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remarks. before the presence of his glo- our Saviour, be glory and maj. ry with exceeding joy, esty, dominion and power, both 25 To the only wise God now and ever.
TO THE REVELATION OF SAINT JOHN.
John, the author of this book was doubtless the same per. son, that wrote the Gospel and the three Epistles, which bear his name. For his adherence to the Christian faith, he was banished by Domitian, the Roman emperor, about the year 56 to the isle of Patmos, where he was favoured by the visions and revelations, which are here recorded.
This book is highly prophetic, and, in symbolical language, describes the future condition of the church in eyery age to the end of the world. It consists of three distinct parts, which according to chapter i. 19. relate to the things which John had seen, the things which then were, and the things whick should be afterwards.
The first part, which is contained in the first chapter, may be considered only as the introduction, in which John opens the scene of his Revelations, salutes the seven churches in Asia Minor, mentions at what place and on what day the Lord appeared to him in vision. These are the things which he had just seen.
The second part, contained in the second and third chapters, consists of Epistles, addressed to the seven churches in Asia Minor, reproving and commending
them according to their deeds, and adınonishing them to take heed to themselves
, lest their privileges be taken from them. These are the things which then were.
The third part, which relates to the things which were to be afterwards, extends from the third chapter to the end of the Book. It begins with a sublime description of the Deity enthroned in glory, and surrounded by the hosts of heaven, easting their crowns at the foot of the throne, and ascribing glory, and honour, and power to Him, who sitteth thereon. It then proceeds to describe the future condition of the church in every age, and its connexion with the kingdoms and nations of this world.
Writers on prophecy all agree in the opinion, that the rise
John's salutation Chap. i.
to the churches. and progress of Mohammedism and Popery, their character, decline and final destruction, the terrible revolutions which at various times have harrassed and wasted the human race, especially those, which, for more than twenty years, have convulsed and astonished the world, are all foretold in this wonderful book ; and they are induced from it to believe that the present state of war and bloodshed will, with perhaps occasional abatements, still continue for 50 or 60 years, when the religion of the Gospel will more generally prevail; when the Jews, the once favoured, but now long rejected people of God, will begin to embrace the Gospel, to be restored to their
native land, and to the divine favour; and when a new era of peace, of truth, and of righteousness will commence on earth, and bless mankind.
Those who wish to attend to this subject, and to understand the language of future events, are referred to Newton, Faber, and Smith, on the prophecies, who have all written well, and have doubtless explained many important prophecies; but they probably need the assistance of time, to enable them fully to understand and unfold all the mysteries of the Revelation.
I THE REVELATION OF SAINT JOHN THE
those things which are written 1 John writeth his revelation therein; for the time is at
to the seven churches of Asia, hand. signified by the seven golden OHN, to the seven candlesticks. The coming
churches which are in of Christ.
Asia; Grace be unto you, and THE revelation of Jesus peace, from him which is, and Christ, which God
gave which was, and which is to unto him, to shew unto his come; and from the seven servants things which must Spirits which are before his shortly come to pass; and he throne; sent and signified it by his an 5 And from Jesus Christ, gel unto his servant John: who is the faithful Witness,
-2 Who bear record of the and the first-begotten of the word of God, and of the testi- dead, and the Prince of the mony of Jesus Christ, and of kings of the earth. Unto him all things that he saw. that loved us, and washed us
3 Blessed is he that readeth, from our sins in his own blood, and they that hear the words 6. And hath made us kings of this prophecy, and keep and priests unto God and his
John's revelation to Revelation. the seven churches.
12 And I turned to see the 7 Behold, he cometh with voice that spake with me. clouds; and every eye shall And, being turned, I saw ser. see him, and they also which en golden candlesticks ; pierced him; and all kindreds 13 And in the midst of the of the earth shall wail because seven candlesticks one like unof him. Even so, Amen. to the Son of man clothed with
8 I am Alpha and Omega,a a garment down to the foot, the beginning and the ending, and girt about the paps with saith the Lord, which is, and a golden girdle. which was, and which is to 14 His head and his hair come, the Almighty.
were white like wool, as white 9 I John who also am your as snow; and his eyes were brother, and companion in as a fame of fire ; tribulation, and in the king. 15 And his feet like unto dom and patience of Jesus fine brass, as if they burned Christ, was in the isle that is in a furnace; and his voice called Patmos,b for the word as the sound of many waters. of God, and for the testimony 16 And he had in his right of Jesus Christ.
hand seven stars; and out of 10 I was in the Spirit on his mouth went a sharp twothe Lord's day, and heard be- edged sword ;c and his counhind me a great voice as of a tenance was as the sun shineth trumpet,
in his strength. 11 Saying, I am Alpha and 17 And when I saw him I Omega, the first and the last; fell at his feet as dead. And and, What thou seest write in he laid his right hand upon a book, and send it unto the me, saying unto me, Fear not; seven churches which are in I am the first and the last; Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto 18 I am he that liveth, and Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, was dead; and, behold, I am and unto Thyatira, and untó alive forevermore, Amen;
and have the keys of hell and a Alpba is the first letter of the of death. Greek alphabet, Omega is the last; 19 Write the things which The words, which follow, explain thou hast seen, and the things them.
which are, and the things bPatmos is a small barren island which shall be bereafter;. in the Ægean, now the Achipelago sea, where John was banished on
20 The mystery of the sevaccount of the Word of God, and cA sharp, two-edged sword. This where, during his banishment, he probably means the Word of God. wrote the Revelation.
See Ephes. vi. 17, Heb. iv. 12.
What was written Chap. ii.
to the churches. en stars, which thou sawest in candlestick out of his place, my right hand, and the seven except thou repent. golden candlesticks. The sev 6 But this thou hast, that en stars are the angels d of the thou hatest the deeds of the seven churches; and the sev- Nicolaitans,e which I also en candlesticks, which thou hate. . sawest, are the seven church
hy He that hath an ear, let
him hear what the Spirit saith CHAP. II.
unto the churches ; To him What is commanded to be that overcometh will I give to
written to the angels, that is, eat of the tree of life, which the ministers of the churches is in the midst of the paradise of 1 Ephesus, s Smyrna, of God. 12 Pergamos, 18 Thyatira, 8 And unto the angel of and what is commended, or
the church in Smyrna write ; found wanting in them. These things saith the first UNTO the angel of the and the last, which was dead church of Ephesus write; and is alive ; These things saith he that 9 I know thy works and holdeth the seven stars in his tribulation, and poverty, (but right hand, who walketh in thou art rich,) and I know the the midst of the seven golden blasphemy of them, which say candlesticks;
they are Jews, and are pot, 2 I know thy works, and but are the synagogue of Sathy labour, and thy patience, tan. and how thou canst not bear 10 Fear none of those things them which are evil; and thou which thou shalt suffer; behast tried them which say they hold, the devil shall cast some are apostles, and are not, and of you into prison, that ye may hast found them liars : be tried; and ye shall have
3 And hast borne, and hast tribulation ten days ;6 be thou patience, and for my name's faithful unto death, and I will sake hast laboured, and hast give thee a crown of life. not fainted.
11 He that hath an ear, 4 Nevertheless I have some let him hear what the Spirit what against thee, because saith unto the churches : He thou hast left thy first love.
that overcometh shall not be 5 Remember, therefore, from hurt of the second death, , whence thou art fallen, and 12 And to the angel of the repent, and do the first works; church in Pergamos write ; or else I will come unto thee
a Nicolaitans. See introduction to quickly, and will remove thy the Testament, page 10.
d Angels here probably means min 6 Ten days ; days in prophecy genisters,
erally, if not always, mean years.
Pergamos, l'hyatira, and Revelation. Sardis threatened. These things saith he which and in the stone a new name hath the sharp sword with two written, which no man knowedges :c
eth saving he that receiveth it. 13 I know thy works, and 18 And unto the angel of where thou dwellest, even the church in Thyatira write; where Satan's seat is; and These things saith the Son of thou holdest fast my name, God, who hath his eyes like and hast not denied my faith, unto a flame of fire, and his even in those days wherein feet are like fine brass ; Antipas was my faithful mar 19 I know thy works, and tyr, who was slain among you, charity, and service, and faith, where Satan dwelleth. and thy patience, and thy
14 But I have a few things works; and the last to be more against thee, because thou hast than the first. there them that hold the doc 20 Notwithstanding, I have trine of Balaam, who taught a few things against thee, beBalak to cast a stumbling cause thou sufferest that woblock before the children of man Jezebel,g which calleth Israel, to eat things sacrificed herself a prophetess, to teach unto idols, and to commit for- and to seduce my servants to nication.
commit fornication, and to eat 15 So hast thou also them things sacrificed unto idols. that hold the doctrine of the 21 And I
her Nicolaitans, which thing I repent of her fornication; and hate.
she repented not. 16 Repent; or else I will 22 Behold, I will cast her come unto thee quickly, and into a bed, and them that comwill fight against them with mit adultery with her into the sword of
mouth.d great tribulation, except they 17 He that hath an ear, let repent of their deeds. him hear what the Spirit saith 23 And I will kill her chilunto the churches ; To him dren with death; and all the hat overcometh will I give to churches shall know that I tat of the hidden manna,e and am he, which searcheth the will give him a white stone,f reins and hearts; and I will
c Sharp sword with two edges. See tom of the Greeks, who, in their Rev. i. 16, note b.
courts of justice, when a man was d Sword of my mouth. See note b, acquitted, gave him a wbite stone, and
when condemned, a black one. It here e The hidden manna probably here denotes, that he, who overcometh, will means the consolations of religion in receive the full pardon of all his sins. this life, and the enjoyments of God g Jezebel. Some think that by this forever.
name is here intended the heresy of f A white stone. This expression is the Nicolaitans, for whose character tho ught to be an allusion to the cus see Introduction, page 10.