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Explanation of the judgment of the great harlot, xvii. entire.
. xviii. entire. Joy of the saints,
xix. 1-11 Final victory,
12—xx. 10. Thus the third part ends in the middle of the twentieth chapter.
FINAL PREVALENCE OF THE GOSPEL, AND BLESSEDNESS OF BELIEVERS.
12, 13 Death and hell destroyed,
14 Enemies also destroyed,
" 15 Descent of the New Jerusalem, and all things
xxi. 1–7 Punishment of unbelievers contrasted with the felicity of believers,
8 The New Jerusalem largely described,
Angel of the Apocalypse (mentioned i. 1) as
sures John, at the close, of the truth of
what he had shown him,
that he will come quickly, »
THE REVELATION OF ST. JOHN THE DIVINE.
vants things which must shortly Revelation of Jesus come to pass; and he sent and
unto him, to shew unto his ser- servant John :
distant day. This, however, is not
to be understood as if everything The Revelation. This book is mentioned in the book were future; called the Revelation of Jesus Christ for it will be seen by i. 19, that some for two reasons ; 1st, it was a reve- things had passed, and some were lation “which God gave unto him;" then present. It could be said only and, 2nd, it was a revelation which of those which were future, that they he made to his servant John. The were "shortly to come
to pass.” word revelation here should be taken The fact, that the events foretold by in its usual and obvious sense, as a the revelator were near, was asserted manifestation of a thing which was by him again and again; see i. 3. before hidden or secret. The truths so much for the commencement of of the book were communicated from the work. At the conclusion, the God to the mind of his Son Jesus nearness of the events is again“ reChrist, and from the mind of Jesus peatedly declared ; xxii. 7, 12, 20. Christ to that of John. Of the man. In fact, we have almost the very ner of the revelation it is not neces- words at the conclusion which we sary that we speak; the fact is plainly have at the beginning — " The Lord established by the text. For other God of the holy prophets sent his instances of the occurrence of this angel to shew unto his servants the word, see Rom. ii. 5; viii. 19; xvi. 25; things which must shortly be done ;" Gal. i. 12; and from the last verse xxii. 6, compared with i. 1. The quoted it will be perceived, that Paul remarks of the very learned Dr. also received the gospel which he Hammond are so valuable on this preached " by the revelation of Jesus point, that we shall present them Christ.” In profession, at least, the at some length:-"Having gone Epistles of Paul and the Apocalypse through all the other parts of the stand on the same ground, as it re- New Testament, I came to this last spects the authority from which they of the Apocalypse, as to a rock that were derived. Shortly come to pass. many had miscarried and split upon,
– This is a very important point. It with a full resolution not to venture is stated at the very commencement on the expounding of one word in it, of the Revelation, and is worthy of but only to perform one office to it, peculiar attention. One would con- common to the rest, the review of clude that all the matters contained the translation. But it pleased God in the book were to be fulfilled at no otherwise to dispose of it; for before 2 Who bare record of the mony of Jesus Christ, and of all word of God, and of the testi- things that he saw. I had read (with that design of was written, were concerned to obtranslating only) to the end of the serve and consider the contents of it. first verse of the book, these words, Blessed is he that reads, and he that which must come to pass presently, hears, fc., (saith Arethas, that so hears had such an impression on my mind, as to practise,) for the time, or season, offering themselves as a key to the the point of time, is near at hand. whole prophecie, (in like manner as, Secondly, that as here in the front, so this generation shall not pass till all these c. xxii. 6, at the close, or shutting up things be fulfilled Matt. 24, 34,- of all these visions, and of St. John's have demonstrated infallibly to what Epistle to the seven churches, which coming of Christ that whole chapter contained them, 't is there again adddid belong,) that I could not resist the ed, that God hath sent his angel to force of them, but attempted presently shero to his servants the things that a general survey of the whole book, must be speedily, or suddenly; and imto see whether those words might not mediately upon the back of that are probably be extended to all the proph- set the words of Christ, the author of ecies of it, and have a literal truth this prophecie, Behold I come quickly, in them, viz., that the things foretold not in the notion of his final coming and represented in the ensuing visions to judgment, (which hath been the were presently, speedily to come to pass, cause of a great deal of mistake-see one after another, after the writing of note on Matt. xxiv. 6,) but of his comthem. But before I could prudently | ing to destroy his enemies, the Jews, pass this judgment, which was to be &c.; and then, Blessed is he that observes, founded in understanding the subject or keeps, the prophecies of this book, parmatter of all the visions, some other allel to what has been said at the beevidences I met with, concurring with ginning, c. i. 3. Thirdly, that, xxii. this, and giving me abundant grounds 10, the command is given to John, not of confidence of this one thing, that to seal the prophecies of the book, which although I should not be able to that it signifies that they were of understand one period of all these present use to those times, and therevisions, yet I must be obliged to think fore to be kept open, and not to be that they belonged to those times that laid up as things that posterity was were then immediately ensuing, and only or principally concerned in, apthat they had accordingly their com- pears by that reason rendered of it, pletion; and, consequently, that they because the time is nigh, the same that pretended to find in those visions which had here at the beginning been the predictions of events in these later given, as the reason that he that conages, and those so nicely defined as sidered the prophecies was blessed in to belong to particular acts and per- so doing.” – (Intro. to Apoc.) The sons in this and some other kingdoms, remarks of Professor Stuart on this (a far narrower circuit, also, than point are certainly worthy of very that which reasonably was to be as serious consideration, coming, as signed to that one Christian prophecie they do, not only from a gentleman for the universal church of Christ) of very great learning, but from had much mistaken the drift of it. whose preconceived opinions The arguments that induced this would have led him to take different conclusion were these : First, that ground, had he regarded it as being this was again immediately incul. tenable. "In Rev. i. 1, the writer cated, v. 3, for the time is nigh, and says, that God gave to Christ the reve. that rendered as a proof that these lation, in order to show his servants seven churches, to whom the propheciel what should take place speedily,
3 Blessed is he that readeth, things which are written thereand they that hear the words of in: for the time is at hand. this prophecy, and keep those 4 John to the seven churches
quickly. In i. 3, the author solemnly Ver. 2. Who bear record. - John bear declares, that what is written in this record of the three things here named. book is of speedy accomplishment; 1st. The word of God; 2d. The testhe time is near, i. e. the time when timony of Jesus Christ; and, 3d. what is revealed will be accomplished. “ All things that he (John) saw.” Thus much in the prologue to the 1st. Whether the word of God here is book. The epilogue repeats three to bear the same sense as in John i. several times the equivalent declara- 1, or whether it signifies the gospel tion, Behold, I come quickly ; xxii. 7, of God, is somewhat doubtful. It is 12, 20. The coming of Christ is the precisely the same phrase which is main subject of the book, so that the used personally for Christ in xix. 13. declaration here is, that what the 2d. It was a favorite practice of book contains will speedily be accom- John, in his gospel and epistles, to plished. That such must be the speak of the gospel of Jesus as a meaning, is evident by appeal to sim- testimony, and the preaching or pubilar declarations in Rev. ii. 16, iii. lishing of it as testifying, or bearing 11, and xi. 14. No one can doubt, witness, &c. 3d. By all things that that what is said is what is meant, in he saw, John, doubtless, meant those these last cases. As little reasonable which the angel showed unto him. doubt can there be, if philology is to Ver. 3. Blessed is he that readeth, be trusted, in the cases just cited in the and they that hear. - When the Apocprologue and epilogue of the book. alypse was written, books were few, What tolerable meaning now can be and few persons, therefore, could given, and defended on exegetical read. Many were obliged to hear, grounds, to the declarations in ques- because they could not obtain the tion, if we suppose that the main por- manuscripts to read them. Hence tion of the book relates to events the readers and the hearers are both some thousand and more of years mentioned. The language is probathen future? And if every writer is bly designed to have special applicato be permitted the liberty of explain- tion to the churches whom John ading his own purpose, why should we dressed. But it is not he who readrefuse to John the liberty that we eth only, but readeth and keepeth. concede to all others ? " (Hints So in Luke xi. 28, “ Blessed are they on Prophecy, 2d ed., pp. 111, 112.) that hear the word of God and keep it." | By his angel. - As angels are spo- | For the time is at hand. What ken of so frequently in this book, time? The time when these great each one always performing a differ- events were to be fulfilled. The time ent office, it is worthy of remark, that mentioned ver. 1, and that was shortly the angel here spoken of is the one to come. Thus far the preface of the who made known the whole revela- book. The first three verses are the tion, and hence may be called the preface; and the preface contains apocalyptical angel. We shall meet three points : 1st. By whom the revewith many angels in the course of lation was made ; 2d. The subjectthe book ; but we shall not meet with matter of the revelation; and, 3d. this one again until we come near the The blessedness of reading and keepclose, xxii. 6, 8. | His servant John. ing it. It was addressed particularly
- That John, the apostle, is here to that generation, to people then on meant, is shown in the introduction the earth. They were called on to to this work.
read and keep the word, for the time