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a Matt. 22. 2.
The angel will not be worshipped.
The fowls called
of the Lamb. 14 And the armies which were in And he saith unto me, These are the heaven followed him uponwhite horses, true sayings of God.
clothed in fine linen, white and clean. 10 And I fell at his feet to worship 15 And out of his mouth goeth a b Chap. 22. 9. him. And he said unto me, See sharp sword, that with it he should
thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, smite the nations : and he shall rule
16 And he hath on his vesture and
in the sun; and he cried with a loud
supper of the great God;
c Isai. 63. 2.
her robes, and made them white in the blood of the to which the preceding parts seem principally to tend, Lamb,” chap. vii. 14. By faith in her Redeemer she is and in which they have their completion; the grand and become righteous, for this is “ the fine linen,” “the decisive combat between the Christian and antichristian righteousness of the saints.” Dean Woodhouse. powers. Here the seven seals, the seven trumpets, the
9. — he saith unto me, Write,] Write this down for seven vials, and all their accompanying warnings unite. the comfort of all true Christians. Pyle.
Heaven opens, and the white horse appears. He is the Blessed are they which &c.] "Blessed are they same white horse whom we saw proceeding in his career who, by the grace of God, co-operating with their own of victory, in the early part of the vision; whose rider endeavours, make their calling and election sure,” 2 Pet. went forth conquering and to conquer.” Faithful and i. 10; who, having on the wedding garment of righ- true to His promises, He now gives more manifest asteousness, become entitled to “ sit down to meat” in sistance to the cause of His religion. And while He the kingdom of heaven, Luke xii. 37. Dean Wood- confounds and destroys His enemies, it is apparent that house.
•His judgments are righteous.' The epithets elsewhere 10. And I fell at his feet] St. John was in such applied to the Messiah, are here collected, and so arrapture and ecstacy at these discoveries, that he neither ranged as to display His glory, His power, and His knew nor considered what he did. Bp. Newton. anger, terrible to His unrepentant foes. He leads His
- And he said — See thou do it not :) This pro- armies, the faithful and pure Christians, to assured hibition to worship angels, or any other being besides victory; victory so decisive that none of His enemies God, is repeated in chap. xxii. 9; and, thus repeated, escape. Dean Woodhouse. seems to contain a very strong injunction against that - on his head were many crowns ;] Our Saviour angel worship, in which a great part of the Christian is here described in such characters, as are appropriated world has been involved. Dean Woodhouse,
to Him in this book, and in the ancient Prophets. “On “See thou do it not :” it is not to me these thanks His head were many crowns,” to denote His numerous are due ; I have been in this only fulfilling the orders of conquests and kingdoms, which were now (chap. xi. 15) Him who is my Lord as well as yours ; “worship God” "become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of His Christ.” therefore, to whom you ought to ascribe these revela- As the Jewish high priest wore the ineffable name of tions. Harmer.
Jehovah on his forehead, so he had a name written, I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren &c.] which none could perfectly comprehend but Himself, The sense is plainly this, Direct thy acknowledgment and His name is called “the Word of God." Bp. for this important discovery, and that religious adoration Newton. which it inspires, to God only who revealed it, and not 13. — the Word of God.] The eternal and incarnate to me, who am but thy fellowservant in this office of Word of His Father. Bp. Hall. bearing testimony to Jesus. I said, “in bearing testi- 14. -clothed in fine linen, &c.] An emblem of vicmony to Jesus :' for know that the spirit of prophecy, tory and sanctity. Bp. Newton. with which I am endowed, and by which I am enabled 16. — a name written, &c.] Having given, in the deto foretell these great things, is but in other words “the monstration of His power, open marks and proofs of testimony of Jesus ;” it has no other use or end, but to His glorious sovereignty over all creatures, He is pubdo honour to Him; the Prophet, whether He be angel lickly proclaimed and acknowledged, “ King of kings, or man, is only the minister of God to bear witness to and Lord of lords.” Bp. Hall. His Son; and his commission is ultimately directed to 17.- an angel standing in the sun ;] And so conspithis one purpose, of manifesting the glories of his king-cuous to all. This angel, in lofty strains, copied from dom. Bp. Hurd.
the ancient Prophets, Ezek. xxxix. 17, 18, calls the fowls 11. And I saw heaven opened, &c.] We are now ar- to the great slaughter of Christ's enemies. Bp. Nextor. rived at that signal and expected point of the prophecy, 18. That ye may eat the flesh] “Flesb," in symbo
to the great slaughter.
for a thousand years. DANNONI kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh
CHAP. XX. of horses, and of them that sit on
2 Satan bound for a thousand years. 6 The them, and the flesh of all men, both first resurrection : they blessed that have free and bond, both small and great. part therein. 7 Satan let loose again. 8 19 And I saw the beast, and the
Gog and Magog. 10 The devil cast into
the lake of fire and brimstone. 12 The last
and general resurrection.
20 And the beast was taken, and the bottomless pit and a great chain
pit, and shut him up, and set a seal
4 And I saw thrones, and they sat
lical language, signifies the riches, goods, and posses- violence and fraud, that thus true knowledge and pure sions. of any person conquered or slain. Daubuz. worship, with a virtuous life, in peace, charity, and
19. And I saw the beast, &c.] “The beast,” and prosperity, may be pursued and enjoyed without inter“the false prophet,” ver. 20, represent the enemies of ruption. Pyle. Christ, the antichristian powers, civil and ecclesiastical, the key — a great chain] These two symbols with their armies gathered together,” their adherents expressing the commission on which the angel came. and followers combined, and determined to support Lowman. idolatry, and oppose all reformation. But the principals, 2.- and bound him a thousand years,] Meaning that, as deserving of the greatest punishment, are “ taken for this space of time, the devil, who is represented the and cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brim- first in the apostasy, and principal agent in the opposistone;" and their followers are slain with the word of tion to truth, righteousness, and religion, shall be fully Christ, “the sword which proceedeth out of His restrained from the exercise of all influence and power, mouth, and all the fowls are filled with their fesh;" either to seduce men into errour and wickedness, or to their substance is seized for other persons, and for persecute men of conscience, constancy, and faithfulother uses. The design of this sublime prophecy is to ness. Lowman. . The church was now to enjoy purity shew the downfall of popery and the triumph of ge- of religion in peace, without any disturbance from nuine Christianity ; the true word of God will prevail those old enemies of mankind working in the children over superstition and idolatry; all the powers of anti- of disobedience. Daubuz. christ will be completely subdued, and the religion of 4. And I saw thrones, &c.] Much has been written Rome, as well as Rome herself, be totally destroyed. upon this promised millennium ; yet little that can Bp. Newton.
afford satisfaction to the judicious. The meaning of a Thus are concluded all the several representations of prophecy of this kind can only be made manifest by the the fall of the corrupt church power in the Christian event which is to fulfil it. Before that time shall arrive, world; all of them being contained within the seventh it is unsafe to conjecture after what method it shall be seal, which is the grand period, containing all the fulfilled; whether as some prophecies, literally, or, as periods of the seven trumpets, as the seventh trumpet others, typically; whether the departed saints and mardoes the periods and events of the seven vials. The tyrs shall actually be raised in their own persons, to battle mentioned in this chapter seems to contain the effect so glorious a change in religion and morals; or particulars of that which is shortly mentioned in chap. whether, like Elijah in the person of St. John the Bapxvi. 16. The frequent repetition, and variety of the tist
, and David in that of Christ, they shall
, as it were, representations of this grand event, are owing to the live again in the persons of other saints, who shall fulfil vast importance of it to the Christian world. Pyle. their characters and offices, no man may presume to
determine. It is best, therefore, after the example of Chap. XX. ver. 1. And I saw &c.] After the fall of the the wise father Irenæus, respecting another prophecy, antichristian power, there is to succeed a glorious and to wait the completion of the prediction. Yet, if we happy state of the Christian church upon earth; which are not permitted to descend to a special interpretation, is to be displayed at large, in the lofty figures of pro- we may receive advantage from a general view. We phetick language, in the concluding chapters of this book. may confidently indulge a well-grounded expectation, Preparatory to this glorious event, there will be, (ver. 1– that happy times, of long duration, are yet destined to 3,) in the course of all-powerful Providence, a full (though the Christian church, even here upon earth. For the not absolutely final) stop put to all wicked powers, that days will come, when, the beast and false prophet being formerly corrupted and persecuted the true church of removed, and Babylon sunk for ever, that ancient foe God; all impious hands are to be tied up from acts of will be deprived of his wonted influence, and the pro
Satan let loose again.
Satan let loose again. DOAMINI upon them, and judgment was given the second death hath no power, but
unto them: and I saw the souls of they shall be priests of God and of
of the earth, a Gog and Magog, to a Ezek. 38. 2.
9 And they went up on the breadth 6 Blessed and holy is he that hath of the earth, and compassed the camp, part in the first resurrection : on such of the saints about, and the beloved
& 39. 1.
phecies, both in the Old Testament and in this book of 5. But the rest of the dead &c.] There will be no Revelation, which promise happy times, will be accom- general resurrection of the bodies of mankind, till the plished. Dean Woodhouse.
glorious period of “a thousand years” is expired. “This – and judgment was given unto them :) That is, is the first resurrection.”. Pyle. they received authority to reign and govern. Daubuz.
the first resurrection.] Here figuratively used to of them that were beheaded] Of those who re- express the flourishing condition of the church for that sisted unto blood the heathen idolatry and practices ; “thousand years.” Dr. Hammond. the constant servants of Christ, who persevered until 6. Blessed and holy is he &c.] Blessed will those death. Dr. Hammond.
Christians be, whose lot it is to live within that reign of In their opinions respecting the sense of this passage, truth and righteousness. And blessed will be the saints interpreters have differed very widely. Some under and martyrs who long before shined as lexamples of stand the description of this verse literally to mean, a virtue to them. They all will be in the highest esteem real and proper resurrection of those who in the former with their great Master; their deaths will end in everstates of persecution were put to death for their con- lasting life; and, as both of them will reign, in some stancy in the profession of pure Christianity; that is, sense or other, in the kingdom of Christ upon earth, the martyrs under the heathen empire, and those who during the “thousand years" of purity, virtue, and were slain under the reign of the beast. Others under- peace, so will they both have their share in His eternal stand this description in a figurative sense, and conceive kingdom in heaven. Pyle. the prophecy to intend those persons who have the 7.- Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, &c.] After true spirit and temper of martyrs, who have the like the grand period above described, so favourable to the faith, constancy, and zeal, with those whom no perse- Christian cause, shall have come to its end, another cutions could prevail upon to deny the truth. Those apostasy will unhappily take place. This is expressed who entertain this opinion observe, that all the expres- figuratively by Satan being again loosed to deceive the sions will very well bear this interpretation ; that it is ' nations. This new rebellion against the laws of God more agreeable to the style of prophecy, in particular, to and the easy yoke of the Redeemer is of formidable exthe style of this book, which abounds throughout in tent. “The four corners of the earth ;” that is, the figurative descriptions ; that all these expressions are nations of the whole earth, are engaged in it. It is an used in the ancient Prophets in a figurative sense ; and apostasy of a new kind, different at least from the that unanswerable difficulties attend a literal interpre- former apostasy, in which the beast and false prophet tation of them. Lowman.
were Satan's instruments of mischief. Beyond this we and they lived and reigned with Christ] They have little ground for conjecture. The enemies of the may well be said to live and rise again, if not in a literal | Christian church, numerous as the sands on the seasense, yet in that figurative and moral sense in which shore, surround the camp of the saints, which is repre. the Prophets were wont to describe the church and sented as in a state of siege. But the extinction of people of God as restored to life, and rising from death, these enemies will be sudden, miraculous, and complete. on their deliverance from captivity, false religion, or any Dean Woodhouse. remarkable calamity, Ezek. xxxvii. 1-3; Hosea vi. Whether the expressions here used be only figurative, 1, 2; Ezra ix. 8, 9; Rom. xi. 15. Pyle.
or whether they contain also something literal, the a thousand years.] Whether this be intended to substance of the prophecy will be to this purpose; that, denote the precise time of a thousand years, or only after the " thousand years” of peace and purity, the such a long time as will in the wisdom of Divine Pro- church will once more be disturbed by persons like the vidence bear a proportion to the time of the antichristian barbarous northern nations, who have often disturbed reign, it is not easy, neither is it at all necessary, to the peace of the world by their invasions. But it will determine. Pyle.
prove a fruitless attempt, and will end in their complete It may seem that a literal and proper resurrection of and final destruction ; a day of righteous judgment will martyrs, to live on earth before the general resurrection, come, when true religion, peace, and happiness, will be is not a necessary sense of this prophecy, nor so natural inseparably united, to be free from any future disturand probable a sense, as the figurative; and that figu- bance or molestation. Lowman. rative interpretation, according to which, generally, a 8. Gog and Magog,] What nations are designed by happy state of the church on earth is intended, well these names, it is very hard to determine. Pyle
. The answers the whole design of the prophecy. Lowman. nations of Gog and Magog figuratively describe the
2 Pet. 3. 13.
The devil cast into the lake of fire. CHAP. XX, XXI. A new heaven and a new earth.
city: and fire came down from God 15 And whosoever was not found
10 And the devil that deceived into the lake of fire.
thereof. 23 She needeth no sun, the glory
of God is her light. 24 The kings of the
earth bring their riches unto her.
ND a I saw a new heaven and a a Isai. 65. 17.
and the first earth were passed away;
books were opened: and another new Jerusalem, coming down from b Chap. 3. 5. b book was opened, which is the book God out of heaven, prepared as a
of life: and the dead were judged out bride adorned for her husband.
13 And the sea gave up the dead of God is with men, and he will dwell
4 b And God shall wipe away all b Chap. 7. 17.
crying, neither shall there be any
i Or, the grave.
enemies of true religion and of its faithful professors. not rest on the general assurance given by former ProLowman. In Ezekiel, (chap. xxxviii, xxxix.) there is a phets ; it proceeds to a more particular description. It famous prophecy concerning Gog and Magog; and this presents to us “the new city,” “the new Jerusalem,” prophecy in the Revelation alludes to in many parti- " the bride, the spouse” of Christ. Under these images, culars. Bp. Newton.
which are perfectly accordant with many other texts of 11. And I saw a great white throne, &c.] ter this Scripture, is represented that assembly of saints purified last conflict, and the final defeat of Satan, there follows from sin; that “glorious church, not having spot or (ver. 11-15,) the general resurrection and judgment, wrinkle,” which is here contrasted with the great, the represented in a vision of “a great white throne;" impure, idolatrous city, which has been destroyed. Dean great, to shew the largeness and extent; white, to shew Woodhouse. the justice and equity of the judgment; and “one sitting a new heaven and a new earth :] A happy renoon it,” who can be none other than the Son of God, to vation of all things, the heaven and earth refined to their whom “the Father has committed all judgment.” The utmost perfection. Bp. Hall
, dead, both small and great, (ver. 12,) of all ranks and The most judicious Jewish writers understand “new degrees, as well those who perished at sea and were heaven” and“ new earth” to mean a new state of hapburied in the waters, as those who died and were buried piness, in which former sorrows and troubles shall be on the land, are all raised, and stand before the judg- remembered no more. Lowman. ment seat of God. Bp. Newton.
2. And I John saw the holy city,] I beheld, under 14. And death and hell were cast &c.] By “ death the emblem of the new Jerusalem, not the literal, the and hell” being cast into the lake of fire, is meant, that Jewish city of that name, rebuilt and new adorned ; but temporal death, which had hitherto exercised dominion that Israel of God, by which the Prophets were wont to over the race of men, shall be totally abolished. Bp. express the true church and worshippers of God, under Newton.
Christ the Messiah. As this Christian church, in its the second death.] See note at chap. ii. 11. former corrupt state, answered to the sinful Jerusalem 15. — whosoever was not found written in the book of that was to be destroyed by the Chaldeans and Romans, life? Whosoever did not appear before this impartial so now in its reformed and pure condition, it is styled Judge to be a true and faithful Christian, and, as such, new. As it was once Babylon the Great, now it apwas registered in the rolls of the true church of Christ. pears the great and holy city, taking in the whole body Lowman.
of converted Jews and Gentiles, and reformed Christians.
It seemed to descend from heaven, as being founded Chap. XXI. ver. 1. And I saw a new heaven &c.] The and perfected by the Divine power and providence, and general judgment having taken place, and the heavens abounding in all those graces and virtues that are taught and earth passed away, as described in chap. xx. 11, and from heaven, and whereof God Himself is the infinite also by St. Peter, (2 Pet. ï. 13,) there follow new Fountain and Exemplar. Pyle. heavens and a new earth,” foretold likewise by Isaiah, 3,4. - saying, Behold, the tabernacle &c.] Declaring chap. Ixv, lxvi; but this prophecy of the Revelation does the fulfilment of those ancient predictions concerning
The new Jerusalem,
REVELATION. with a full description thereof. more pain: for the former things are precious, even like a jasper stone,
DOMISI passed away.
clear as crystal;
And he said unto me, Write: for twelve angels, and names written
6 And he said unto me, It is done. twelve tribes of the children of Israel: a Chap. 1. 8. d I am Alpha and Omega, the begin- 13 On the east three gates; on the e Isai. 55, 1. ning and the end. I will give unto north three gates; on the south three
him that is athirst of the fountain of gates; and on the west three gates.
14 And the wall of the city had
15 And he that talked with me
breadth: and he measured the city
cubits, according to the measure of a
19 And the foundations of the wall
this very period of the Christian church, Lev. xxvi. 11, before, (chap. xix. 7-9,) under the image of the bride 12; Jer. xxxi. 33; Ezek. xxxvii. 26, 27; Isai. xxv. 8. and spouse of Jesus Christ. Pyle. Pyle.
11. Having the glory of God:] Having a most glo4. - the former things are passed away.] That is, all rious brightness, like the shining light of the Shechinab, the evils which were seen and suffered in this world, formerly the glory of God in the temple. Lowman. have vanished and disappeared. Abp. Tillotson.
and her light was like unto a stone most precious] 5. -- Behold, I make all things new.] I will remove Here follows (ver. 11—21) a very gorgeous description away all the impurity and imperfection of My creatures, of the new city, which conformably to the prophecy of and make all things perfect and glorious. Bp. Hall. Isaiah, (chap. liv. 11, 12,) is built of precious stones,
6., — It is done.] All things are brought to a glorious with a superb costliness, beyond the reach of earthly and happy consummation. Abp. Newcome.
potentates. The gems, described as decorating this I am Alpha and Omega,] The triumphant Mes- glorious city, are such as have ever been in the highest siah concludes His address, as He began it, (chap. i. 8. request in the Eastern regions, which produce them. 18,) with such a representation of His eternal power On the parallel passage in Isaiah, Bp. Lowth has written and glory, as must induce His followers to trust in Him. this judícious observation : “These seem to be general He then (ver. 7, 8) renews His promises of inestimable images to express beauty, magnificence, purity, strength, rewards to those who shall diligently seek Him, and His and solidity, agreeably to the ideas of Eastern nations, denunciation of eternal punishments on those who pur- and to have been never intended to be strictly scratisue the wages of sin. Dean Woodhouse.
nized, or more minutely and particularly explained, as 8. – the fearful, and unbelieving,] Those who have if they had each of them some moral and precise meannot fortitude to persevere on the encouragement of ing.". Dean Woodhouse. God's promises, or who want faith in the promises them- This description of the new Jerusalem is an assemselves." Lowman. Or those who rejected the Christian blage of the sublimest and richest imagery of Ezekiel religion, notwithstanding the clear evidence that was of- and other ancient Prophets. Bp. Newton. fered for it, and those who out of fear should apostatize 14. — had twelve foundations,] Representing that from it. Abp. Tillotson.
pure and uncorrupt Christianity is built on no other 9. – I will shew thee the bride, &c.] I will shew thee foundation than that of the Apostles and Prophets, Jesus the church of Christ, now purged from corruptions, and Christ Himself being the head corner stone, Eph. i. clothed as it were, in true righteousness, represented, as ' 20. Pyle.