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relative, and social duty is taught in the clearest manner, and enforced by the strongest motives. So far are the authors of the New Testament from contemning all written revelation, that in their writings they uniformly evince the greatest reverence for the written revelation of the Old Testament, which they exhort their disciples to study diligently, and point out its friendly harmony with the Christian system. And though they insist on the necessity of receiving and believing that system, yet they equally condemn all spirit of persecu-, tion, and all religious indifference.
DISCIPLINE OF THE CHURCH-NO, III. HAVING seen how the primitive apostolic churches became posa sessed of any other officers than the inspired Apostles, we shall progress a little farther, and then give our views of their proceedings. After Paul and Barnabas had "gathered the church together at Antioch, and rehearsed all God had done by them, and how he had opened the door of faith to the Gentiles, they continued a long time with the disciples.”
Some men came down from Judea, teaching circumcision. Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and disputation with them. They did not attempt to exclude them, or close the doors of the synagogue against them. As they were the ambassadors to the Gentiles, they agreed to refer the matter to the Apostles and Elders at Jerusa. lem. “So Paul and Barnabas, and certain others, it was determined should go up to the Apostles and Elders about this question.” What a noble example for us, to go to the Apostles and Elders-THEIR RECORDED ACTS—upon all disputed points. These were inspired men, and their decision was the mind of God. Never can there be such an association of infallible wisdom as was assembled at Jerusalem. Here were the APOSTLES and Elders, with the whole church at Jerusalem, under the Spirit of inspiration, concurring in the abrogation of circumcision with the Gentiles, “upon whom my name is called," saith the Lord; that is, all that have been by faith immersed. into the name of the Lord: “For as many (says Paul) as have been by faith immersed into Christ have put on Christ." This assemblage is not a precedent for any assemblage of uninspired men on earth. The Apostles sent with Paul and Barnabas, Judas, surnamed Barsa. bas, and Silas, to tell the church at Antioch the same things by mouth (being Prophets) as were written in their decrees. After this Paul proposes to Barnabas to go and see their brethren in every city where they had preached the word of the Lord, to see how they were. They carried the decrees drawn up at Jerusalem for the churches, ordained by the APOSTLES and ELDERS. This proves that the Apostles did not assume the government of the churches, but gave laws to them, though the care of all the churches was a matter of great anxiety with them.
It appears from Acts xx. that Paul sent from Miletus to Ephesus, and called the ELDERS OF THE CHURCH. He reminded them how he had taught them, and that he had not shunned to declare to them all the counsel of God. He therefore warns them to take heed to themselves, and to all the flock over which the Holy SPIRIT had made them overseers; to feed the church of God which he has purchased with his own blood. For I know this (says the Apostle) that after my departure shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also, of your own selves shall men arise speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. What remedy does he provide to preserve the faithful disciples against these grievous wolves and intestine enemies? He "commends them to God and to the word of his favor, which is able to build them up and to give them an inheritance among all them that are sanctified:--that he had courted no man's gold or silver." Here we have an important prophecy that the church. would be devoured and rended asunder by grievous wolves and ambitious teachers that would draw away disciples after them. We now experience the awful realities of the Apostle's warning.
Let us now attend to his advice, to commit ourselves into the hands of God, and take the word of his grace to build us up. We can see, on the one hand, grievous wolves; and on the other, the intestines enemies of the church's unity, peace, and purity. We are authorized to say by the Holy Spirit, that every church had its plurality of Elders. They were men filled with the mind of Christ and wisdom. They were chosen by the church from among themselves to be overseers over them. Their business was first to take heed to themselves; then to the church of God over which the Holy Spirit had made them overseers. We understand by the Holy Spirit making them overseers, that it is ordained by the Holy Spirit that every church or congregation should, if they have men of wisdom, whose character came up to that Paul describes to Timothy, among themselves, to elect such to be rulers or overseers over them, and submit to the word of God which they were to teach them. Hence the exhor. tation to the churches: “And we beseech you, brethren, to know them that labor among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you; and to esteem them very highly in love for their work's sake." A Bishop, or overseer, is to be one that rules well ;* that is, must be just, ruling in the fear of the Lord. Hence the Apostle teaches, “Let the ELDERS that rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially those that labor in word and doctrine." Again, "Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls as they that must give an account; that they may do it with joy, and not with grief; for that is unprofitable for you." Rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil.
I understand “to rule well” is to preserve order, and to enforce an observ. ance of the word of God in the church.
PROPHETIC ICONISMS.No. II. • JERUSALEM. In symbolic or figurative language, the church of Jesus Christ the Christian Economy. "Jerusalem which is above is free; the mother of us all.” “The holy city” is contrasted with the great city," the true church of Christ with the apostate church. Babylon and Jerusalem--the former represents every professing chris- ! tian society which submits not wholly and unconditionally to Jesus as sole lawgiver, prophet, priest and king; the latter the society which unreservedly submits to him in all his official power and glory. Jerusalem, New, contrasted with the earthly and literal city, capital of Judea.
Islands, European States. Isles of the Sea, frequently in prophetic language, represent the western parts of the world, particularly Europe. Island sometimes signifies a prince, or the sovereign of any small state, as well as the lesser states themselves.
KILLING, act of, changing the condition from bad to worse; causing a person or state to cease to be what it was before: 'political death. The recovery of a people is also called their resurrection. The killing of the witnesses, denotes the depriving them of their former state and power.
KING_The supreme power, in whomsoever invested, and by whatever name designated. Seven Kings, seven sorts of supreme power. The four beasts are several sorts of beasts; so the “five senses" denote not five of the same sort, but five distinct species, or sorts.
KINGDOM, the body subject to any head or supreme power,
LAMB—Lamb of God, the well known symbol of the Messiah. A beast with the horns of a lamb, represents a state or person pretending to such power as the Messiah rightfully exercises; spiritual power.
LAMP-Symbol of government, civil or religious.
LIFE-Alive, having pow ?r and activity. To cast the beast and the false prophet alive into a lake of fire, denotes not only the destruction of the persons, but the succession, the existence of such persons. To cast a person alive into a lake of fire, represents, also, the fierce and terrible nature of the judgment.
LocusTS-Numerous, armies of men pillaging and destroying a country. Joel i. 6. The Persians and Babylonians who laid waste Judea are compared to locusts. “If any king or potentate see locusts come upon a place, let him expect a powerful multitude of enemies there."-Achmetes
MARK. See Character.
MERCHANTS. Merchants of the earth-Ecclesiastics, or spiritual persons, in reproach of their worldly character, and because they traffic in religious privileges, are called the merchants of the earth.
MONTH. See Time.
MOUNTAIN-A great and powerful government. “The Mountain of the Lord's House," the kingdom of the people of God: “In all my holy mountain," in all the kingdom of the Messiah. Babylon is called a mountain: Jer. li. 25. "I am against thee, O destroying mountain, saith the Lord, which destroyeth all the earth; and I will stretch out my hand upon thee, and roll thee down from the rocks”—Zech. iv. 7. “Who art thou, O great mountain? before Zerubbabel thou shalt be a plain"; i. e. Babylon reduced before Cyrus. The stone cut out of the kingdoms of this world became a great mountain (kingdom) and filled the whole earth.
MOUTH, The words which proceed out of it-Commands and aca tions. “Out of their mouth issued fire"-Destruction; commands and threats issuing in destruction.
NAKEDNESS--Poverty, shame, and disgrace. “Make her naked," shall bring upon her shame and disgrace.
OLIVE TREES. Trees in the prophetic scriptures are often the symbols of men. The olive, remarkable for its verdure, soundness, and useful oil, is the symbol of the most illustrious and useful men. Moses and Aaron were two olive trees. So were Zerubbabel and Joshua. 'The good man is like a tree planted by the water courses--the axe lies at the root of the dry tree. The godly by Isaiah are called “trees of righteousness,” Ixi.3. Thy children are like olive plants: the Jewish people and state, Jer xi. 16. “The Lord called thy name a green olive tree, fair, and of goodly fruit."
Palm, branches of. Carry branches of palm trees-- The symbol of joy after a victory attended with antecedent sufferings.
PARADISE-Symbol of happiness and salvation. .Fruits of Pa. radise,” signify divine and useful knowledge.
PILLARS--Princes or nobles in a kingdom or state.
Potion, Cup, or Philtrum-Sorcery, enchantment. "Cup of her fornication"_enchanting or magical influences.
Rain-Refreshment: peace and righteousness: pure and heavenly doctrine; Deut. xxxii. 2; Ps. Ixxii. 6; Hosea x. 12. “All manner of good things."
RESURRECTION, and «Rising from the dead”-A recuperation of lost rights and privileges which have been taken away; a deliverance from persecution and bondage. Ez. xxxvii. 9. “I will open their graves"---raise them into a national and elevated existence. Political and religious exaltation.
Rivers-Provincial magistrates; revenues. Consolations are also represented by rivers of living waters: the fruits of the Spirit. Drying up of rivers portends death, sorrow and affliction.
SCARLET. Scarlet colored-Emblem of the most bloody cruelty.
SEA-Waters signify people. The gathering together of people into one body politic, constitutes a sea. The winds strové upon the great sea-An empire in agitation.
SELLING. See Buying.
Ship-The symbol of profit.
Sun, Moon and Stars Symbol of the high lights and authorities in society, political and religious. The sun denotes the chief, the moon next in authority, and the stars the nobles. Joseph's dream, interpreted by Jacob, gives the true interpretation of those symbols: “Shall I, and thy mother, and thy brethren, indeed, come and bow down to thee!" The moon is the symbol of the Jewish state, the sun of the christian, and the stars are used to represent, sometimes, the lights in general. The morning star is a symbol of the Messiah. The king of Babylon is called Lucifer, Son of the “Morning." "I am," says Jesus, "the bright and the morning star.” Angels, too, are symbolized by stars. When the morning stars sang together, even all the sons of God shouted for joy. “Stars falling from heaven," denote the destruction of the nobility. “The stars are usually put for subordinate princes and great men."-Sir Isaac Newton. Political and ecclesiastical heavens have their hosts, their sun, moon, and stars, as well as the natural.
SWORD-Symbol of slaughter. Sword out of the mouth-Threatenings, sharp and severe: his words are drawn swords-piercing and terrific.
TAIL. «Tail of a beast”-Symbol of the train or retinue of the chief authority or state symbolized by the beast whose tail it is.
TEETH "Large iron teeth," a devouring enemy; rapacious cruelty. .
TEMPLE OF GOD, Christian Church. “Man of Sin sitting in the temple of God," represents Christ's pretended Vicar reigning over something called the church. “A pillar in the temple of my God :" a conspicuous member in the church of the Messiah: “a consecrated people, whose profession is christian," say Hammond, Grotius.
T'HIRST. See Hunger.
THROES. Throes of child birth— Image of great endeavors 10 bring to pass something attended with great difficulty, Jer. xxx. 6,7. Is. lxvi. 7.
THRONE. Throne, kingdom, government, authority, dominion and power, are of like signification. “To translate the kingdom from the house of Saul and to set up the throne of David over lsrael," is to translate the government from one to the other. “The throne of the beast,” is his authority.
TARONE OF God. As the trees of God are magnificent trees; the cedars of God magnificent cedars; the mountains of God very large mountains; so, figuratively, and in the Hebrew idiom, “Throne of God” is a magnificent throne.
TAUNDER. “There were thunders and lightnings”—The symbol of sudden and terrific dispersion and destruction of the forces of war. As the coruscations of lightning and thunder shake the natural heavens, or air, so symbolic thunders, &c. shake the political and existing governments of men. Is. xxix, 6; Job xxxix. 25; 1 Sam. ii. 10; Ps. xviii.