that mystery of iniquity which should at once abide and invoke the judgment of the Lord at his appearing and kingdom, (2 Thess. ii. 8, Rev. xix. 20).
“I know thy works, and where thou inhabitest, where the throne of Satan is : and thou holdest with dominion my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in the days in which Antipas was my witness the faithful, who has been slain among you, where Satan inhabiteth.” (Rev. ii. 13)-The word kaTOLKEw means not a mere temporary residence, but a permanent habitation, as distinguished from a state of wandering. In this sense are we a habitation of God in the Spirit (Eph. ii. 22), and our hearts habitations of Christ by faith (Eph. iii. 17); and Christ himself the habitation of the completion of the Godhead bodily (Col. ii. 9); and the new heaven and earth a habitation of righteousness (2 Pet. ii. 13), and Babylon condemned the habitation of demons (Rev. xviii. 2). Now, on the accession of Constantine the church ceased to wander : she acquired a new stability and settledness, being delivered from persecution and raised to imperial dignity. But of this habitation, the scene was that where stood the throne of Satan : therefore the interpretation of that throne, will interpret the place of habitation. Now the very expression indicates the peculiar presence, residence, and power of Satan, or the dragon. Accordingly, that territory in which the throne of Satan stands is in th called the place where Satan inhabits katolkel, as well as the place where the church inhabits (katolket). Moreover, we are informed of a person who is the rival of God (2 Thess. ii. 4);-of an energy (evepyeta) of Satan, diametrically opposed to the energy of God in his Christ (2 Thess. ii. 9, Eph. i. 19)-of depths of Satan directly contrasted with the depths of God; (Rev. ii. 24, 1 Cor. ii. 10);-of a teaching of Satan specially at variance with the teaching of God (Rev. ii. 24, 2 Tim. úi. 16);--of a maintenance of Satanic falsehood opposed to that of Christian truth (Rev. ii. 13, 14, 15, 25);-of an authority of Satan, over the nations exactly the reverse of Christ's authority over them. (Rev. xiii. 2, ii. 26, v. 10, xix. 6);--of heresies of perdition, (2 Pet. ii. 1); -of a revealed mystery of lawlessness, as the exact converse of the revealed mystery of godliness (2 Thess. ii. 7, 1 Tim. in. 16);-of an apocalypse of the lawless one as the counterpart of the apocalypse of Christ the righteous (2 Thess. ii. 8, Rev. i. 1, xix. 11); -and of a presence of the same, which shall at once usurp and anticipate the glorious epiphany and avenging presence of Christ (2 Thess. ii. 8, 9). Now we read, that the great dragon, the ancient serpent, he who is called the Accuser, Tocabolos), and the Seducer (caravas), has been cast down to the earth (Rev. xii. 9). And we also read, that he hath given to the
wild beast of blasphemy, which is the Roman power, his power and his throne, and great authority (Rev. xiii. 2, xvi. 10, xvii. 3.) Therefore it is clear that the throne of Satan is the supremacy of the Roman earth, and the habitation of Pergamos the Roman earth itself.
To hold fast Christ's name, is, in one sense, the character of every faithful church; but there must be a peculiar sense in which such a character is applicable to the church of Pergamos. The name of Christ, although sometimes taken to signify no more than the faith of the Gospel, cannot here do so, because it is given as a separate character of Pergamos not to deny Christ's name. Therefore it does especially import that glorious name above every name which Christ as man received, as a gift, at resurrection, from the Father; as the reward of his uprightness and obedience unto death in the days of his flesh. (Phil. i. 9; Heb. i. 4, 9; v. 5.) Under this name he has, as the Lord and Christ of the Father, all power in heaven and on earth; being made head over all things for the church, which is his body, his fulness, his spouse. Now the Papacy, being one form of Antichrist, is the constitution of a rival name; the denial of Jesus Christ, our only Master, God, and Lord (Jude 4; 2 Pet. ii. 1; Acts iv. 29); the setting up of a rival and visible lordship, and high priesthood; the forestalling and mockery of the yet hidden kingdom ; the marriage of the church, who is yet a widow; and her marriage to one who is not her Bridegroom, but an apostate liar, the son of that old liar the devil. Indeed, the name of the beast, and the number of his name, are what the two-horned lamb upholds with sorest sanctions; and what the saints have with greatest strife to conquer (Rev. xiii. 11, 17; xv. 2). And the doctrine of the Papacy, as part of Antichrist, is the only doctrine said to be maintained by its adherents in that way in which the saints maintain the truth (Rev. ii. 13, 25, 14, 15). To hold fast, then, or with dominion, must, when here applied to the name of Christ, have the same emphatic import which it has when applied in Rev. ii. 1 to the seven stars. In other words, as the latter expresses our Lord's resistance to the obliteration of his ordained ministry, so the former expresses the resistance of Pergamos to the dereliction and dishonour of Christ's peerless and single name. Now the Papacy arose out of the church of Pergamos: therefore the church of Thyatira, which bore witness against the Papacy revealed, is also commanded to hold with dominion, and to preserve (Rev. ii. 25, 26). But the churches of Ephesus and Smyrna have no such words addressed to them, because during their periods the occasion had not emerged on which the work of holding fast Christ's name against a false name was called for.
Not to deny the faith of Christ, is given as the security against VOL. III.-NO. I.