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the earth shall worship him, the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
whose names are not written in
membrance. See Psa. Ivi. 8: "Thou tellest my wanderings: put thou my tears into thy bottle: are they not in thy book?" or remembrance. See also Mal. iii. 16: "Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another and the Lord hearkened, and heard it and a book of remeinbrance was written before him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon his name." The figure occurs also in Daniel, from which the revelator borrows so frequently "There shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book;" xii. 1. From Phil. iv. 3, (and this is the only place in which the phrase "book of life" occurs, except in the Apocalypse,) we should conclude it meant the roll of Christian believers. To blot one's name out of the book of life, was to consider him no longer as a faithful disciple, but to set him apart from the true and the good. The names of the faithful are written in the book of life, the roll of those who enjoy eternal life; the names of the unfaithful are not there. If a Christian fall away, his name having been there, is said to be blotted out. Such is the general tenor of the language used about the book of life; the whole is metaphorical.¶Lamb, slain from the foundation of the world. By the Lamb is unquestionably meant Jesus, who is so often mentioned in the Apocalypse under that figure; and he is said to have been slain "from the foundation of the world," either because his death took place at the very beginning of the gospel dispensation, or, what is more probable, because that sacrifice was determined in the mind of God from the beginning of the world, (kosmos,) Rev. xiii. 8, or, in the ages of old, (chronois aioniois,) Rom. xvi. 25.
A comparison of all the passages in which this phrase occurs would seem to show, that it signifies past time indefinitely, as if we should say, "before all time," or, "from all past time," or from the ages of old, as in Rom. xvi. 25, referred to above. The truths of the gospel had remained a mystery, or been kept secret from the foundation of the world, or all past time; Matt. xiii. 35: the kingdom had been prepared for the believers from the foundation of the world, or all past time; Matt. xxv. 34: the blood of all the prophets shed from the foundation of the world was to be required of that generation of the Jews which slew Christ; Luke xi. 50; i. e:, the blood of all that had been slain; for Matthew has it, "all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel, unto the blood of Zacharias, son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar;" Matt. xxiii. 35: Jesus was loved of the Father before the foundation of the world; John xvii. 24: and believers were chosen in him before the foundation of the world; Eph. i. 4; that is, before time begun, in the eternal councils of the Father. In Heb. iv. 3, the works of God, at the creation, are said to have been from the foundation of the world; and if it had been necessary for Christ, like the high priest, to have been sacrificed every year, then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world, Heb. ix. 26, or from the beginning. Christ was a Lamb, without spot or blemish, preördained before the foundation the world, i. e., before all time, in the eternal councils of the Father; 1 Pet. i. 20; and this is the precise phraseology employed in the Apocalypse, and which Peter seems almost to have quoted from it; Rev. xiii. 8. See, also, xvii. 8. These are all the passages in the New Testament 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 captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword, must be killed with the sword.
pro kataboles kosmou occurs. The word katabole (foundation) occurs in one other connection only, Heb. xi. 11. 9. If any man have an ear. - This denotes the importance of the communication to all. It is of similar import with the words of the poet :
"Let every mortal ear attend."
As the art of printing was not then known, and few persons could obtain the manu ript books in existence, the greater part were obliged to listen to the reading of others. The words will bear the construction, "If any man have an inclination to listen, let him hear." A "heart to perceive" is a heart able and willing to perceive; "eyes to see" are eyes ready and willing to see; and "ears to hear" are ears open and inclined to hear; Deut. xxix. 4. In some the heart is fat and the ears heavy; Isa. vi. 10; and they "turn away their ears from the truth;" 2 Tim. iv. 4; Acts vii. 57. See the notes on Rev. ii. 7, 11. The words in the case before us may refer to what precedes, or what follows, or both.
10. Must be killed with the sword. Suffering as the Christians did under the cruelty of the Romans, it became necessary to give them the assurance, that however powerful their enemies then were, a change was near. The conquerors of all the world should themselves at last be conquered. The successful warriors sh overcome. Jesus had said, "All they that take the sword shall perish with the sword;" Matt. xxvi. 52; they incur the great risk of perishing in that manner. But some writers think that something more definite than this is intended in the passage before us. Professor Stuart, for instance, says:
11 And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.
"There is, in this whole passage, a most palpable allusion to Nero ;" and it has more life and energy when we suppose him to have been still living. The writer foretells what must inevitably be the doom of such a tyrant. In fact, Nero exiled himself from Rome, and intended to make his escape into distant countries, but he was arrested in his retreat, and fell by his own sword, or by that of his assailants. Here is the patience and faith of the saints—i. e., the ground or cause of their patience and faith. Had it not been for this assurance, they would have sunk under their sufferings perhaps ; but knowing that their tribulations were not always to continue, their patience and their faith were preserved. See Heb. vi. 12.
11. Another beast. This is therion, a spiteful, cruel animal, like the first beast, and not like the zoa, the four beasts, or living creatures, round about the throne. And here follows another distinction. This is not a beast with seven heads and ten horns; but he has "two horns like a lamb." He has a very mild and amiable aspect; but there is murder in his heart. He has some affinity to the firecolored dragon. He spake as a drago. And he had also some affinity to the beast, and is truly called another beast. But we shall learn more of him as we proceed. It is particularly to be observed, notwithstanding his outward lamb-like appearance, that his communications were manifestly dragon-like. He spoke for the dragon, to aid his cause, as well as that of the seven-headed beast. He came up out of the earth. The dragon was first seen in heaven, xii. 3; i. e., in the firmament; but he was out of his place; he had no business there; and
12 And he exerciseth all the them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.
power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and
was cast down to the earth, xii. 9; i. e., he was thrown down from his high place of power. The seven-headed beast rose up out of the sea, xiii. 1, but the two-horned beast rose up out of the earth. They all had an earthly origin; they all belonged beneath; but for the sake of variety in the scenery, one is said to rise from the sea, the other from the land.
cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone;" xix. 20. He is here called a false prophet, a deceiver, a foreteller of future events, a diviner, an oracle, &c. Does not this have reference to the heathen priests? And again: "And the devil [or dragon, for in this connection they mean the same power] that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night forever and ever;" xx. 10. These quotations let us somewhat into the history of this second beast, who was so much like the lamb in appearance, so much like the dragon in nature. But we will proceed: we shall become better acquainted with him.
13. He doeth great wonders.-That is, he affected to perform miracles; and among other things, he appeared to make fire come down from heaven to
12. Exerciseth all the power of the first beast. He was a very successful auxiliary to the first beast, and made use of his power; i. e., the power of the empire was prostituted to aid him. These two powers were mutual friends. They aided each other. They had similar, if not identical, interests. The two-horned beast held a kind of half-way relation between the dragon and the seven-headed beast. They were all three joined in this one enterprise, opposition to Christianity. The dragon strove to uphold the sevenheaded 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 himwith 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 called "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 perwondered 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. attestation 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 appoint1-8. 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,
some ages after his day, and were put forth in his name? If so, there must have been a time when they were invented and first put forth. But this supposition is incredible, as they profess to have been put forth by Moses. “And it came to pass, when Moses had made an end of writing the words of this law in a book, until they were finished, that Moses commanded the
self a deceiver, he wrought a real miracle; but this the magicians of Pharaoh could not have done; though they might have thrown serpents from beneath the folds of their garments in such a manner, as to give the appearance of having changed their rods into those animals. Not only the Egyptians, but also the children of Israel were commanded to believe on Moses, 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 deif 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