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feast; those participating in the manifestation of the mystery of salvation by grace. We suppose the marriage-feast to be an equivalent of the first resurrection; the blessedness of the same elements being represented by different figures. Those called to the marriage-feast, are evidently such as have not worshipped the beast or his image, or received his mark; and, consequently, are such as live and reign with Christ, and participate in his rest. We apply this blessedness here to elements of doctrine personified as disciples, and not to disciples themselves directly, because the whole representation is connected with the conflict just decided between the Word and the beast; a conflict of manifestation, resulting in an exhibition of the triumph of elements of truth over those of falsehood.*
'On such the second death hath no power.'-It was said in the epistle to the angel of the church in Smyrna, (Rev. ii. 11,) " He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death." In remarking upon that expression, we have given our reasons for considering this second death a perpetual trial, to which systems and elements of systems are to be subjected, (§ 57.) We have seen no reason since to alter our views, and the construction then adopted applies here with equal facility. The elements enjoying the benefits of the first resurrection, are those which have borne witness to the truth as it is in Jesus, and which, in the great contest for truth, have been the advocates on the side of the Word of God: fighting, as it were, in the ranks of the Word, they have overcome the beast and the false prophet. They have been killed by the axe, indeed, but they now enjoy a resurrection from that death; and over them, as promised to him that overcometh, the second death hath no power, or they cannot be hurt by it, in the sense before attributed to this term, (§ 174.)
'But they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign,' &c.— It was the peculiar office of priests to offer sacrifices; both thank-offerings (sacrifices of gratitude and praise) and propitiatory offerings. Christ having once offered himself as a sacrifice for sin, this last portion of the priest's service must be ended; and we may presume it especially to be dispensed with in the position represented by the first resurrection; but the offerings of thanksgiving still remain to be made, and this forever. The elements of the economy of grace tending to exhibit the cause of gratitude and praise, are accordingly personified as those destined to be priests of God and of Christ. They are elements of truth, setting forth such views of God and of Christ as tend to make him the object of gratitude and praise; they are thus, figuratively, priests or sacrificators in this position of rest.
* We have not enlarged upon the term holy (ärios) here, because applying it to principles or elements of truth set apart; our views of its use in this place must be sufficiently obvious, from the remarks elsewhere made, (§§ 88, 262.)
These elements of truth also predominate in the arrangement of principles exhibiting the position of rest in Christ, for which reason they are said to reign with him a thousand years; the scale or standard of parallelism being here again employed, showing that to be priests, and to reign in the sense alluded to, is equivalent to enjoying the second resurrection; that is, equivalent to entering into the composition of that arrangement or economy which affords the position of rest in Christ, the opposite of the condition of the worshippers of the beast, (principles sustaining the dominion of the beast.)
Vs. 7, 8. And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison. And shall go out to deceive
the nations which are in the four quarters
of the earth, Gog and Magos, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom (is) as the sand of the sea.
Καὶ ὅταν τελεσθῇ τὰ χίλια ἔτη, λυθής καὶ ἐξελεύσεται πλανῆσαι τὰ ἔθνη τὰ ἐ σεται ὁ σατανᾶς ἐκ τῆς φυλακῆς αὐτοῦ, ταῖς τέσσαρσι γωνίαις τῆς γῆς, τὸν Γὼν καὶ τὸν Μαγώγ, συναγαγεῖν αὐτοὺς εἰς πόλεμον, ὧν ὁ ἀριθμὸς αὐτῶν ὡς ἡ ἄμμος τῆς θαλάσσης.
§ 451. And when,' &c.-Here the chapter might have been very properly divided, something like a new series of illustrations being commenced. The great battle of Armageddon has been fought; the fate of the enemy has been recounted, and the reward allotted to the faithful adherents of the conqueror has been set forth, including even a designation of the term or period for the enjoyment of this reward. This term is now supposed to be expired; Satan is released for "a little season," and the reign with Christ, or position of rest, ceases for a corresponding season. The expressions in these two verses, it is true, imply something to come, but the narrative gradually merges itself into a relation of something having already taken place; a versatility of representation not inconsistent with the account of a dream or vision; but, perhaps, hardly otherwise allowable. Admitted as it is here, the peculiarity serves to remind us that a literal construction in any respect is to be carefully avoided.
'Satan shall be loosed out of his prison;' released from custody or confinement. The accuser was not only cast into the bottomless pit, as into a prison, he was also bound with a great chain. He is now loosed, unbound, no longer confined in the pit, or by the great chain. The concatenation of doctrinal truths, as we have supposed it to be, (§ 443,) is for a time lost sight of, and the adversary appears in full power; or, as we may say, whenever the chain of evangelical truths, showing the confinement of Satan to the abyss system, is lost sight of, then the accuser appears to reassume his legal power, and the position of rest is no longer discernible; the thousand
years serving to point out the parallelism ($ 240) in this verse as before, time being otherwise out of consideration.
And shall go out to deceive the nations,' &c.;-or, rather, to lead them astray, to pervert the doctrinal powers figuratively spoken of as the nations.
In the four corners of the earth;'-that is, on all the earth, (§ 172,) the earth being taken for a square flat surface. The recesses in each of the angles of a square being those parts at the greatest distance from the centre, to say that even these angles are reached, is a strong expression for reaching every portion of the square. Satan is thus represented as deluding the nations in every portion of the earth.
On the former occasion, Rev. xvi. 14, the summons to battle was directed to the kings of the earth and of the whole world; and those under the command of the beast with the false prophet were supposed to gather together their respective forces. There was a great variety in the grades or ranks of these forces, from their captains and mighty men down even to the slaves of the common soldiers. Still, these were only the military portion of the nations; every nation furnishing its quota of troops. Now, there is a general rally of the nations themselves-a levy en masse is to be imagined throughout the world;-corresponding with a universal falling away from the truth, or general perversion of all elements of religious doctrine; and this, too, not under the lead of the spirit of error, or under the influence of the false prophet, or of a misconstruction of divine revelation, but influenced and led on solely by the spirit of accusation-the legal adversary. The blasphemous pretensions of self (the beast) have been overcome the fallacies of misinterpretation or of literal interpretation have been exposed; but the whole earthly scheme of doctrine is now led astray by the spirit of fear-the fear of legal accusation, the opposite of that love which casteth out fear.
§ 452. Gog and Magog, to gather,' &c.-These names appear to be put as an equivalent for the nations in the four quarters of the earth. The Gog mentioned in the Old Testament is said to have been the king of a people called Magog, inhabiting regions far remote from Palestine. Some suppose, by this name Magog, the ancients to have intended to denote. northern nations generally, (Rob. Lex. 132;) and that the term is used in a similar sense in this passage. If this supposition be well founded, the use of these names here may be merely as an intensive, indicating the nations in question to be gathered from the utmost ends of the earth; the force now assembling being figuratively all that the earth can possibly furnish all the elements of the earthly system, without exception, are perverted to establish the power of legal accusation, or of the legal adversary.
The names employed in the sacred writings, however, are not, we think,
selected by the spirit of inspiration without reference to their meaning, although it may be difficult for us at present to ascertain precisely what this meaning is. So, too, it seems probable, that names occurring in the Old Testament are not cited in the New without the design of bringing about the collation of the passages bearing this index, and thus affording some additional illustration. The word Gog is said to signify a cover, or that which covers-tectum vel solarium; and Magog, covering-tegens, tegulans, (Cruden, Leusden, and others.)* This meaning would apply to a multitude of people, covering, as it were, the face of the earth; or it would apply to the multitude of pretensions to self-righteousness, professing to furnish garments or coverings of salvation, by man's fulfilment of the law. This latter sense seems to us to be that in contemplation in the passage here under consideration.
Corresponding with this construction, we put a like interpretation upon the language of the prophet, alluding apparently to the same manifestation of a general perversion of doctrinal principles, operating against that economy of grace, which constitutes the Christian's asylum, or dwelling of rest, and of safety. Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say unto Gog, Thus saith the Lord GOD, In that day when my people of Israel dwelleth safely, shalt thou not know it? And thou shalt come from thy place out of the north parts, thou, and many people with thee, all of them riding upon horses; a great company, and a mighty army. And thou shalt come up against my people of Israel as a cloud to cover the land; it shall be in the latter days, and I will bring thee against my land, that the heathen may know me, when I shall be sanctified in thee, O Gog, before their eyes," Ezek. xxxviii. 14-16.
The dwelling safely of the prophet, we suppose to be equivalent to what we denominate the millennial rest of the Apocalypse; as it is said in a preceding verse of the same prediction: "And thou shalt say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages; I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell safely; all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates," Ezek. xxxviii. 11; as if Gog had heard of the gracious prediction. Zech. ii. 4, 5, and had determined to test the power of the promised protection : “Jerusalem shall be as towns without walls. . . for I, saith the Lord, will be unto her a wall of fire round about, and will be the glory in the midst of her." As the garment of salvation is to the disciple, so this wall of salvation is to the city-both figures representing the same protec tion of imputed righteousness. Against this protection, as if to show its insufficiency, the powers of the earthly system (Gog and Magog) are now gathered together, under the conduct of the accuser.
Their number is
* (Radix ipsa) doua, Tectum. Tromm. Index Heb. et Chald.
hyperbolically represented "as the sand of the sea ;" and this, perhaps, because these elements are equally unstable, incapable of affording a foundation upon which to build a system of redemption. It is a little remarkable that these hostile powers should be described, as to multitude, by the same figure of speech as that applied to the promised multitude of the seed of Abraham, David, &c. Perhaps this may be designed to direct our attention to the fact, that the multitude of elements is the same, although in this latter representation they are in a perverted state; corresponding with the wayward character of the descendants of the patriarch.
Vs. 9, 10. And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved
city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them. And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet (are), and shall be tormented day and night for ever and
§ 453. And they went up on the breadth of the earth;' or, upon the whole surface of the earth: the whole platform of earthly views of religious doctrine, as a multitude coming from the four corners of a square, however extensive, and spreading from side to side must necessarily cover the whole
Καὶ ἀνέβησαν ἐπὶ τὸ πλάτος τῆς γῆς, καὶ ἐκύκλωσαν τὴν παρεμβολὴν τῶν ἁγίων καὶ τὴν πόλιν τὴν ἠγαπημένην· καὶ κατέβη πιο ἀπὸ τοῦ θεοῦ, ἐκ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ καὶ κατέqαγε αὐτούς· καὶ ὁ διάβολος ὁ πλανῶν αὐτοὺς ἐβλήθη εἰς τὴν λίμνην τοῦ πυρὸς καὶ θείου, ὅπου καὶ τὸ θηρίον καὶ ὁ ψευδοπροφήτης, καὶ βασανισθήσονται ἡμέρας καὶ νυκτὸς εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας τῶν αἰώνων.
And compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city.'— The camp of the saints, and the beloved city, may be nearly convertible symbolic terms-different figures of the same provision of safety: or the entrenchments of the camp may represent the same divine protection as the promised wall just now alluded to. So, in the case of a city without walls, when besieged its defenders fortify themselves in a camp round about it; as it is said, Ps. xxxiv. 7, "The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them;" and, Zech. ix. 8, "I will encamp about mine house, because of the army, because of him that passeth by, and because of him that returneth." Within the camp, or within the city walls, is the place of safety. So, amongst the Hebrews, without the camp, or without the gate, was the position for suffering the penalty of death. In Christ all is rest and quiet; out of Christ there is no peace. It is, perhaps, just the truth of this doctrine that is now about to be assailedall the elements of self-justification, under the command of the legal accuser, are arrayed against it.
The issue now to be tried, we may say, is whether the beloved city, with its encampment, be sufficient to withstand all the earthly elements brought against it by this great adversary-whether the economy of grace, of which