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the earth shall worship him, the book of life of the Lamb slain whose names are not written in from the foundation of the world.
membrance. See Psa. lvi. 8: “ Thou A comparison of all the passages in tellest my wanderings : put thou my which this phrase occurs would seem tears into thy bottle : are they not in to show, that it signifies past time in. thy book ?" or remembrance. See definitely, as if we should say, “ bealso Mal. iii. 16: “ Then they that fore all time," or, “from all past feared the Lord spake often one to time," or from the ages of old, as in another : and the Lord hearkened, Rom. xvi. 25, referred to above. The and heard it: and a book of remem- truths of the gospel had remained a brance was written before him for mystery, or been kept secret from the them that feared the Lord, and that foundation of the world, or all past thought upon his name.” The figure time; Matt. xiii. 35: the kingdom had occurs also in Daniel, from which been prepared for the believers from the revelator borrows so frequently : the foundation of the world, or all past " There shall be a time of trouble, time; Matt. xxv. 34: the blood of all such as never was since there was a the prophets shed from the foundation nation even to that same time: and of the world was to be required of at that time thy people shall be de- that generation of the Jews which livered, every one that shall be found slew Christ; Luke xi. 50; i. e:, the written in the book ;" xii. 1. From blood of all that had been slain; for Phil. iv. 3, (and this is the only place Matthew has it, “all the righteous in which the phrase “book of life” blood shed upon the earth, from the occurs, except in the Apocalypse,) blood of righteous Abel, unto the blood we should conclude it meant the roll of Zacharias, son of Barachias, whom of Christian believers. To blot one's ye slew between the temple and the name out of the book of life, was to altar ;” Matt. xxiii. 35: Jesus was consider him no longer as a faithful loved of the Father before the foundisciple, but to set him apart from the dation of the world; John xvii. 24: true and the good. The names of the and believers were chosen in him befaithful are written in the book of life, fore the foundation of the world; Eph. the roll of those who enjoy eternal i. 4; that is, before time begun, in life; the names of the unfaithful are the éternal councils of the Father. In not there. If a Christian fall away, Heb. iv. 3, the works of God, at the his name having been there, is said creation, are said to have been from to be blotted out. Such is the general the foundation of the world; and if it tenor of the language used about the had been necessary for Christ, like book of life ; the whole is metaphori- the high priest, to have been sacri. cal. | Lamb, slain from the foundation ficed every year, then must he often of the world. — By the Lamb is un- have suffered since the foundation of questionably meant Jesus, who is so the world, Heb. ix. 26, or from the often mentioned in the Apocalypse un beginning Christ was a Lamb, withder that figure; and he is said to have out spot or blemish, preördained bebeen slain “from the foundation of fore the foundation of the world, i. e., the world,” either because his death before all time, in the eternal councils took place at the very beginning of of the Father; 1 Pet. i. 20; and this is the gospel dispensation, - or, what is the precise phraseology employed in more probable, because that sacrifice the Apocalypse, and which Peter was determined in the mind of God seems almost to have quoted from it; from the beginning of the world, (kos- Rev. xiii. 8. See, also, xvii. 8. "These mos,) Rev. xiii. 8, or, in the ages of are all the passages in the New Tesold, (chronois aioniois) Rom. xvi. 25. tament in which the phrase apo or
9 If any man have an ear, Here is the patience and the let him hear.
faith of the saints. 10 He that leadeth into cap- 11 And I beheld another tivity shall go into captivity : beast coming up out of the earth, he that killeth with the sword, and he had two horns like a must be killed with the sword. lamb, and he spake as a dragon. pro kataboles kosmou occurs. The word " There is, in this whole passage, a katabole (foundation) occurs in one most palpable allusion to Nero ;' and other connection only, Heb. xi. 11. it has more life and energy when we
9. If any man have an ear. - This suppose him to have been still living. denotes the importance of the com- The writer foretells what must inevimunication to all. It is of similar tably be the doom of such a tyrant. import with the words of the poet: In fact, Nero exiled himself from
Rome, and intended to make his es. “Let every mortal ear attend.”
cape into distant countries, but he As the art of printing was not then was arrested in his retreat, and fell known, and few persons could obtain by his own sword, or by that of his the manuscript books in existence, assailants. Here is the patience and the greater part were obliged to listen faith of the saints — i. e., the ground to the reading of others. The words or cause of their patience and faith. will bear the construction, “If any Had it not been for this assurance, man have an inclination to listen, let they would have sunk under their him hear.” A “heart to perceive” sufferings perhaps ; but knowing that is a heart able and willing to per- their tribulations were not always to ceive; "eyes to see” are eyes ready continue, their patience and their faith and willing to see; and "ears to were preserved. See Heb. vi. 12. hear” are ears open and inclined to 11. Another beast. This is theri. hear; Deut. xxix. 4. In some the on, a spiteful, cruel animal, like the heart is fat and the ears heavy; Isa. first beast, and not like the zoa, the vi. 10; and they "turn away their four beasts, or living creatures, round ears from the truth ;" 2 Tim. iv. 4; | about the throne. And here follows Acts vii. 57. See the notes on Rev. another distinction. This is not a ii. 7, 11. The words in the case be- beast with seven heads and ten horns; fore us may refer to what precedes, but he has “two horns like a lanıb." or what follows, or both.
He has a very mild and amiable as10. Must be killed with the sword. pect; but there is murder in his heart. Suffering as the Christians did under He has some affinity to the firethe cruelty of the Romans, it be- colored dragon. He spake as a dragm. came necessary to give them the as- And he had also some affinity to the surance, that however powerful their beast, and is truly called another enemies then were, a change was beast. But we shall learn more of near. The conquerors of all the world him as we proceed. It is particularly should themselves at last be conquered to be observed, notwithstanding his The successful warriors should be outward lamb-like appearance, that
Jesus had said, “ All they his communications were manifestly that take the sword shall perish with dragon-like. He spoke for the dragon, the sword;” Matt. xxvi. 52; they to aid his cause, as well as that of the incur the great risk of perishing in seven-headed beast. He came up out that manner. But some writers think of the earth. The dragon was first that something more definite than this seen in heaven, xii. 3; i. e., in the is intended in the passage before us. firmament; but he was out of his Professor Stuart, for instance, says: place; he had no business there; and
12 And he exerciseth all the them which dwell therein to power of the first beast before worship the first beast, whose him, and causeth the earth and deadly wound was healed.
was cast down to the earth, xii. 9; i. e., cast alive into a lake of fire burning he was thrown down from his high with brimstone ;' xix. 20. He is here place of power. The seven-headed called a false prophet, a deceiver, a beast rose up out of the sea, xiii. 1, foreteller of future events, a diviner, but the two-horned beast rose up out an oracle, &c. Does not this have of the earth. They all had an earth- reference to the heathen priests ? And ly origin; they all belonged beneath; again: “And the devil (or dragon, for but for the sake of variety in the in this connection they mean the same scenery, one is said to rise from the power) that deceived them was cast sea, the other from the land.
into the lake of fire and brimstone, 12. Exerciseth all the power of the where the beast and the false prophet first beast. — He was a very success- are, and shall be tormented day and ful auxiliary to the first beast, and night forever and ever;" xx. 10. made use of his power; i. e., the pow. These quotations let us somewhat er of the empire was prostituted to aid into the history of this second beast, him. These two powers were mutual who was so much like the lamb in friends. They aided each other. They appearance, so much like the dragon had similar, if not identical, interests. in nature. But we will proceed: we The two-horned beast held a kind of shall become better acquainted with half-way relation between the dragon him. and the seven-headed beast. They 13. He doeth great wonders. - That is, were all three joined in this one enter- he affected to perform miracles;
and .prise, opposition to Christianity. The among other things, he appeared to dragon strove to uphold the seven- make fire come down from heaven to headed beast, - i. e., the heathen in- earth in the sight of men. False fluence exerted itself to sustain the prophets have often professed to have imperial power: The dragon and the power to perform miracles; and the last named beast represented the have been able, at times, to do their heathen and the secular power of works with so much adroitness as to Rome; and the two-horned beast, so deceive mankind, and even very inlike a lamb in appearance, and like telligent men. That God may pera dragon in his soul, may well repre- form a real miracle, no man in his sent those apparently lamb-like priests senses can doubt. He who framed and false prophets, who, by their in- all the laws of nature, can, if necesfluence over the people, sustained both sary, suspend them. He might also the heathen and secular power. To empower any chosen servant of his to worship the first beast. —He shared do the same thing; but no man of him. with the first beast all the unsubstan- self can perform a miracle. There is tial glory of his prosperity, and went no law of God by which any man can down with him to destruction, as we perform a miracle ; nor can any man shall have occasion to show. He was have that power, except by the special the same that was alled "the false communication of it to him by God. prophet,"
;" xvi. 13, of whom it was said: Miracles are departures from the * And the beast was taken, and with course of nature, and are of course him the false prophet that wrought beyond the power of man. When miracles before him, with which he men, therefore, actually perform mirdeceived them that had received the acles, it is a proof that God is with mark of the beast, and them that wor- them; that they are his servants; that shipped his image. These both were he wishes them accredited as such;
13 And he doeth great won-ders, so that he .maketh fire
and for that purpose he bestows a by them; and if it be necessary for a portion of his wondrous power upon man, in an age of great bigotry and them. Such being the definition and unbelief, to be received as a divinely basis of true miracles, it is not to be appointed messenger, is it not per. wondered at that false prophets and fectly reasonable to believe that God pretenders should seek to imitate them. would clothe him with power by which It is precisely what we should expect he could attest his claims in the they would do ; it is what they have presence of all unbelievers? It is also done from the earliest antiquity. God reasonable to suppose that impostors bestowed on Moses, his servant and would seek to keep themselves in representative on earth, divine power, countenance by attempting the perby which he performed miracles in formance of 'miracles themselves. aitestation of his claims. See the fol- True, they cannot perform miracles, lowing passage:
" And Moses an- because no man ever did perform swered and said, But, behold, they them except he had received power will not believe me, nor hearken unto of God for that special purpose; and my voice : for they will say, The Lord it is not to be believed that God would hath not appeared unto thee. And bestow such power upon an impostor. the Lord said unto him, What is that But why should an impostor desire to in thy hand ? And he said, A rod. perform miracles? or to lead mankind And he said, Cast it on the ground. to believe that he performed them? And he cast it on the ground, and it The only answer that can be given to became a serpent: and Moses fled this question is this : he wishes not to from before it. And the Lord said be regarded as an impostor, but as a unto Moses, Put forth thy hand, and true servant of God. Have not the take it by the tail. And he put forth true servants of God, then, in differhis hand, and caught it, and it became ent ages, had the power to perform a rod in his hand : that they may actual miracles? If they have, we believe that the Lord God of their can see plainly why false prophets fathers, the God of Abraham, the God should desire to be thought able to of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath perform miracles; but if they have appeared unto thee. And the Lord not, then there is no reason for such said furthermore unto him, Put now a desire on the part of false prophets, thy hand into thy bosom. And he since even the real performance of a put his hand into his bosom: and miracle, if they had power to do it, when he took it out, behold, his hand would add nothing to their claims. was leprous as snow. And he said, The existence of false, or pretended Put thy hand into thy bosom again. miracles, therefore, is a proof of And he put his hand into his bosom genuine miracles, as the existence of again, and plucked it out of his bosom, false coin is a proof of the existence and behold, it was turned again as of genuine coin. Would there ever his other flesh. And it shall come to have been any counterfeit money, if pass, if they will not believe thee, there never had been any that was neither hearken to the voice of the genuine? It was not long after Mofirst sign, that they will believe the ses was empowered of God to perform voice of the latter sign;" Exodus iv. miracles in attestation of his appoint. 1-8. This covers all the ground we ment as the servant of God, that the have here taken in regard to miracles. Egyptian sorcerers and magicians atGod has the power to suspend the tempted the performance of the same laws of nature; he can create and things. They had the appearance of destroy; he can communicate this turning ther rods into serpents like power to others; he can work in and Moses. Now, unless Moses was him.
come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men,
self a deceiver, he wrought a real mira- some ages after his day, and were put cle; but this the magicians of Pharaoh forth in his name? If so, there must could not have done; though they have been a time when they were in. might have thrown serpents from be- vented and first put forth. But this neath the folds of their garments in supposition is incredible, as they prosuch a manner, as to give the appear- fess to have been put forth by Moses. ance of having changed their rods into “ And it came to pass, when Moses those animals. Not only the Egyp- had made an end of writing the words tians, but also the children of Israel of this law in a book, until they were were commanded to believe on Mo- finished, that Moses commanded the ses, not on account of his private char- Levites which bare the ark of the acter, but on account of the miracles covenant of the Lord, saying: Take which he performed; Num. xiv. 22; this book of the law, and put it in the Deut. xi. 1–8; Judges vi. 13. These side of the ark of the covenant of the miracles were not only such as we Lord your God, that it may be there have already described, but various for a witness against thee;" Deut. other wonderful works, such as lead- xxxi. 24–26. A copy of this work ing the children of Israel through the was also to be given to the king, that Red Sea, feeding them forty years in he might study it and live by it. the wilderness with miraculous man- “ And it shall be when he sitteth upon na; smiting the barren rock, and the throne of his kingdom, that he bringing out water for their drink, shall write him a copy of this law in &c. &c. Now these facts were such a book out of that which is before the as men's outward senses, their eyes priests the Levites. And it shall be and ears, were judges of. They were with him, and he shall read therein done publicly in the face of the world. all the days of his life: that he may Public monuments have been kept learn to fear the Lord his God, to keep up, and outward actions have been all the words of this law and these performed in commemoration of them. statutes, to do them;" Deut. xvii. 18, These monuments and actions have 19. Now, in whatever after age the existed from the time the acts were book may be supposed to have been done. Imposition, in these cases, forged, it would have been impossible therefore, is impossible. — (Leslie.) to have made the people receive it as Could Moses have persuaded hun- truth ; because, on that supposition, it dreds of thousands of men that he would not have been found in the ark, had done these things, led them across or with the king, or anywhere else. the bed of the Red Sea, on dry land, For, when first invented, it must have and fed them with manna, &c. &c., been known by all, that it never had if he had done no such thing? Could been heard of before. Leslie asks, he have thus imposed upon their (and we have copied this argument senses? The thing was impossible. from him,) “Could any man now, at Could he have made them receive this day, invent a book of statutes or his five books as true, which told of acts of parliament for England, and these things, if they had known that make it pass upon the nation as the such things had not been done? See only book of statutes that ever they how positively he speaks to them, had known? As impossible was it Deut. xi, 2-8. Could Moses have for the books of Moses (if they were persuaded the Jews to believe that invented in any age after Moses) to they themselves had seen these things, have been received for what they de. if they never had seen them? Shall clared themselves to be, viz., the statwe say then that the books purporting utes and municipal law of the nation to be the books of Moses were written of the Jews; and to have persuaded