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they were judged every man according to their works. Judges ix. 8–15. Dr. Macknight, one supposes that the views of hades speaking of the parable of the rich here introduced by the prophet were man and Lazarus, says: “If, from literally correct; all agree that he these resemblances, it is thought the used them metaphorically, to give parable is formed on the Grecian force and beauty to the subject of his mythology, it will not at all follow prophecy. We take the same ground that our Lord approved of what the in regard to the passage before us; common people thought or spake concern- and the argument is precisely as ing those matters, agreeably to the good in the one case as in the other. notions and language of the Greeks. We have thus seen that the judgIn parabolical discourses, provided ment begun when Christ ascended the doctrines inculcated are strictly " the great white throne;" that the true, the terms in which they are nations then stood before him ; that inculcated may be such as are most the books were then opened ; and that familiar to the ears of the vulgar, and the dead were then judged according the images made use of such as they to their works. All this, it seems to are best acquainted with.” —(Par. us, we have proved, beyond carping and Com. on the place.) The sacred or contradiction. And here let it be writers frequently drew their meta- observed, that, as the gospel was phors from hades, or the state of the established at the end of the Jewish dead. A striking passage is found in state, we found, when we caine, in the Isa. xiv., where the overthrow of the course of our Commentary, to that king of Babylon is described in the section of the Apocalypse which demost glowing language. The inhab- scribed the destruction of the Jews, itants of hades rise up to meet him at and the establishment of the gospel, his approach; the kings of the lower this same fact of the judging of the regions rise from their thrones, and dead, small and great, brought into address him. See the passage : close proximity to that event.
« And “ Thou shalt take up this proverb the seventh angel sounded; and there against the king of Babylon, and say, were great voices in heaven, saying, How hath the oppressor ceased,” &c. The kingdoms of this world are become
“ Hades from beneath is the kingdoms of our Lord and of his moved for thee, to meet thee at thy Christ; and he shall reign forever and coming: it stirreth up the dead for ever. And the four and twenty elders, thee, even all the chief ones of the which sat before God on their seats, earth: it hath raised up from their fell upon their faces, and worshipped thrones all the kings of the nations God, saying, We give thee thanks, o
- All they shall speak, and say Lord God Almighty, which art, and unto thee, Art thou also become weak wast, and art to come; because thora as we? Art thou become like unto hast taken to thee thy great power, and us?” verses 4, 9, 10. Now let the hast reigned. And the nations were reader reflect upon this passage one angry, and thy wrath is come, and the moment. The scene of it is laid in time of the dead, that they should be hades, or hell. The inhabitants are judged, and that thou shouldest give the dead. The dead rise up, and reward unto thy servants the proph. taunt the king of Babylon at his ets, and to the saints, and them that destruction, saying: “Art thou be- fear thy name, small and great ; and come like unto us?” This is literally shouldest destroy them which destroy untrue, and impossible ; because the the earth ;" xi. 15—18. Here again dead know not anything. The whole we find the judging of the dead, small passage is a prosopopæia, designed and great, closely connected with the io represent the fall of Babylon. No commencement of the reign of Christ;
14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This
and all linked indissolubly to the time with psalteries, &c.; 1 Chron. xiii. of the destruction of the Jewish state.* 8; xvi. 1; so Zacharias and ElizaThere are a few other points in the beth were both righteous before God, verse before us which we should walking in all the commandments notice before we proceed to the sub- and ordinances of the Lord blamesequent verses. Before God. less; Luke i. 6; so Jesus of Naza. Some think these events must happen reth was a prophet mighty in deed in the eternal world, because it is and word before God and all the peosaid those who are judged stand ple; Luke xxiv. 9; so Cornelius said before God. So was the earth corrupt to Peter, “ Now therefore are we all before God, in the days of Noah; here present before God, to hear all Gen. vi. 11; so the elders of Israel things that are commanded thee of eat bread with Jethro, the father-in- God;" Acts x. 33. Let these referlaw of Moses, before God; Exod. ences suffice, although many more xviii. 12; so David and all Israel might be given. To do a thing played before God with harps and before God was to do it in a formal,
religious, solemn and conscientious * Dr. Woodhouse gets a glimpse of the manner, with a sense of his presence Scripture doctrine of judgment, in the follow- and oversight. Such was peculiarly ing note on Rev. xi. 18. His thoughts were the case with Christ's judgment; the evidently much trammelled with preconceived opinions; but the truth was struggling with Father was ever with him. The error in his mind, and broke forth like beams words “ before God” were quoted of sun-light through the vistas of a darkened from Dan. vii. 10: "Ten thousand
“The received translation expresses that times ten thousand stood before him : the dead are to be judged at this time, but the judgment was set and the books more than this seems to be intended in the were opened.” This is sufficient on original; for before the great day of final retri; this topic, in this place; but those froin their graves for judgment, (as in ch. xxii. who wish to see the subject of the 12,) another kind of judgment is to be ex. divine presence much more fully dispected, - that by which the inequalities in the cussed, are referred to our note on the reign of Christ's religion upon earth. xiv. 10, illustrating the words, “in Krisin tois eth nesin apangelei, ' He shall ulter the presence of the holy angels, and judgment to the nations, was the prophetic the presence of the Lamb.” The designation of our Lord!, (Matt. xii. 18.) All books were opened. — The figures here judgment was committed to him by the Father;' (John v. 22;) and his right to exer- are evidently drawn from a human cise it took place from his crucifixion ; (John court of justice. The world is brought xii. 31 ;) but this judgment was suspended for
to Christ's bar to be judged. The a time, he krisis autou erthe ; (Acts viii. 33 ;) and was not to be exercised'in plenitude of books are opened ; i. e., the books of power, till the times of the Gentiles should be God's law, of his precepts, out of fulfilled; (Luke xxi. 24.) And this judgment, which men are judged. Men are though not perfected in all its parts before the great and last day, (which is also compre- decided to be good or evil as their hended under this seventh and last trumpet,) | lives agree with the statutes written yet is first to be partially displayed in the in the books. The law was called destruction of the corrupt worldly
and and the restoration of a purer religion and the book or books of the law;
when the children of Israel were “* * The time of the dead,' may likewise sis: judged, they were judged out of the word death, &c., is frequently used) the time things written in the books; Deut. when pure religion, deal and buried with the xxix. 50, 27; 2 Kings xxii. 13. Jerwitnesses, shall with them revive and flourish. emiah says: “And I will bring upon But no final and certain opinion can be passed that land all my words which I have interpretation." — (Annotations on the Apoc., pronounced against it, even all that is London, 1828.)
written in this book, which Jeremiah
is the second death.
15 And whosoever was not
hath prophesied against all the na- and faithful Christians who endured tions; and I will recompense them through all trials, unto the end. according to their deeds, and accord- Whosoever's name was not found on ing to the works of their own hands;" | this, was destroyed with the unbelievxxv. 13, 14. This was judging men See the notes on iii. 5; xiii. 8; out of the things written in the books, where our opinion will be found fully according to their works. That this expressed on the phrase "book of opening of the books was simultaneous life.” We need not repeat the arguwith the commencement of Christ's ments and illustrations in this place. kingdom, has already been proved in 13. Sea gave up the dead. — The this article so clearly as to preclude metaphor here corresponds to that of all doubt. The dead were judged out the preceding verse. The dead must of those things written in the books, come from every place in which they according to their works. That the may be supposed to lie
from the sea dead are judged in the present life, as well as the land. Death and hell according to their works, is as plainly (or hades, the state of the dead) must taught in the Bible as any other truth. give up their prisoners to be judged
The Jews were judged, under the old by the gospel. The intent of the covenant, according to their works; metaphor is, that men, from all their and the same principle is maintained hiding places, their places of retreat, under the gospel. If men are judged and rest, and security, shall be according to their works in this world, brought forth to be judged. | Death there is no ground for supposing that and hell delivered up the dead. Isaiah they will be judged over again, for used a somewhat similar metaphor : these same works, in some other state. " We have made a covenant with Professor Stuart says, on other parts death, and with hell are we at agreeof the Apocalypse, “What John de- ment; when the overflowing scourge clared would take place shortly, hap- shall pass through, it shall not come pened according to his prediction ; unto us : for we have made lies our and if so, the dispute whether it is all refuge, and under falsehood have we to happen over again, after so many hid ourselves. *
* Your covecenturies, cannot be a dispute of much nant with death shall be disannulled, interest or importance. One fulfilment and your agreement with hell shall not is enough.” — (Hints on Proph. 141, stand; when the overflowing scourge 142.) Men were judged out of the shall pass through, then ye shall be things written in the books ; i. e., by trodden down by it;" Isaiah xxviii. the statutes and precepts of God. 15, 18. Here, evidently, death and hell Everything is adjudged to be right as delivered up their dead, to be judged it agrees with these, and wrong as it | by God's truth. The refuge of lies disagrees with them. All the abettors was swept away, falsehood was deof false systems must be judged by molished by the overflowing scourge the gospel; all the opposers of Chris- of God's judgments. The metaphors tianity will be judged by its principles of the prophet and the revelator were in the reign of Christ which is now very similar. To show that men cangoing on. Every man shall be thus not escape the judgments of the Aljudged. q The book of life. — This mighty, however safe from them they expression occurs once only, except may fancy themselves to be, the prophin the book of Revelation. See Phil. et says: “Though thou exalt thyself iv. 3; Rev. iii. 5; xiii. 8; xvii. 8; xx. as the eagle, and though thou set thy 12, 15; xxi. 27 ; xxii. 19. The book nest among the stars, thence will I of life was the book of favorable bring thee down, saith the Lord;"> remembrance; the roll of the true | Obadiah i. 4. And again, “Though
found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. they dig into hell, thence shall my were the spiritually dead - a condinand take them ; though they climb tion in which Jesus found mankind up to heaven, thence will I bring them when he ascended the mediatorial down: and though they hide them- throne; vers. 11, 12; the books are selves in the top of Carmel, I will to be understood metaphorically, as search and take them out thence; and is also “the book of life ;” the judgthough they be hid from my sight in ment, we have shown, was on the the bottom of the sea, thence will I earth, for this was the purpose for command the serpent, and he shall which Jesus came into the world; bite them ;" Amos ix. 2,3. Thus we John ix. 39; xii. 31. In carrying out see, that these metaphors of bringing the metaphor, the dead are all called men from death, from hades, or hell, to come to the throne to be judged; and from the bottom of the sea, to a figure somewhat similar to that in judge them, are used in reference to the previous chapter, of calling the temporal judgments. The revelator fowls of heaven to gather themselves evidently quotes his metaphors from together to the supper of the great the prophets. The simple meaning God; xix. 17; and hence the sea, is, that none, wherever they may be, where those lie who died on the can escape from the judgments of waters, and the graves, where those God, “who will render to every man rest who died on the land, are called according to his works."
on to surrender their tenants, that 14. Death and hell. - The primary they may come up and be judged at question here is, What do death and the gospel bar. This all agrees with hell stand for in the Apocalypse ? the revelator's plan of selecting “the Hell, in this place, is a translation of dead” to represent men in their lost hades, meaning, primarily, the state and undone condition, before they of the dead; but it is used metaphori- knew the gospel, which is the precise cally for darkness, opposition, deso- metaphor Ezekiel had set him the lation, prostration, destruction, &c.; example of using; xxxvii. 12–14: Matt. xi. 23; Luke x. 15; Matt. xvi. “Behold, O my people, I will open 18. In Rey. i. 18, Jesus claims to your graves, and cause you to come “have the keys of hell and of death;” up out of your graves, and bring you i. e., he had power over everything into the land of Israel. And ye shall represented by hell and by death. know that I am the Lord, when I The gates of hell, or hades, Matt. xvi. have opened your graves, O my peo. 18, were the powers of opposition ple, and brought you up out of your which could not prevail against the graves, and shall put my Spirit in church of Christ, because Christ had you, and ye shall live, and I shall the keys of the gates, i.e., power over place you in your own land.” In fact, them; he opened, and no man could (and it may as well be stated here shut; he shut, and no man could open; as anywhere,) the metaphors of the Rev. iii. 7. When it is said that revelator in this section of the Apoca. death and hell followed in the path lypse are, nearly all of them, taken of the pale horse, Rev. vi. 8, we are to from the 37th chapter of Ezekiel and understand it as of the evils attendant the remaining chapters of that book. on pestilence, viz., paleness, sinking,
REVELATION : destruction, death. Death and hell can mean nothing more here. These
Calling dead from The same; xx. 12,
their graves; xxxvii. 13. are the only instances in the Apoca- | 1–14. lypse of the use of these terms, until Gog and Magog ar- The same; xx. 7-9. we come to the 20th chapter.' The ray themselves against
the people of God; whole is metaphorical. The dead | xxxviii., xxxix.
REVELATION : was a second death, so there was also The fowls are called The same; xix. 17 | a second resurrection ; for, if there to the banquet of the to 21.
were no second resurrection, it would dead ; xxxix. 17-20. The prophet's vision The new Jerusalem
not be proper to speak of the first of the new city of Je- comes down from God resurrection.” And we do not know rusalem; chaps. xl. 10 out of heaven, and is what the second resurrection can xliv. very particularly de
more appropriately represent than the scribed; chaps. xxi. xxii.
extended and glorious spread of the The prophet's vision The river of the wa. gospel, immediately described by the of the holy waters pro: ter of life proceeding revelator, when God should wipe away ple; xlvii. God; xxii. 1.
all tears; when there should be no
more death, [the second death being That the revelator borrowed the annihilated,] neither sorrow, nor crywhole train of his metaphors, in the ing, nor pain, and when all things closing up of the Apocalypse, from should be made new. the latter part of the prophecy of 15. Not written. - Those not written Ezekiel, is fully manifest; and the in the book of life were the enemies calling the dead up out of their graves of Christianity throughout the empire to be judged by the gospel, is no more the heathen power, and all whom to be interpreted literally, as if belong the beast and the dragon had kept ing to the immortal state, than the under their authority. They were dry bones of the valley, in Ezekiel's all to be utterly destroyed as such. vision. And as the gospel was in- / Lake of fire. — They were to be tended to put an end to all tears, and cast into the lake of fire ; not in the death, and sorrow, and crying, and future state, for we have no account pain, and everything of that kind; of any lake of fire there ; besides, if xxi. 3, 4; how appropriately is it said, it were there, how could the beast and " Death and hell were cast into the the false prophet have been cast alive lake of fire ;' i. e., were destroyed. into it? The Jews met a similar fate | Lake of fire. - We have already for their wickedness and opposition explained this metaphor, under xix. to God. See Isaiah xxxi. 9, and Ezk. 20, and xx. 10. It was a metaphor xxii. 18–22: “Son of man, the house for utter destruction. Death and hell of Israel is to me become dross : all were to be utterly destroyed by the they are brass, and tin, and iron, and reign of the gospel, as is plainly lead, in the midst of the furnace; they taught in the 21st chapter of the are even the dross of silver. ThereApocalypse. Everything that op-fore, thus saith the Lord God, Because posed the gospel was to be put down. ye are all become dross, behold, there| The second death. – The first death fore, I will gather you into the midst was the death in sin, in which the of Jerusalem. As they gather silver, gospel found men; for when men and brass, and iron, and lead, and were raised from that state of moral | tin, into the midst of the furnace, to death, they were said to experience blow the fire upon it, to melt it; so “the first resurrection.” Those who will I gather you in mine anger and received the first resurrection lived in my fury, and I will leave you there, and reigned with Christ during the and melt you. Yea, I will gather time called “the thousand years.” you, and blow upon you in the fire Such as did not embrace the gospel, of my wrath, and ye shall be melted in the empire, during that time, suf- in the midst thereof. As silver is fered the second death; i. e., remained melted in the midst of the furnace, so dead after the happy period of the shall ye be melted in the midst therechurch, and were destroyed as the of; and ye shall know that I the Lord enemies of Jesus, with everything have poured out my fury upon you." that opposed the gospel. As there This is a very similar metaphor to