Page images
PDF
EPUB

8 And to her was granted fine linen, clean and white : for that she should be arrayed in the fine linen is the righteousshew thee the bride, the Lamb's wife. resent the righteousness of saints. And he carried me away in the spirit Their sins are taken away; they are to a great and high mountain, and sanctified and cleansed; they are shewed me that great city, the holy washed by the power of the divine Jerusalem, descending out of heaven word, and this is the washing of from God.” Be glad and rejoice for regeneration; the church is without this : the new Jerusalem is about to spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing: descend from God out of heaven, pre- See Rev. vii. 13, 14: “And one of pared as a bride adorned for her hus- the elders answered, saying unto me, band; and the church and the Mas- What are these which are arrayed in ter will be united forever.

white robes ? and whence came they? 8. That she should be arrayed in fine And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowlinen. — The church, the Lamb's wife, est. And he said to me, These are was to be arrayed in fine linen. This they which came out of great tribulawas granted her as an honor. Fine tion, and have washed their robes, linen was a fabric of great value and made them white in the blood of among the Jews, and, in this case, it the Lamb." The members of Christ's is spoken of as the bridal attire. It church were personally pure; and was an attire of honor, for it was they were pure, not because the purity worn by kings. Pharaoh was arrayed of Christ had been imputed or attrib. in a vesture of fine linen ; Gen. xli. uted to them, but because they had 42. Aaron was clad in the same passed through the washing of regen. material; Exodus xxxix. 27; and eration. There is no other way in David; 1 Chron. xv. 27; and Mor- which the sinner can be made rightdecai, when he was honored; Esther eous. And the proof of his being viji. 15. Dives, in the parable, was righteous is his good deeds. Hence clothed in purple and fine linen; Luke St. John says: “He that doeth rightxvi. 19. This is sufficient to show eousness is righteous ;" 1 John iii. 7. that fine linen was a rare and costly There is no other way to prove that attire, and was worn as å vesture of we are really righteous; and every honor. The ephod of the high priest man that doeth righteousness is to be was made of it; Ex. xxviii. 6. It regarded as thus righteous. The was granted to the church that she church, having been sanctified and should be arrayed in it. Clean and cleansed, is said to be arrayed in fine white. — And moreover, it is said that linen, clean and white, - a metaphor it was clean and white, i. e., all pure; for the righteousness of saints, or and we are expressly told what this their purity and good works. Permetaphor of the fine linen, clean and sons not well acquainted with the white, represents, viz., “the right- Bible sometimes suppose, that the eousness of saints." How readily beautiful vestments of fine linen this clean white linen reminds us of which the redeemed are said to wear, St. Paul's description of the sanctified and which bear a resemblance to the church: “Christ loved the church, wedding garment, Matt. xxii. 12, and gave himself for it; that he represent the righteousness of Christ, might sanctify and cleanse it with the which has been transferred to believ. washing of water by the word, that ers. The passage before us serves to he might present it to himself a glori-correct that false notion, since it is ous church, not having spot or wrin- expressly said to be “ the righteouskle, or any such thing; but that it ness of saints." No man

can be should be holy and without blemish ;' righteous merely on account of the Eph. v. 25—27. It does, indeed, rep- I righteous deeds which another person

ness of saints.

saith unto me, These are the 9 And he saith unto me, true sayings of God. Write, Blessed are they which 10 And I fell at his feet to are called unto the marriage- ivorship him. And he said supper of the Lamb. And he unto me, See thou do it not: I

has performed, and independently of was liable to be expelled from the his own deeds. A righteous man assembly. See Matt. xxii. 11–13. will perform righteous deeds himself; " Blessed are they which are called and if be does not perform such unto the marriage-supper of the deeds in his own person, he is not to Lamb;' or, as the same thought was be regarded as being righteous. He expressed in Luke's Gospel : “ Blessed may as well seek to be handsome on is he that shall eat bread in the king. account of another's beauty, as to be dom of God;" xiv. 15. To eat bread righteous on account of another's in the kingdom of God is to feast righteousness. Righteousness is a upon the dainties of the gospel. This personal thing; and so also is wick- kingdom, it will be recollected, had edness. We are not sinners because not come in its entire effects when Adam sinned, but because we our the Apocalypse was written. Almost selves have sinned. “Death passed all the New Testament writers looked upon all men, for all have sinned ;" forward to it. It came in its full Rom. v. 12. If men may be sinful power at the second advent of Jesus, on account of Adam's acts of sin, and when Judaism passed away, and the righteous on account of Christ's acts gospel was fully established. To this of righteousness, then they may have time Jesus seems to have referred, a character altogether independent of when he said, at the close of the their own acts, which is an absurdity. Lord's Supper, “ I will drink no more Adam never made any man a sinner of the fruit of the vine, until that day except through the influence of his that I drink it new in the kingdom evil example; and Christ never made of God;" Mark xiv. 25; Luke xxii. any man righteous by being righteous 16. Jesus promised to be with his in his room and stead. He gives us church, in spirit, even after his the influence of his life, his precepts, ascension into glory. In this way, he his doctrines; and in this way he fulfilled his promise of drinking with leads us to purity of heart, and per- them anew in the kingdom of God, – sonal righteousness.

a proof that the Lord's Supper was 9. Marriage-supper of the Lamb. not to be discontinued at the second The marriage of the Lamb having coming, as has been by some supcome, and his wife having made her posed. The rich blessings of the self ready, the marriage is to take gospel are represented under various place; and blessed are they which metaphors. That of the revelator is are called unto the supper. Jesus striking; xxii. 14. « Blessed had said to the church at Laodicea, they that do his commandments, that “If any man hear my voice, and they may have right to the tree of open the door, I will come in to him, life, and may enter in through the and will sup with him, and he with gates into the city.” These are the me;" Rev. iii. 20. To be invited true sayings of God; — or, in the more to the marriage-supper was a high common language of our own day, honor, especially if the host were a this is God's truth. And such we distinguished personage.

But if a have shown to be the fact, by the person came to a wedding, he was quotations we have made from vari. expected to be clad in the appropriate ous parts of the Scriptures. attire; and for a neglect of this, he 10. To worship him. — Perhaps this

are

[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]

am thy fellow-servant, and of and behold, a white horse; and thy brethren that have the testi- he that sat upon him was called mony of Jesus: worship God : Faithful and True, and in rightfor the testimony of Jesus is the eousness he doth judge and spirit of prophecy.

make war. 11 And I saw heaven opened, 12 His eyes were as a flame does not mean that the revelator if heaven were the place where all the intended to offer divine worship to the preparations were made, previously angel. It is true, he “fell at his feet to the exhibition to the revelator. to worship him." He was evidently See our remarks on ver. 5 of this overcome with emotion at the great chapter. Heaven is opened, and the facts which had been disclosed; but scene begins. TA white horse. – it must be remembered, that falling This is the same metaphor that was to the ground in adoration was a employed when Christ was described mark of respect frequently shown by as coming forth to conquer his ene. the Jews to men. Thus Ruth saluted mies, the Jews; vi. 2. He then went Boaz: “Then she fell on her face, forth conquering and to conquer; and and bowed herself to the ground, and he is now to do the same thing again said unto him, Why have I found in reference to the Gentiles. Congrace in thine eyes, that thou shouldst querors rode on white horses. The take knowledge of me, seeing I am a Roman generals, in returning from stranger ?” Ruth ji. 10. So Abigail their conquests, rode in chariots drawn bowed before David : “And when by white horses. Hence the horse on Abigail saw David, she hasted, and which the great captain of the Chrislighted off the ass, and fell before tian army rode was white, as a sign David on her face, and bowed herself of certain victory. See the notes on to the ground, and fell at his feet,” vi. 2. | Faithful and True. This &c.; 1 Sam. xxv. 23, 24. We see, is evidently one of the titles of the then, that the act of prostration was Lord Jesus, and we have found it a mark of respect often shown to applied to him before, in the Apocaearthly superiors. When the reve- lypse. He is called “the faithful lator fell at the feet of the angel, the Witness, the First-begotten of ihe latter said, “See thou do it not: Í am dead, and the Prince of the kings of thy fellow-servant,” &c. As if he the earth ;" i. 5; and the language had said, There is no need of this dis in iii. 14 is precisely parallel : “ These play of humility on your part: I am things saith the Amen, the faithful a servant like you; I am one of your and true Witness, the beginning of ihe brethren that have the testimony of creation of God." There is no doubt, Jesus; let your worship be given to then, that Jesus is intended by the God, who has revealed to me all that “Faithful and True,” who rode on I know. For the testimony of Jesus the white horse. Once more; in ii. is the spirit of prophecy ; i. e., I have 7: “These things saith he that is the testimony of Jesus, and you have holy, he that is true," &c. This style the spirit of prophecy, and Jesus has is precisely that of the apostle John ; testified through me the things which and it raises a strong presumption you prophesy. We are equals, there that he was the author of the Apocafore; render no homage to me, but lypse. See 1 John v. 20. See, also, “worship God.”

the note on iii. 7. Jesus was the 11. Heaven opened. — The revelator Faithful and True. In righteousreceived his revelations from heaven, ness doth he judge, &c. - He judged described chap. iv., the imaginary the nations righteously. This, it was dwelling-place of the Most High; as I repeatedly affirmed by the prophets,

of fire, and on his head were + 13 And he was clothed with many crowns; and he had a a vesture dipped in blood : and name written, that no man his name is called The Word knew but he himself.

of God.

[ocr errors]

the Messiah should do. " He shall 17 : « To him that overcometh will I judge the people righteously.”. The give to eat of the hidden manna, and progress of his truth over all the er- will give him a white stone, and in the rors of the heathen is represented by stone a new name written, which no the “Prince of the kings of the earth | man knoweth saving he that receiv. making war upon them; and the eth it." See our remarks on that sufferings that his enemies endured verse. The figure was perhaps drawn under the judgments of God are from the fact that the high priest described by the havoc of war. These alone could pronounce the name upon figures are of frequent occurrence in his mitre. See Stuart on the verse. the Apocalypse; we find them almost Dr. Adam Clarke says, that the Jews everywhere. In fact, the metaphors never attempt to pronounce the name of the Bible at large are borrowed of Jehovah; and they affirm that the from nearly all the arts and occupa- true pronunciation has been lost since tions that were known to the Jews at the captivity in Babylon; and that no the time of the writing of the books. man now knows the true interpretaBut we have not done with the “Faith- tion or pronunciation, but God himful and True.”. Let us go on with a self. . (See his Com. on this place.) description of his person.

If this be so, it is possible that the 12. His eyes as a flame of fire. expression in this place, and also in This is the exact description we have ii. 17, is borrowed from the fact. heretofore found; Rev. i. 14. The Some suppose there is a reference eyes were radiant; they glowed with here to Isa. ix. 6,7: “His name shall life. On his head were many crowns. be called Wonderful,&c. &c. Hav

- The crown was the sign of honor ing thus described the person of the and supreme authority. Once Jesus "Faithful and True,” we come now wore a crown of thorns; John xix. 5. to his nature. That was in the days of his suffering 13. Vesture dipped in blood. — This and humility. But when he came is agreeable to the sanguinary characforth conquering and to conquer, then ter of the metaphor. The Faithful and he wore not a crown of disgrace but True has on his war-clothing, which crowns of honor and authority. All bears marks that he has seen service kings wear crowns; but Jesus is said in the field before this time. The to have worn many crowns, because metaphor probably was borrowed he is the King of kings and Lord of from Isaiah lxiii. 1—4. 6 Who is lords. He had abundant authority. this that cometh from Edom, with All power in heaven and on earth dyed garments from Bozrah? this was given to him ; Matt. xxviii. 18; that is glorious in his apparel, traveland especially did he have authority ling in the greatness of his strength ? to execute judgment; John v. 22, 27. I that speak in righteousness, mighty Under the gospel the Father judgeth to save. Wherefore art thou red in no man, but hath committed all judg- thine apparel, and thy garments like ment unto the Son; and in view of him that treadeth in the wine-fat? I the facts here suggested, it is said have trodden the wine-press alone; that on his head were many crowns. and of the people there was none with

He had a name written, that no man me: for I will tread them in mine knew but he himself. We have met anger, and trample them in my fury, with this description before. Seech. ii. I and their blood shall be sprinkled

[ocr errors]

14 And the armies which were in heaven followed him goeth a sharp sword, that with upon white horses, clothed in it he should smite the nations : fine linen, white and clean. and he shall rule them with a

one.

upon my garments, and I will stain mouth seems to us a most unnaiural all my rainent. For the day of ven- But we are to consider that geance is in my heart, and the year this sword represents the word of of my redeemed is come.” These are God. “ For the word of God is quick sanguinary metaphors to apply to the and powerful, and sharper than any Prince of Peace; but such was the two-edged sword, piercing even to the manner of writing in the revelator's dividing asunder of soul and spirit, day and country. We are not to in- and of the joints and marrow, and is fer from them that Jesus had any a discerner of the thoughts and incruelty in his spirit; they are merely tents of the heart;" Heb. iv. 12. the imagery of the chapter. | The Did the revelator quote this figure word of God. - Is this the name the from the epistle to the Hebrews? or interpretation of which no man knew, did the writer of the epistle quote from but Christ himself? If so, why should the Apocalypse? We think the lat. we attempt the explanation ? The ter. We have found the same figure same name, it must be confessed, in other parts of the Apocalypse. seems to be referred to both in the See i. 16; ii. 12. [Smite the nations. 12th and 13th verses. John aster- The figure here is borrowed, appaward spoke more fully of this name, rently, from Isaiah. In describing viz., in his Gospel. “In the beginning Christ's reign among the nations, in was the Logos, or WORD,” &c.; John the gospel, he says : “But with righti. 1. This name is found only in the eousness shall he judge the poor, and writings of John. We shall not at reprove with equity for the meek of tempt the interpretation of it; but it the earth; and he shall smile the seems difficult to avoid the impres- earth with the rod of his mouth, and sion that we see John's style in the with the breath of his lips shall he A pocalypse.

slay the wicked;" xi. 4. This is cer14. The armies which were in heaven. tainly a metaphor to show the effect

next thing in the scene was which the word of God produces upon the armies that followed the True and the nations. And the same may also Faithful. The scene represents these be said of the next sentence. | He armies as issuing out of heaven, seat- shall rule them with a rod of iron. ed on white horses. See xvii. 14, where This again is a prophetical metaphor. we are told that they who follow the The rod is a sign of power. Moses, King of kings and Lord of lords, are as the leader of the children of Israel, “called” and “chosen” and “faith. had a rod,' called the rod of God. It ful.” They were honorable men, and was the sign of his power as the hence are not compared to fcot sol-agent of the Most High ; Exod iv. 20; diers, but to the cavalry, the most and xvii. 9. Power is sometimes stately part of an army, all mounted necessarily employed for the correcon white horses. They were clothed tion of the wicked; anů the rod or in fine linen, white and clean; and sign then is called “the rod of cor. this shows they were members of the rection;" Psalnis lxxxix. 32; Prov. church of Christ, which, as his bride, xxii. 15. Nations whom God uses as was adorned in the same manner. agents for the punishment of other Verse 8.

nations, are called the “rod of his 15. Goeth a sharp sword. — The met. anger;" Isa. x. 5. The transforming aphor of a sword going out of the power of the gospel, before which ali

« PreviousContinue »