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hell is here represented as having terminated: "Death is swallowed up in victory." A consummation is unfolded, enabling the reader to exclaim with Paul, in view of this happy result of the great work of redemption, "O death! where is thy sting? O grave! (Hades) where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law; but thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory, through our Lord Jesus Christ," (1 Cor. xv. 55.)

§ 461. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.'-The indefinite pronoun rís, (any one,) translated here whosoever, and in some versions by he that, (Wiclif and Rheims,) does not necessarily refer to a human being. Death and hell in the Greek are nouns of the masculine gender, and is may be put for any like noun of that gender a system, or the element of a system. The case is similar to that in the preceding verse, where exactos, although masculine, may refer, as we have supposed it to do, to death or hell, as grammatically as it would do to man, if that were understood. The passage, accordingly, might be rendered, "Whatever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire;" that is, every doctrinal principle proving, by the test administered, (the law and the testimony,) not to belong to the economy of redemption by grace, (the book of life,) is doomed to a perpetual exhibition of its incompatibility with that great object of divine revelation ;-the unquenchable fire forever manifesting the destructible character of every principle hostile to a just exhibition of that economy. In this respect, we do not attach much importance to the grammatical distinction just noticed; for if it were otherwise, and the word man were absolutely introduced, we should consider the figure of personification, so uniformly prevailing throughout the book, to be employed here as elsewhere; doctrinal principles and elements being spoken of as human beings.*

We had occasion to notice in the commencement of these remarks, ($$ 38, 155,) the distinction between the Greek terms adŋs, (Hades,) and yɛérva, (Gehenna,) both alike rendered in our common version by the word hell. The latter (Gehenna) only being applied in other parts of the New Testament, where it occurs, to the state of future punishment. Even this is a figurative term, supposed to have been derived from a valley in the

* Although this book of life is not to be taken as containing literally the names of human beings destined to be saved, the figure itself may be borrowed from the practice of some of the Roman emperors, who are said to have furnished the magistrates with lists of proscription, designating those to be condemned; under the colour indeed of an administration of justice, but really with reference only to the will of the despot. The difference, however, in the two cases is, that one is exactly the converse of the other; the book of life exhibits the objects of mercy, while the imperial proscription lists enumerated only the victims of wanton and unjustifiable cruelty.

vicinity of Jerusalem, where the offal and carrion of the city were conveyed to be destroyed by continual fires kept up for that purpose. Hence the name of the valley became appropriately, amongst the Jews, the appellation for a future state of endless torment. It is said, indeed, to signify in the Syriac language the infernal regions, Syriacè, Infernus, (Leusden ;) but whether the Syriac appellation was applied to the valley, or the name of the valley with the use to which it was appropriated furnished to the Syrians a term for the lower regions, does not appear. However this be, the appellation (Gehenna) is not met with at all in the Apocalypse, and this apparently for the reason we have already given, (§ 38.) For the same reason, we think the apocalyptic lake or pool of fire, or of fire and brimstone, is not an equivalent, as a figure, for the Gehenna of Matthew, Mark, and Luke; this term expressly designating something, to the action of which both the soul and body of man may be exposed, Matt. v. 22–30, x. 28; but, although not equivalents, there may be a certain analogy between the two figures.

The Apocalypse, we may say, assumes the doctrine of a future state of punishment to be indisputable; this punishment is almost universally spoken of as a state of eternal torment or torture as by fire; analogous, therefore, to this, the false systems, false doctrines, and abominable principles or elements of doctrine, the history of which has been so prominent a subject of this revelation, are now exhibited as given over to an everlasting torture or trial, eternally and forever exposing their delusions and their hatefulness.

Death and hell are mysteries, of which Christ declares himself to have the keys, (Rev. i. 18.) These mysteries are delusive doctrinal systems, such as we have uniformly here considered them. The opening of these mysteries consists in the development of their true character as doctrinal systems; and this development constitutes in effect their destruction. Jesus Christ may be said to employ these keys in that unveiling of himself, in this book, by which the truth is manifested. This manifestation of truth being the destruction of error, death and hell are virtually cast by it into the lake of fire.

The same rule of construction must apply to the pronoun is, whether we render it whoever or whatever. The element or instrument of perdition is the same, and every thing to which this pronoun may relate, or which it is intended to represent, must be of the same genus as these two mysteries of which it shares the fate. The apocalyptic lake of fire then must be the instrument of exhibiting perpetually the destruction of all doctrinal systems and principles, not belonging to the economy of grace; and this instrument can be nothing else than the revealed word of God properly understood.

As we do not suppose this lake of fire to represent the future punishment of human beings, although perhaps something analogous to it, so

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neither have we considered either of the judgment scenes depicted in this chapter, designed to represent what is commonly understood by the last judgment; not that a solemn crisis of this character is not to be expected, but that the subject of this revelation does not call for such an exhibition.

We presume the Apocalypse to be confined to the treatment of doctrinal views of the divine scheme of redemption, and their opposite errors. The doctrine of a final judgment, in the common acceptation of the term, is taken (as in the case of that of future rewards and punishments) to be indisputable. The common and almost universal apprehension of the manner of that judgment is adopted; and from these views, familiar as they are to the great mass of mankind, an analogous picture is drawn, representing the discriminating effect in matters of doctrine, of a triumphant manifestation of the Lamb once slain as Jehovah our righteousness. Christ, thus manifested, exalted on the throne of divine righteousness, fulfils in effect the functions of a judge; "showing judgment to the Gentiles, (nations ;) sending forth judgment to victory," (Matt. xii. 18, 21;) and "executing the judgment committed to him by the Father," (John v. 22, and 27.)

It is not designed, we apprehend, that our belief of a future judgment and state of retribution should rest upon these figurative illustrations of the book of Revelation; and even when the day of judgment is spoken of elsewhere in Scripture, it is evident that we are not to take the expression in an ordinary sense, confining our ideas to the transactions of a single day, or to the forms of judicial process of a human tribunal. The point of inportance calling for our attention is, that there is virtually a judgment to come-virtually a period "when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ," and render to every man according to his deeds, (Rom. ii. 6, 16.)

The whole tenor of Scripture teaches us that we are perpetually in the presence of our final Judge, from whose judgment no thought or action of our lives escapes unnoticed. To impress this solemn truth in the strongest manner upon minds of every capacity, the anthropological figure of an appointed day is employed in the sacred writings. But God cannot need a day when he will determine whether any of his creatures are good or bad. He cannot need books or records, either to remind him of our actions, or of his own enactments, or of his own provisions of mercy. He cannot need even that we give an account literally to him, for He knoweth all things, and must have already decided upon all that we have done. The Scriptures teach us even more: they teach us that in the sight of God we are not merely on trial, we are already condemned-sentence is passed upon us. Depending upon our own merits, we have no hope of escape.

Our only hope even now is to fly for refuge to the provision of sovereign grace. We are not to flatter ourselves with the prospect of experimenting upon the issue of divine judgment first, and then, if we are unable to justify ourselves, to appeal to a promise of mercy; but now is the day of salvation. We are already informed of the result of the trial, and have but one course to pursue the only course to which a condemned, sentenced criminal can resort, that of relying alone upon the exercise of the pardoning power, peculiarly the attribute of sovereignty; and this in the way pointed out by the Sovereign himself—a position very happily set forth by a truly evangelical poet :

Hark! universal nature shook and groan'd:
'Twas the last trumpet-see the Judge enthron'd;
Rouse all your courage at your utmost need;
Now, summon every virtue-stand and plead.
What! silent? Is your boasting heard no more?
That self-renouncing wisdom, learn'd before,
Had shed immortal glories on your brow,
That all your virtues cannot purchase now.

All joy to the believer! He can speak-
Trembling, yet happy; confident, yet meek.

Since the dear hour that brought me to thy foot,

And cut up all my follies by the root,

I never trusted in an arm but thine,

Nor hop'd but in thy righteousness divine:

my only plea,

Is what it was, dependence upon thee.-(COWPER'S TRUTH.)


In the narrative just finished we have seen, as a portion of the results of the great battle of Armageddon, the arrest of Satan, and his confinement to the bottomless pit for a thousand years; and, for a corresponding period, the triumphant reign of those slain by the axe for the testimony of Jesus; extending to a stage of revelation equivalent, as we suppose, to a development of the principles and character of the Christian rest ;-this manifestation resulting from the overthrow of the beast and false prophet, and from an exhibition of the confinement of the power of the legal adversary to the bottomless pit position-the opposite of that of rest. At this epoch, the blasphemous element (self) has gone into perdition; the element of misinterpretation, through the influence of which an image of self-righteousness had been created as an object of idolatrous worship, is also destroyed. The fate of the image itself, we presume to be involved in that of the false con-struction so instrumental in bringing it into being; the existence of the one ceasing with the exposure of the fallacy of the other. The enemies of Christ, those endeavouring to rob him of the glory of his work of redemption, are thus seen to be overcome. The Word of God has conquered, and the King of kings is manifested to have trodden the wine-press alone: he is the only Redeemer, and beside him there is no Saviour.

But it yet remains to be manifested, that this only Redeemer is able to save to the uttermost; that Satan, the legal adversary of the sinner, and the powers of death and hell, are subject to that Word by which the kings of the earth, the beast, and false prophet, are proved to have been overcome. For the purpose of this manifestation, apparently, Satan is released, or ap pears as released from his bottomless pit confinement, and is permitted to rally all his remaining auxiliaries; the nations of the earth, Gog and Magog, calling in, as we may imagine, death and hell as his trusty allies. Their great and final effort is to try the strength of the beloved city, of which the only wall of salvation is the Lord of Hosts; or rather, to try the strength of the wall itself. A powerful revelation of divine truth, (the word of God fully developed,)—fire from God out of heaven-destroys, entirely consumes all the forces of these adversaries; the three leaders being reserved, as it were, for a more exemplary punishment. The legal accuser, Satan, is immediately cast into the lake of fire, as a rebel taken in arms against his sovereign is executed without even the form of trial. He has now, like the beast, gone into perdition-his power is manifested to be entirely destroyed.

The dragon was long since overcome in heaven, in the contest with Michael and his angels; but he was suffered to exercise a certain power on

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