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it, which they themselves can read to their eternal joy and glory, though others cannot, who have it not. 4.
He that overcometh and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations, and he fall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a Potter Mall they be broken to shivers, even as I received of my father ; and I will give him the morning star.
Here those that are strong in faith, who holdeth out to the end in keeping Christ's works, that is, whoever holdeth out to the end of his life, in suffering for the faith of Jesus.
He will give him that doth so, power over the nations, and he shall rule them with a rod of iron.
That is, he by his faith and sufferings shall have power over the nations ; although he loose his life, yet he shall have power over the nations, because his fufferings for truth shall lye so heavy upon the consciences of those nations that perfecute upon that account, that shall be ruled as it were with a rod of iron; for there are rods of iron upon the spirits of men, as there are upon the bodies of men.
For this rod of iron which breaketh mens spirits to pieces, even like a potter's vessel, by wounding their consciences with the guilt of innocent blood ; so that the iron rod of God's wrath will make them afraid of hell, and torment will seize upon them, and the fear of God's eternal vengeance upon them, for this fin of innocent blood.
So that all their peace, joy and comfort they had in this world, is broken in pieces by this iron rod of suffering for truth. For was not that nation of the Jews, who put the Lord of Life to death, broken to pieces in the comfort of their souls, by that iron rod of Christ's suffering death?
And not only fo, but the temporal iron rod did break that nation to pieces also in a few years after. Did not many of those nations that persecuted the apostles and saints in the primitive times, had not they a rod of iron upon their hearts ? And not only so, but a temporal rod of iron which broke them to pieces, as to
of their minds, and to their temporal peace also, as histories doth mention; so that suffering for truth it is as strong an iron rod to break persecuting spirits to pieces, even as a rod of iron doth break a potter's vessel.
For this is to be minded, that he that had the greatest faith, never made use of any sword of steel, nor any temporal rod of iron, but as the sword of the spirit doth cut mens souls both ways.
So this rod of iron it is used in a spiritual sence ; for as words of truth doth cut men to the heart, as the Jews were at Peter's words, so suffering for truth, it doth bang the hearts of persecuting men, even as a rod of iron, and breaketh all their peace and hope to pieces, even as a potter's veffel.
So that he that hath power to suffer for his faith, he shall break his enemies to thivers, both spiritual and temporal, even as Christ did by his sufferings.
And as Christ did conquer by his sufferings over death, sin, and hell; and not only, but over those presecuting spirits which caused him to be put to death. ·
I say he brake all his spiritual and temporal enemies to pieces, even as a potter's vessel is broken to pieces with an iron rod.
Even so it will be with every true believer whose faith doth hold out to the end, he shall conquer both fin, death and hell in himself ; and not only so, but he shall rule his enemies without him, as with a rod of iron, by keeping them under the fear of eternal death, who persecute for truth's sake.
So that the peace and hopes of their minds, by the patient sufferings of the faints, will be broken in shivers, even as a potter's vessel
And Christ will give him the morning star. This Morning star is that daystar that doth arise in the heart, as the apostle speaks.
This morning, or day-ftar is that light of truth, or light of the true God, that that doth arise in the heart of every true believer, and doth guide him in the right way; fo that the foul is guilded by the light of this star in the way of truth here, even to the assurance of eternal life.
And so the light of this morning star doth lead every true believer into that eternal glory which God hath promised to all those that do overcome those spiritual enemies within, and all perfecuting fpirits without, by his faith and patience, &c.
CH A P. III.
5. He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment, and I will not blot
out his name out of the Book of Life, &c. S for this white raiment, I shall shew what is ment by it in several places of
this treatise, and as for Christ's not blotting his name out of the book of life. And as for the book of life, and how mens names are written therein, the reader shall find in the following discourse.
And as for his name not blotted out of the book of life, the meaning is this, That he that overcometh, as aforesaid, shall not lose the sensibleness of his name being written in the book of life, but shall have a certain assurance of it in himself.
For when a man doth not know by faith that his name is written in the book of life, that is, he having no assurance that he is of that feed that shall be saved, he cannot truly say any otherwise but that his name is bloted out of the book of life.
For though a man's name, as he is an elect vessel, is written in the book of life, yet he not knowing, it is to him as if it were blotted out of the book of life.
So on the contrary, if any man shall vainly imagine that his name is written in the book of life, as most people in the world do, and he being of the contary feed, his name is not written in the book of life; neither is he certain that it is not fo.
So that neither of these two, they being both uncertain of the thing in themselves, their names may be said to be blotted out of the book of life.
For the feed of faith, his name is written in the book of life, but he knows it not : and the feed of reason, his name is not written in the book of life, yet he thinks it is, but doth not certainly know that it is not.
So that to the apprehension of them both, their names are blotted out of the book of life.
For this I say, that except a inan hath some witness in himself by voice from God, or some secret revelation, or by a stedfast faith in those messengers whom
God doth fend, he cannot know that his name is written in the book of life, but rather fear that his name is blotted out of it.
So that the assurance that a man's name is not blotted out of the book of life, is when a man hath the witness in himself, that he knoweth the true God, and doth fuffer persecution for the truth, and not for a lye, as all the world doth.
And so he that overcometh by faith and patient sufferings for truth, he cometh to have the witness in himself that his name is written in the book of life, and that his name shall not be blotted out, no not by God himself.
6. Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and be Mall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is New Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven fr0373 any God, and I will write upon him my new name.
This pillar in the temple of God, it signifies the great strength of faith and patience that was in the church of Philadelphia.
So that their great faith should enable them to suffer with such patience, that they should become a pillar in the temple of God, that is, their faith should be as a pil. lar to encourage, and strengthen, and bear up those that were more weak in faith, and more fearsul to suffer.
But he that overcometh shall be as a pillar to bear up the weak, even as a pillar of a church of stone doth bear up the building that standeth upon it.
For the temple of God is no other but true believers ; they are called by the Spirit the temple of God, and he that is strong in faith, and doth overcome all persecution by patient fuffering for his faith in God, he shall be made a pillar to help bear up the church of God
And he shall go no more out. That is, he shall go no more out from being a pillar, but he shall be esteemed of God a standing pillar in his temple, to all eternity.
So that God will write upon him his own name, and the name of the city of God: the name of God is to be a king, priest, and prophet.
So that he that overcometh, as aforesaid, shall have this name written upon his heart, king, priest, and prophet unto God.
And as for the name of the city of God, New Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from God; which New Jerusalem I have opened what it is, in the Interpretation of the eleventh of the Revelation.
And as for the new name God will write upon him, I have shewed what it is before.
7. To him that overcometh will I grant to fit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am sat docon with my father in bis throne.
Here the reader may fee what the fpirit doth mean by overcometh. That is, he overcometh sin, death, and hell within himself; these being principalities and powers within a man.
Also he overcometh all persecution, and the malice of the devil, the spirit of reafon without a man.
These things, I say, are cvercome by the power of faith, in suffering patiently for truth, as aforesaid.
For this was the way that Christ did overcome all his enemies, and when he had overcome by his death, sin, in that he died unto sin.
And he overcame death, in that he was death's death.
Therefore it is said by the spirit, Oh death, I will be thy death, oh
Also he overcame by his sufferings the spirit of reason, the devil, who always persecuted the prophets and faints ; I say he overcometh by his death this spirit of reason, the devil, in that he hath procured by his death an eternal damnation to all persecuting spirits. - So that he hath overcome them, and will kill them with a second death, where will be weeping and gnashing of teeth for evermore.
And he overcometh these enemies aforesaid, he is fate down in the throne of the Father.
That is, he is fate down in the same glory, as he had when he was the creator, or the same glory which he had before the world was.
Even so in like manner shall every prophet, apostle, and saint that overcometh those enemies aforesaid, by the power of his faith, and his patient sufferings for truth.
To him will Christ grant to fit with him in his throne ; that is, he shall sit with Christ, or be with Christ in the kingdom of eternal glory.
Even as he himself after his sufferings, is sat down in the kingdom which he had before the world was.
Which is called by the spirit the throne of the Father, in relation to that twofold condition in God, as I have shewed in this treatise following.
Thus, in short, I have given the interpretation, what is meant by those seven feveral blessings, given by the spirit, to the seven churches of Asia, and how they all differ one from another, and yet all have relation to one and the same thing, even to eternal happiness, joy and glory in the presence of almighty God, their God, their king, and redeemer,
CH A P. IV.
Would have the seed of faith also to understand, that Christ the only God is
he which did send forth these seven spirits unto the seven churches. Therefore called by the Revelation of John, the seven spirits which are before his throne. The seven spirits, I declare by Revelation, that they are but one spirit, even the spirit of Jesus Christ, the only wise God, blessed for ever and ever.
Only this I would have the feed of faith to understand, that this one spirit of Christ it hath seven several operations or workings in the seven churches.
Therefore called by the Revelation of John, seven spirits before the throne.
Therefore you may read that John in his writing to the seven churches of Asia, giveth seven several blessings, as aforesaid.
So likewise he cometh with his message to the seven churches, with seven several titles, and yet all from one God and one fpirit.
As thus : First, he writeth to the church of Ephesus with this title, Saith be, that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks.
These golden candlesticks are the seven churches. Is there any spirit that can walk in the midst of the hearts of the seven churches, but the spirit of Christ, which is God ? Surely no.
Secondly, John writeth to the church of Smirna, These things saith the First and the Last, which was dead and is alive.
Is not Jesus Christ the First and the Last ? Was not he dead and rose again, and so is alive? Surely it is. This was the faith of John, and the rest of the apostles, and it is my faith also.
Thirdly, John writeth these things unto the church in Pergamos, Saith be who bath the Marp sword with two edges. This sword with two edges, it cometh out of Christ's mouth. I suppose all men that profess the scriptures will confefs it.
Fourthly, Unto the church in Thyatira he writeth, These things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet are like fine brass.
Here the spirit of Christ gives himself forth under the title of his Son-ship, but to the former Churches he gives himself forth under the title of the Father-hood.
Yet under the title of the Son-ship, he is exceeding glorious, seemingly more glorious and terrible, than under the title of God the Father.
For here his eyes are like unto a flame of fire, and his feet like fine brass ; yet all this while it is he, the same he which is the First, and the Last, that is cloathed with flesh and bone, yet a glorified body in the heavens above the stars.
Fifthly, Unto the angel of the church in Sardis write, These thing's faith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars. This he is Christ, the First and the Last, he that was dead and is alive, this is he that hath the seven spirits of God, and the seven stars.
Who can have the seven spirits of God, but he that is God? And who can rule and govern the seven stars, which are the seven churches, but God only?
Sixthly, To the Angel of the church in Philadelphia write, These things faith he that is holy, be that is true, he that hath the key of David, be that openeth, and no man shutteth, and soutteth, and no man openeth.
I suppose that all men who profess the scriptures will acknowledge that this must needs be God; he which is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, who can shut up the mind of men in ignorance and darkness, as he doth the wife and prudent men of this world ; and no man can open their understandings.
Also he can open the understandings of the feed of faith, and let the light of life shine into their hearts, and no man can fhut up their hearts.
And he that can do this, is God : I suppose it will be confest by all, but not believed but by few, yet it is plain in John's Revelation, that this God is no other but Jesus Christ.
Seventhly, To the angel of the church of the Loadiceans write, These things, faith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the begining of the creation of God.
Jesus Christ is the Amen, the true and faithful witness, he is also the beginning of the creation of God, because he is, and was that God that created the world, and all things therein in the beginning.
According to that saying in scripture, speaking of Christ, By him the world was made, and without him was nothing made which was made.