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and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still : and he that be watchful and faithful, so as to be escape;" 1 Thess. v. 3. But it was ready to meet their Lord at his com- not expected the faithful Christians ing, they were to be involved in the would be thus overtaken. Hence same punishments with the unbeliev- Paul says to them, “But ye, brethren,
When their Lord should come, are not in darkness, that that day they would not find themselves pre- should overtake you as a thief. Ye pared, and could not therefore enjoy are all the children of light, and the the benefits of his coming. If, under children of the day : we are not of the the mistaken idea that their Lord night, nor of darkness. Though let delayed his coming, they were un- us not sleep, as do others; but let us faithful and disobedient, the Lord watch and be sober;" 1 Thess. v. would come when they looked not 4–6. The enemies of Jesus it was for him, and in an hour that they expected of course would be overwere not aware of, and cut them whelmed in the approaching judgasunder, and appoint them their por- ments; but there was another class tion with the hypocrites ; Matt. xxiv. that would also fall, viz., the unfaith48—51. If men neglect their present ful and unwatchful disciples. They opportunities of improvement, they should have their portion with the may afterward desire to gain the hypocrites. The parable of the viradvantages they have lost, and not gins, Matt. xxv. 1, represented the be able to gain them. This is fully wise and foolish Christians — those shown by Solomon, in Prov. i. 24–31. who prepared for their Master's comHere we see, that, having neglected ing, and those who did not.
16 At their opportunities of improvement, midnight there was a cry made, they afterwards saw the need of the Behold, the bridegroom cometh : go blessings they had missed. Yet they ye out to meet him. Then all those could not gain them. “ Then shall virgins arose, and trimmed their they call upon me, but I will not lamps. And the foolish saith unto answer; they shall seek me early, the wise, Give us of your oil; for our but they shall not find me: for they lamps are gone out. But the wise hated knowledge, and did not choose answered, saying, Not so; lest there to fear the Lord : they would none of be not enough for us and you : but go my counsel : they despised all my ye rather to them that sel
and buy reproof. Therefore shall they eat of for yourselves. And while they went the fruit of their own way, and be to buy, the bridegroom came; and filled with their own devices;" 28–31. they that were ready, went in with The punishment was unavoidable. him to the marriage and the door They must "eat of the fruit of their was shut. Afterward came also the own way, and be filled with their own other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, devices. All this is confirmed by open to us. But he answered and the experience of men in this world. said, Verily, I say unto you, I know It is taught us by observation every you not;" 6–12. That this had reday. The same principle held good spect to the coming of Christ at the in the days of Christ. He repeatedly destruction of Jerusalem no one can assured his disciples that his coming doubt. And let it be observed, that should take place in that generation. the unwatchful disciples desired to He should come as a thief in the night. repair the effects of their unwatchfulWhen the people should say, “Peace ness, but they could not, because “he and safety, then sudden destruction that is unjust, let him be unjust still: cometh upon them, as travail upon a and he which is filthy, let him be woman with child, and they shall not filthy still.” The same was true of
is holy, let him be holy still.
12 And behold, I
the open enemies of Jesus, as well as kingdom of God; the door will be of his unfaithful disciples. While shut; you will wish you had embraced they were comparatively safe, eating past opportunities; but it will be of and drinking, and making merry, no avail; you will put forth pretences they could not profess the name of and claims to be considered my folChrist before men; but when thick lowers, but you will not have the test troubles began to gather upon the of true discipleship. At that critical Jewish church and state, and the time, there cannot be this change of divine favor began to be manifested character. Christians then will be in an unusual manner in favor of the Christians, and enemies must remain persecuted religion of Jesus, then they enemies the judgment cannot be turned their eyes to him, and cried, averted. “He that is unjust will then “ Lord, Lord, open the gate of the be unjust still; he that is righteous gospel unto us.” To these events the will be righteous still ; and he that is following words of Christ are appli- holy will be holy still.” We have cable : 6. Whosoever, therefore, shall thus finished our examination of the be ashamed of me, and of my words, words of the angel-revelator. There in this adulterous and sinful genera- now follows the confirmation by the tion, of him also shall the Son of man Lord Jesus himself of what the angel be ashamed, when he cometh in the had said. glory of his Father, with the holy angels;” and Jesus assured them that CONFIRMATION BY THE ALPHA this should take place during the natural lives of that generation; Mark There seems to be a striking proviii. 38, compared with ix. 1. To priety that the Lord Jesus should give illustrate this fact, the parable found his confirmation of what the revelator in Luke xiii. 24–28 was spoken. had said, if the revelator had faith" When once the master of the house fully delivered his message. Look is risen up, and hath shut to the door, at the first verse of the book once and ye begin to stand without, and to more. " The Revelation of Jesus knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, Christ, which God gave unto him, to open unto us, and he shall answer show unto his servants things which and say unto you, I know you not must shortly come to pass; and he whence ye are : then shall ye begin sent and signified it by his angel unto to say, We have eaten and drunk in his servant John." This is the title thy presence, and thou hast taught of the book, and would well appear as in our streets. But he shall say, I the title-page. The revelation is the tell you, I know you not whence ye revelation of Jesus Christ. He reare : depart from me, all ye workers ceived it from his Father. He comof iniquity.”. The purport of this municated it to John, by whom it advice is, strive to enter now into the was to be communicated unto the acceptance and profession of my churches. When John had finished gospei; be not ashamed of me or my his communications, the query would doctrine before this sinful generation. naturally arise, has he done his work If you do not embrace the present faithfully? To show that he had opportunity, the time will come when done so, Jesus gave his confirmayou will regret it. Your nation will tion. soon be overthrown with the most 12. Behold, I come quickly. - Here, dreadful calamities; and then not a the first fact which Jesus confirmed, hair on the heads of my disciples was the great fact that his coming shall be hurt. When that time comes, was to take place QUICKLY. He knew it will be too late for you to enter the well when that event was to happen.
quickly; and my reward is with his commandments, that they me, to give every man according may have right to the tree of as his work shall be.
life, and may enter in through 13 I am Alpha, and Omega, the gates into the city. the beginning and the end, the 15 For without are dogs, and first and the last.
sorcerers, and whoremongers, 14 Blessed are they that do and murderers, and idolaters, As if he had said, “I wish to confirm vii. 21._1 Have right to the tree of what John has written, especially on life. They shall partake of the tree this point; and therefore I say, “Be- of life. To him that overcometh HOLD, I COME QUICKLY.". To give will I give to eat of the tree of life, every man according as his work shall which is in the midst of the paradise be. — Who can fail here to recall to of God;" Rev. ii. 7. This figure of mind the words of Christ, spoken dur- the tree of life is taken from the account ing his flesh?“For the Son of man of the tree of life in the garden of Eden, shall come in the glory of his Father, Gen. ii. 22–24. In describing the with his angels; and then he shall heavenly city, new Jerusalem, we reward every man according to his have seen that John placed the tree of works. Verily I say unto you, there life in the midst of it; xxii. 2. Το be some standing here, which shall have right to the tree of life was to not taste of death till they see the Son have right to the blessings of the new of man coming in his kingdom;" Jerusalem, or, in other words, of the Matt. xvi. 27, 28. See, also, Mark viii. gospel kingdom into which the faith38; ix. 1; Luke ix. 26, 27. Jesus ful Christians were to enter. They said his reward was with him, to give were to “enter in through the gates every man according as his work shall be ; | into the city.” How much is said in i. e., at his coming, which he then said the New Testament about “entering was to take place quickly. Is there into life,"? “in at the strait gate," " into not a close connection, then, between the kingdom of heaven,” “into the joy this passage and Rev. xx. 12, where of the Lord,” “into rest.” These exwe read that the dead, small and pressions all mean the same thing. great, stood before God, and were There is a great variety of metaphor, judged every man according to his but the same intent in all. The holy works?
city represented the gospel covenant. 13. I am Alpha and Omega. — And Blessed were they who entered in. to make his confirmation the more See the long note on Rev. ii. 7. solemn, he adds, “I am Alpha and 15. Without are dogs, and sorcerers, Omega, the beginning and the end, &c. - Those who did not enter through the first and the last." The phrase faith and obedience into the city, must, Alpha and Omega is explained by of course, remain without. The city the words which immediately follow. was full of light; and therefore those Alpha is “the beginning," " the first;" without are said, by way of contrast, Omega“ the end,” “the last.” Alpha to be in "outer darkness ;" i. e., they was the first and Omega the last let-were outside of the kingdom. They ter of the Greek alphabet.
had not passed through the gates into 14. Blessed are they that do, &c. the city; Matt. viii. 12; xxii. 13; Mark, those only were promised the xxv. 30.' Unbelievers and unfaithful blessing who did his commandments. professors were said to stand without ; Not every one that said, Lord, Lord, and after the troubles began, and it should enter into the kingdom of was too late for them to change their heaven, but “he that doeth the will of position, they knocked earnestly for my Father which is in heaven;" Matt. I admission ; Luke xiii. 25. These en
and whosoever loveth and mak-I bride say, Come. And let him eth a lie.
that heareth say, Come. And 16 I Jesus have sent mine let him that is athirst come. angel to testify unto you these And whosoever will, let him things in the churches. I am take of the water of life freely. the root and the offspring
of Da- 18 For I testify unto every vid, and the bright and morning- man that heareth the words of star.
the prophecy of this book, If any 17 And the Spirit and the man shall add unto these things, emies of Jesus, both secret and avow- iii. 6, 13, 22. The Spirit saith, ed, were represented by anything that come. And the Bride also, the Lamb's was vile. The dog, being an unclean, wife, saith to all men, COME; Rev. furious animal, is conspicuous among xxi. 9. Let the invitation be repeatthe metaphors. Paul said, “Beware ed. Let him who hath an ear to hear of dogs, beware of evil-workers, be it
, repeat it. I Water of life. - Let ware of the concision;" Phil. iii. 2. him that is athirst come, for it is the Compare with this verse, Rev. xxi. 8, water of life that is proffered. The 27.
gospel is a blessing; it meets the 16. To testify unto you these things. wants of man. When it is represent
This was in the most direct strain ed by bread, the hungry are invited; of approval. He assumed the respon- when by water, or milk, or wine, the sibility of what had been said. "He thirsty are called; Isa. Iv. 1. When was coming quickly to judge the na- by rest, the weary and heavy laden tions; the good should enter into the are entreated to come; Matt. xi. 28– kingdom and be happy; the opposite 30. The gospel is presented in the class should remain without and be most alluring manner; not as a luxpunished. These were the great ury, but as a substantial necessity, points that had been insisted on without which men cannot live. One through the whole Apocalypse. Hence of the most expressive figures is that Jesus said, “I have sent mine angel of the water of life ;" Jer. ii. 13; to testify unto you these things, in the John iv. 10–15; Rev. vii. 17; xxi. 6. churches.” | I am the root, &c. - And This treasure, so precious, is open to to show that he had authority to speak, all. There is no restriction.
it Whohe adds, “I am the root and the off- soever will, let him take of the waspring of David, and the bright and ter of life freely.” It would be imposmorning-star.” See Rev. v. 5, and sible to give a more general, or more the note there.
earnest, or more alluring invitation.
There is sufficient for all men in the JESUS' INVITATION TO THE NEW JERU
new Jerusalem. There are not mere
ly a few drops of water, a scanty sup17. Whosoever will, let him come. —
ply, but A RIVER, All are invited to come. The invita- water of life, clear as crystal, proceedtion goes out to all, from the highest ing out of the throne of God and of authority, - Come. The Spirit and the the Lamb;" xxii. 1. Bride say, Come. The Spirit had spoken to the churches through John, and what the Spirit said was of the utmost importance. Hence the oft-repeated 18. If any man shall add unto these injunction, “He that hath an ear to things.- The prophecies of the book hear, let him hear what the Spirit saith of Revelation having thus been comunto the churches ;” ii. 7, 11, 17, 29; 1 pleted, Jesus, the Alpha and Omega,
“a pure river of
God shall add unto him the book of this prophecy, God shall plagues that are written in this take away his part out of the book :
book of life, and out of the holy 19 And if any man shall take city, and from the things which away from the words of the are written in this book.
was desirous to preserve them from verse 6, it is said that “The seven anbeing corrupted. The Christians pos- gels came out of the temple having sibly might be tempted to corrupt the seven [last] plagues. See verses them, for some did corrupt the word | 7 and 8. In the next chapter xvi.] of God; 2 Cor. ii. 17. Of course the we read of the manner in which these avowed' enemies of the church could seven angels poured out the seven not corrupt the sacred writings; for “last plagues ;" and a slight exam. they, being known as enemies, would | ination will show that they were all not have the power to give currency poured out upon the earth. 6 And I to their deceits. But it was the un- heard a great voice out of the temple, stable professors who might do this, saying to the seven angels, Go your and so wrest the Scriptures to their ways, and pour out the vials of the own destruction; 2 Pet. iii. 16. And wrath of GOD UPON THE EARTH." The if they did so, either by adding to the first vial was poured out upon the book, or taking away from it, what earth, meaning on the land; verse 2. fate awaited them? Ans. They The second was poured out upon the would have their portion with the sea ; verse 3. The third was poured hypocrites, for they would lose their out upon the rivers and fountains part in the holy city, and from all the of water ; verse 4. “The fourth angel blessings written in the book, and poured out his vial upon the sun ;'. there would be added to them the verses 8, 9. « The fifth angel poured plagues that are written in the book. out his vial upon the seat of the What are the plagues that are written beast ;" verses 10, 11. “ The sixth in this book ? Have we not shown angel poured out his vial upon the great that they are not to be referred to the river Euphrates ;" verses 15, 16. immortal state? See them spoken of, “ And the seventh angel poured out ix. 20, and compare with the preced- his vial into the air;" verses 17—21. ing part of the chapter. See, also, xi. These were the seven angels having 6, where it is said the two witnesses the seven last plagues, and this was have power to smite the earth with the the manner in which the seven last plagues. See, again, xvi. 9. If the plagues were poured out. They emreader will peruse the whole of the braced all the judgments that were to sixteenth chapter, particularly the first be inflicted on the persecutors of verse, he will see that these plagues Christianity. If any other plagues were poured out “ upon the earth.” are denounced in the Apocalypse, Again, see xviii. 4, 8, where we are which remain yet to be fulfilled, these told, that “her plagues come in one were not the last. But they are exday, death,and mourning, and famine; pressly said to be the last, meaning the and she shall be utterly burned with last plagues of the Apocalypse, and fire; for strong is the Lord God, who they were all poured on the earth. If judgeth her.” Were not these plagues any judgments denounced in that book on the earth? But let us look once yet remain to be fulfilled in the future
In xv. 1 we read, “And I saw state, then the revelator made an error another sign in heaven, great and mar- when he said the plagues he described vellous, seven angels having the seven were the seven last plagues. Now LAST plagues ; for in them is FILLED when it is said, “If any man shall add UP the wrath of God." Again, in l unto these things, God shall add unto