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man. Christ suffered—the just for the unjust. He took the cup of divine indignation, mingled with the undiluted vehemence of offended justice. It was not till he had taken the wine mingled with gall, that he said of the great work which he came to accomplish, It is finished, (John xix. 30.) His followers drink of the cup which he was called to drink, (Mark x. 39,) by being identified with him in God's account, and thus participating by imputation in the merit of his satisfaction of the claims of infinite justice; by grace the mixed cup of the Saviour's sufferings—the water of purificationbecoming to the disciple the pure wine of the marriage feast.
Such was the cup alluded to by Jesus himself, when he “prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine be done,” (Matt. xxvi. 39.) The vicarious sufferings of the Lamb have saved his followers from participating directly in this mixture of divine vehemence and indignation ; but to those who reject his proffered salvation—who rely on a propitiation of their own, or upon works of righteousness of their own doing, the cup of wrath remains, upon their own principles, to be drunk unmingled. Analogous with this necessary consequence of rejecting the blood of the covenant, the wrath of God is represented, apocalyptically, as administered to the self-righteous elements of the kingdom of the beast-principles serving to elevate the beast, to exalt his name, and to give him (self) the glory due to Jehovah.
$ 334. ‘And he shall be tormented (tortured) with fire and brimstone ;'fire representing the revealed word, (Jer. xxiii. 29,) and sulphur the element of perpetual action, ($ 224, note.) The worshippers or principles of the beast are figuratively spoken of as undergoing an unceasing and eternal trial or torture; as slaves amongst the ancients were sometimes put to the rack, when their evidence was required, to extort from them the truth.
In the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb;' —that is, in their sight, ($ 310,) as contradistinguished from a thing done in the sight or estimation of man. The false prophet performed great miracles, even causing fire to come down from heaven in the sight of men, and deceived the dwellers upon the earth by means of the miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast, Rev. xiii. 13, 14. To human apprehension, and in the estimation of self, the power of this false interpretation is very great, and its trial as by the fire of the revealed word very wonderful; but not so in the estimation of Him who “seeth not as man seeth ;” (1 Sam. xvi. 7 ;) “ for that which is highly esteemed amongst men is abomination in the sight of God,” (Luke xvi. 15.) Opposite to this is the wonder-working power of the Most High—the principles of the beast's kingdom, or followers of the harlot, are to be tried as by fire in the sight of the holy angels and of the Lamb, although this trial may not be simultaneously submitted to human contemplation.
· And the smoke of their torment (torture) ascendeth up for ever and ever.'-As smoke is the evidence of the existence of fire, so the smoke here alluded to is the evidence of the trial actually being undergone by these false principles. The smoke ascendeth up; the verb is in the present tense, and in fact this trial is ever going on in the sight of God and the Lamb. So we may say, ever since the Scriptures were first given to men, this trial has been conducted in the sight of those attending to the subject, just in proportion as the law and the testimony have been applied to the imaginations of man. The operation of the revealed word, in decomposing (analyzing) and exhibiting the vanity of human aspirations, as well as of the earthly basis of man's pretensions, founded in the dust, may be compared to this smoke or evidence of the trial in contemplation.
. And they (the worshippers of the beast] have no rest day nor night.' — It is a remarkable characteristic of the principles of self-exaltation and selfdependence, that they are incompatible with the nature of rest. As he who has his own righteousness to establish-whose eternal life depends upon his own works—should literally give neither sleep to his eyes nor slumber to his eyelids, till he has accomplished this all-important enterprise. Even if his right hand, or his right eye, or any other member of bis body were the occasion of his offending against the law, consistently with his own views, he should deprive himself even of the power of committing sin. The worshipper of self can have no rest, no respite in this respect, unless he deceive himself by bringing the requisitions of infinite justice down to the standard of his own imperfect performance of duty.
$ 335. Employment is not always labour :
“ Absence of occupation is not rest;
A mind quite idle is a mind distressed.”
That which characterizes labour is the motive of action. A slave in certain countries labours six days in the week under the galling lash of a taskmaster ; on the seventh, he is allowed to employ himself for his own benefit, as he pleases. This, perhaps, is all he knows of a Sabbath ; on this day he may perform voluntarily double the amount of work required of him on any other day of the week; still the seventh day is with him a day of rest. While acting under the taskmaster, he is stimulated to the performance of what is required of him by the motive of fear : when enjoying comparative liberty, he acts voluntarily ; although more than equally diligent, he rests. The hired man, serving for wages, labours ; he is actuated by the mercenary motive of expectation of recompense, or the fear of losing it. The adopted son, serving his father and benefactor from a motive of gratitude alone—a thankful return for benefits received—rests : however assiduous his service, this service is happiness; he is neither in the position of a slave, nor in that of the mercenary expectant of wages.
Under the law, man labours ; he is stimulated to the performance of his duty by the motive of fear, the fear of eternal punishment; or, he is actuated by the mercenary motive of wages, expecting to be compensated by the Almighty for whatever he may be enabled, even by the same almighty power, to perform : eternal happiness is with him something to be received in payment for his works. In either case, the position is one of labour ; the element of rest cannot find a place in it.
Under the gospel, the disciple of Jesus trusts for eternal life to the redemption wrought out for him—the atoning sacrifice of the Lamb of Godthe justifying power of the imputed righteousness of God himself. He contemplates his future happiness as the reward of his Saviour's merits, not of his own; these merits of Jesus constituting an inheritance of which endless bliss is the reward ; confiding in his possession of that which will secure to him this benefit, he is stimulated to action in the service of his divine Benefactor by the voluntary motive of gratitude. He rests ; however active his engagements, his position is that of rest; there is no room here for the operation either of the servile motive of fear,* or of the mercenary motive of desire of gain. It is evident that one who depends upon his own works, cannot enjoy this position of rest ; it is as wholly inconsistent with the service of self, as the principle of this rest is incompatible with the nature of the principles represented by the worshippers or subjects of the beast. The exhibition of the want of this element in the principles of the beast's kingdom, may be contemplated as a result of the fiery trial previously spoken of, to which they are exposed. These principles, in their own nature, are devoid of rest; but this does not appear till they are tried by being subjected to the test of the revealed word. Thus far, too, the nature of these erroneous principles is announced only in the mid-heaven ; the same development is not yet supposed to be made upon the earth.
Vs. 12, 13. Here is the patience of the Ωδε υπομονή των αγίων εστίν, οι τηsaints: here (are) they that keep the com- goûtes tès évtolds toŨ froở xuì riv riomandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. And I heard a voice from heaven, saying
τιν Ιησού. Και ήκουσα φωνής έκ τού ου* 6The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,” (Ps. cxi. 10.) Perhaps we may say it is only the beginning, as we have already noticed that this fear is a necessary preparation for a favourable reception of the gospel, ( 330 ;) the true wisdom consisting in the exercise of faith in God's plan of salvation, and the end of the commandment, as also the end of wisdom, being charity, (love or gratitude towards God the Saviour.) We are assured, 1 John iv. 18, “ There is no fear in love ; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love." Wherefore, as it is stated Heb. ii. 15, it was the purpose of Christ in suffering, that he might “deliver them, who, through fear of death, were all their lifetime subject to bondage."
unto me, Write, Blessed (are) the dead gavoù heyoúons: yoáyov. uoxúgioc oi vexpoi which die in the Lord from henceforth: οι έν κυρίω αποθνήσκοντες απάρτι ναι, Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do λέγει το πνεύμα, ένα αναπαύσωνται εκ των follow them.
κόπων αυτών· τα δε έργα αυτών ακολουθεί μετ' αυτών.
$ 336. Here is the patience,' &c.—This is an exclamation similar to that in the preceding chapter, both in the tenth and eighteenth verses :“ Here is the patience and the faith of the saints ;” and “Here is wisdom." That is, we may suppose, herein is matter for the exercise of faith and patience. This we are to consider the conclusion of the third angel's annunciation; but it may have a prospective as well as a retrospective allusion; as the angel may be supposed to know what the “voice from heaven” is about to declare. Apparently the saints, like the souls under the altar, ($ 162,) are still supposed to be waiting the final manifestation of the truth. For the encouragement of their patience, they have the assurance that the elements of falsehood are destined to destruction, while on the other hand they are about to be assured of the blessedness of dying in the Lord : the certain privation of rest with one of class of objects, and the certain enjoyment of it by another.
· Here are they that keep the commandments of God.'-“ All these,"' said the young man, (Matt. xix. 20,)“ have I kept from my youth ;" and yet he went away sorrowful, when called upon to part with his abundance for the benefit of others. It is doubtful whether he really had the love of God, and certainly he could not be said to have loved his neighbour as himself; he was probably, however, as near being perfect as the most selfrighteous of the present day, who value themselves upon keeping the commandments. We do not suppose those contemplated in this passage to be literally human beings, who themselves fulfil every jot and tittle of the law, and on that account may be said to “ keep the commandments."
The word 8€ (here) is not repeated in all editions after the word saints ; with it, there would appear to be two classes spoken of: the saints, and those that keep the commandments ;—without it, the last term may be used as in apposition to the first. Here is the patience of the saints, that is, of those that keep, &c. The saints or holy ones we have before supposed to be (apocalyptically) elements or principles, holy, set apart, or as we may say, consecrated to that system of the worship of God, and of the salvation of man, which is the opposite of the system of the beast. These principles keep the commandments and the faith of Jesus, because they are strictly in conformity with the purport of the law and of the gospel. They constitute the same class of principles (personified) as those spoken of, Rev. xii. 17—the remnant of the woman's seed, against which the dragon went to make war; the remnant keeping the commandments of God, and having
the testimony of Jesus, ($ 291 ;) the war made upon these saints or this remnant, and the flood from the accuser's mouth, intended to carry away the woman, (the true covenant,) being both exhibited in the power given to the ten-horned beast, and the influence possessed by the two-horned beast. Both of these have their period of action, but this action is declared to be limited, and the end of these evil influences is proclaimed by the third herald : which limitation and end appear to be assigned as reasons for a patient waiting for Christ; corresponding with the admonition of Paul to the Thessalonians, that the day of Christ must be preceded by a falling away, but that this falling away is to result in the development of the mystery of iniquity ; which mystery, or that wicked, as he terms it, is to be consumed by the spirit of the mouth of the Lord, or brought to an end by the word of revelation as by fire, 2 Thes. ii. 3 and 8.
$ 337. And I heard a voice from heaven.'-A revelation from the heavenly display ; virtually, the language of the divine plan of redemption : something not found in the earthly exhibition of that plan.
• Write.'— A direction, the opposite of that given when the seven thunders uttered their voices. Those thunders, indicative as they were of a judicial denunciation, were not intended apparently to be permanent in their utterance; the apostle was therefore forbidden to write what was announced by them ($ 229.) Here, however, as in all that pertains to the covenant of grace, there is a permanency in what may be termed the general proposition laid down ; it is therefore to be written, recorded, never to be forgotten. As it was expressed of old by the patriarch, in allusion same purpose
mercy, and as if offering a reason for his own faith and patience: "O that my words were now written! they were printed in a book! That they were graven with an iron pen and lead in the rock for ever! For I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth : and though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another ; though now my reins be consumed within me,” (Job. xix. 23–27.) So also it is said, Is. xlix. 13–16, “Sing, O heavens ; and be joyful, 0 earth ; and break forth into singing, O mountains : for the Lord hath comforted his people, and will have mercy upon his afflicted. But Zion said, The LORD hath forgotten me. Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb ? yea, she may forget, yet will I not forget thee. Behold, I have graven thee [written thee) upon the palms
of my hands."
· Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth ;-or, verbatim, Happy the dead, those in the Lord dying, henceforth. This happiness does not consist merely in being dead, but in dying in the Lord.