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who hath thus testified of the word of God, and of the testimony given to Jesus Christ, even whatever things he saw. 3 Happy is he who readeth, and those who hear, the words of this prophecy, and keep the things written in it for the time is near.
4 JOHN to the seven churches in Asia; favour be to you, and peace, from him who is, and who was, and who is to come; and from the seven spirits which [are] before his throne; 5 and from Jesus Christ who is the faithful witness, the first-born from the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth to him who loveth us, and hath washed us from our sins in his own blood, 6 and hath made us a kingdom of priests to his God and Father; to him be glory and dominion to the ages of ages. Amen.
7 Behold, he will come with clouds; and every eye will see him, and those also who pierced him; and all the tribes of the earth will lament because of him. Even so, Amen. 8" I am Alpha and Omega,' "* saith the Lord God, who is, who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.
9 I John, your brother and companion in the affliction, and kingdom, and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the island which is called Patmos, for the word of God, and [for] the testimony of Jesus [Christ]. 10 I was in the spirit, on the Lord's day; and heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet, 11 say. ing, "What thou seest, write in a book, and send it to the seven churches; to Ephesus, and to Smyrna, and to Pergamus, and to Thyatira, and to Sardis, and to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea."
12 And I turned to see whence the voice came which spake to me: and, when I had turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks; 13 and in the midst of the [seven] candlesticks, one like the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the feet, and girt about his breast with a golden girdle. 14 And his head, and his hair were white, as white wool, or snow: and his eyes were as a flame of fire; 15 and his feet like fine brass, as if they had been purified in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters: 16 and he had in his right hand seven stars and out of his mouth
Revelation is quite different in all these respects,
between St. John's gospel and epistle, but the without any resemblance or similitude. 5. That the Greek of the gospel and epistle is pure and correct, but that of the Revelation has barbarims and solecisms. Dionysius's own opinion is, that the Revelation was written by some holy and inspired person named John, but who that John was he does not know: he might be John the Elder, said to have resided for some time at Ephesus, in Asia." Dr. Lardner, having examined the arguments of Dionysius at large, and stated the opinions of other learned men, concludes with his usual candour, "I must acknowledge that the Revelation, when compared with the apostle's unquestioned writings, has an unlike ness not easy to be accounted for." Lardner's Works. vol. iii. p. 130. The principal authors who have attempted the interpretation of this difficult prophecy are Joseph Mede, Sir Isaac Newton, Waple, Daubuz, Vitringa, Lowman, Bp. Newton. See also Mr. Tower's Illust. of Prophecy, Abp. Newcome's and Dr. Priestley's Notes upon the Scriptures, and Evanson's Reflections upon the State of Religion in Christendom in the 19th Century." Im. Ver. note.
* Gr. To A naι To : the Alpha and the Omega: i. e. the first and the last letter of the Greek alphabet; equivalent to the beginning and the end.
went a sharp two-edged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength. 17 And, having seen him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he put his right hand upon me, saying, "Fear not: I am the first, and the last; 18 and he who lived, and became dead; and, behold, I live to the ages of the ages, and have the keys of death and of hades.*
whence thou art fallen, and reform, and do thy first works : or else I will come to thee [quickly], and will remove thy candlestick out of its place, unless thou reform. 6 But this praise thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.' 7 He who hath an ear, let him hear what the spirit saith to the churches. To him who overcometh I will give to eat from the fruit of the tree of life which is in the paradise of my God.
19 Write therefore the things which thou hast seen, and the things which now are, and the things which are about to occur. 20 As to the mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and as to the seven golden candlesticks; the seven stars are the messengers of the seven churches, and the seven dlesticks are the seven churches.
CH. II. 1 "TO the messenger of the church in Ephesus write; These things saith he who holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks: 2 I know thy works, and [thy] labour, and thy patience, and that thou canst not bear those who are evil: and thou hast tried those who say that they are apostles, and are not; and hast found them false: 3 and hast patience, and hast borne much for the sake of my name, and hast not fainted. 4 Nevertheless I have something against thee, because thou hast relinquished thy first love. 5 Remember therefore
8" AND to the messenger of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith the first and the last, who was dead, and is alive: 9 I know thy [works, and] affliction, and poverty, (yet thou art rich,) and the blasphemy of those who say that they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of the adversary.† 10 Fear none of those things which thou art about to suffer. Behold, the impostor is about to cast some of you into prison, that ye may be proved; and ye will have affliction for ten days. Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give to thee the crown of life,' 11 He who hath an ear, let him hear what the spirit saith to the churches. He who overcometh shall not be hurt by the second death.
12" AND to the messenger of the church in Pergamus write: These things saith he who hath the sharp two-edged
i. e. the grave, or the place of the dead: literally, the unseen or hidden place. Jewish adversaries of the gospel, see ch. iii. 9.
and] where thou dwellest, even where the throne of the adversary is and yet thou holdest fast my name, and didst not deny my faith, [even] in those days [in] which Antipas was my faithful witness, who was slain among you, were the adversary dwelleth. 14 Nevertheless I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there such as hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumbling-block before the sons of Israel, that they might eat things offered to idols, and might commit fornication. 15 So hast thou also such as hold, in like manner, the doctrine of the Nicolaitans. 16 Reform therefore; or else I will come to thee quickly, and will war against them with the sword of my mouth.' 17 He who hath an ear, let him hear what the spirit saith to the churches. To him who overcometh I will give to eat of the hidden manna; and will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written, which no one knoweth but he who receiveth it.
sword: 13 I know [thy works, thy wife Jezebel, who calleth herself a prophetess, and teach. eth and seduceth my servants to commit fornication, and eat things offered to idols. 21 And I have given her time that she might reform; and she will not return from her fornication. 22 Behold, I will cast her on a bed of sickness, and those who commit adultery with her into great affliction, unless they rẻ-turn from her deeds. 23 And I will kill her children by the pestilence; and all the churches shall know that I search the reins and the hearts, and will give to every one of you according to your works.
24" But to you I say, even to the rest in Thyatira, as many as receive not this doctrine, and as have not known the deep things of the adversary, (as they speak ;) I will put on you no other burden. 25 But what ye have, hold fast till I come. 26 And he who overcometh, and performeth my works to the end, to him I will give power over the nations; 27 and he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter they shall be broken in pieces; even as I have received from my Father. 28 And I will give him the morning-star.' 29 He who hath an ear, let him hear what the spirit saith to the churches.
CH. III. 1" AND to the messenger of the church in Sardis write These things saith he who hath the seven spirits of God, and the seven stars: I know thy works, that thou hast
18" AND to the messenger of the church in Thyatira write: These things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes as a flame of fire, and whose feet are like fine brass; 19 I know thy [works and] thy love, and service, and faith, and patience, and thy last works, which are better than the first. 20 Nevertheless I have something against thee, because thou sufferest
the appearance of being alive, | gogue of the adversary* (who and yet are dead. 2 Be watch-say that they are Jews, and are ful, and strengthen the things not, but speak falsely, behold, which remain, which are about I will make them) to come, and to die for I have not found do obeisance before thy feet, thy works perfect before my and know that I have loved God. 3 Remember therefore thee. 10 Because thou hast kept how thou hast received, [and my commandment concerning heard, and keep those things,] patience, I also will keep thee and reform. If therefore thou from the hour of trial, which is shalt not watch, I will come about to come on all the world, [on thee] as a thief, and thou to try those who dwell upon shalt not know what hour I the earth. 11 I shall come quickwill come on thee. 4 Yet thou ly: hold fast what thou hast, hast a few persons in Sardis, that no one take away thy who have not defiled their gar- crown. 12 Him who overcomments: and they shall walk eth, I will make a pillar in the with me in white; for they are temple of my God, and he shall worthy. 5 He who overcometh go out no more: and I will shall be clothed in white rai-write upon him the name of ment; and I will by no means my God, of the new Jerusalem, blot out his name from the book which will come down from of life, but I will confess his heaven from my God; and I name before my Father, and will write upon him my new before his angels.' 6 He who name.' 13 He who hath an ear, hath an ear, let him hear what let him hear what the spirit the spirit saith to the churches. saith to the churches.
7AND to the messenger of the church in Philadelphia write: 'These things saith he who is holy, he who is true, he who hath the key of David, he who openeth and no one shutteth, and who shutteth and no one openeth: 8 I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, which no one can shut: for thou hast but little power, and yet hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name. 9 Behold, I will cause those of the syna
14" AND to the messenger of the church in Laodicea write: 'These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the chief of the creation of God:† 15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would that thou wert either cold or hot. 16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will soon cast thee out of my mouth. 17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and grown wealthy, and have need of nothing; and knowest
* By the Synagogue of the adversary are to be understood those of the Jews who opposed the gospel.
+ Or, the beginning of the creation of God. The first born of the new creation, being the first who was raised from the dead. See Col. i. 15, 18.
not that thou art wretched, and, pitiable, and poor, and blind, and naked; 18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold purified in the fire, that thou mayest grow wealthy; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness may not appear: and to anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. 19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and reform. 20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock: if any one hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. 21 To him who overcometh I will grant to sit with me on my throne.' 22 He who hath an ear, let him hear what the spirit saith to the churches."
CH. IV. 1 AFTER these things I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me, and saying, "Come up hither, and I will show thee things which must happen shortly." 2 [And] immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was placed in heaven, and one sat on the throne.* 3 [And he who sat] was in appearance like a jasper and a sardius: and a rainbow was round about the throne, in
appearance, like an emerald. 4 And encircling the chief-throne were twenty-four thrones: and upon the thrones I saw twentyfour elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and on their heads crowns of gold. 5 And from the throne proceed lightnings, and thunderings, and voices. And seven lamps of fire were burning before the throne; which are [the] seven spirits of God. 6 And there was before the throne, as it were, a glassy sea, resembling crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four living creatures full of eyes before and behind. 7 And the first living creature was like a lion, and the second living creature like a steer, and the third living creature had the face of a man, and the fourth living creature was like a flying eagle. 8 And the four living creatures had each of them six wings, full of eyes round about and within: and they rest not day nor night, saying, "Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty; who was, and is, and is to come." 9 And when those living creatures give glory, and honour, and thanks, to him who sat on the throne, who liveth to the ages of ages, 10 the twenty-four elders, fall down before him who sat on the throne, and wor
"We are not to imagine,' says Doddridge, 'that the person sitting on the throne, [or the Lamb or the twenty-four elders, or the four animals, were real beings, existing in nature; though they represented, in a figurative manner, things that did really exist. I think it pro bable, that all which passed was in the imagination of St. John.' This observation is very just and important. The whole scenery of this vision passed in the imagination of St. John; and we can no more argue the real external existence of such beings as angels and devils are commonly conceived to be, from the appearance in this vision, than we can infer the real existence of a lamb with seven eyes, or a dragon with seven heads. All these visionary characters are alike symbolic of the means by which events, whether good or evil, are brought to pass under the direction of divine Providence." Im. Ver. note.