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ness to enter into the holiest, by the blood (the atonement) of Jesus, by a new and living way, which he has consecrated for us through the veil, that is to say, his flesh, (his righteousness,) and having an high priest over the house of God, (a virtual mediator, virtually interceding by the continual offering of his propitiatory merit,) let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith,* having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, (relieved from the consciousness of guilt by faith in the sprinkling of the blood of Jesus,) and our bodies washed in pure water, (our whole being cleansed in the fountain opened for sin and uncleanness,) let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; for he is faithful that promised." Such are the true and faithful sayings of God, and such are the elements of the new heavens and of the new earth.
Vs. 6-8. And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which
is the second death.
Καὶ εἶπέ μοι· γέγονε. ἐγώ εἰμι το Α καὶ τὸ Ω, ἡ ἀρχὴ καὶ τὸ τέλος. ἐγὼ τῷ διψῶντι δώσω ἐκ τῆς πηγῆς τοῦ ὕδατος τῆς ζωῆς δωρεάν· ὁ νικῶν κληρονομήσει ταῦτα, καὶ ἔσομαι αὐτῷ θεός, καὶ αὐτὸς ἔσται μοι υἱός. Τοῖς δὲ δειλοῖς καὶ ἀπίστοις, καὶ ἐξ. dekrypérois zaì qorɛvoi, zaì nógroię zai
aquunois, xai siswhohárquis zai nãoi tois ψευδέσι, τὸ μέρος αὐτῶν ἐν τῇ λίμνῃ τῇ καιομένῃ πυρὶ καὶ θείῳ, ὅ ἐστιν ὁ θάνατος ὁ δεύτερος.
§ 472. And he said unto me, It is done.'-A declaration similar to
* The boldness, in full assurance of faith, here spoken of, may be considered a peculiar characteristic of the new creation ; and may be illustrated by a remarkable difference between the custom of Christians in uncovering the head on entering a place of worship, and that of men of all other religions in covering their heads on the like occasion. We are apt to suppose our custom to have originated from the design of testifying a sentiment of reverence or humiliation; but that such is not its origin, may be shown from 1 Cor. xi. 1-7; as well as from the indisputable fact, that from the earliest times, prior to the coming in of the Christian dispensation, such a sentiment of veneration was uniformly expressed not by uncovering but by covering or veiling, the head; or by making bare the feet and not the head, (Ex. iii. 5; 2 Sam. xv. 30.) We find even at the present day the Jew, the Mahometan, the worshipper of the sun, and the idolater, scrupulously covering their heads. The Christian only comes boldly to the throne of grace; not, however, in a presumptuous dependence upon his own merits, or as coming in his own name, but as depending upon the merits, and coming in the name of his divine Redeemer; in Christ, and in him alone, being warranted to assume this boldness.
The woman, indeed, in the Christian church, continues to cover her head, or to veil; because her head, as the apostle says, is the man; but the male disciple wor ships uncovered, because his head is Christ;-the condition of the one representing a position out of Christ, that of the other corresponding with a position in Christ. To be out of Christ, as in the state of former things, is to require a covering or shelter; to be in Christ, is to have all the covering required.
this was pronounced by a voice out of the temple from the throne, Rev. xvi. 17, immediately on the pouring out of the seventh vial, (§ 370.) Whatever may be the precise meaning of the word yeyove, its employment here, as before, appears to announce a crisis, and perhaps may be intended to point out a parity of the stages of revelation-the coincidence of the two developments: the pouring out of the seventh vial, and the consequent fleeing away of islands and mountains, being figurative of the same development as that here represented by the fleeing away of the heaven and the earth, or the making of all things new. Thus in the general tissue of revelation afforded by the opening of the sealed book, the results of the opening of the sixth seal, of the effusion of the seventh vial, and of the appearance of the great white throne, constitute three different representations of the same change; while we have, interwoven with the thread of the same narrative, the episodical accounts of the two witnesses, of the war in heaven, and persecution of the woman; of the beast and false prophet, with their opposite, the Word; and of the harlot, or commercial city, and of her opposite, the bride, or holy city: each contributing their respective illustra tions to the whole revelation-different figures pointing to different features, and sometimes to the same features of the truth or error to be exhibited; every series of figures furnishing different degrees of development, but without any reference to succession in the order of time.
'I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end.'-At the commencement of this revelation, (Chap. i. 8,) the divine Being assuming this title declares himself also expressly as the Almighty; while in the eleventh verse, taking the context into view, it must be evident that the same appellation is attributed to the one like unto the Son of man in the midst of the seven candlesticks. We have now, therefore, the announcement that he who sat upon the white throne is the WORD made flesh, like unto the Son of man; and, at the same time, that he is the Almighty. As the Almighty, the Supreme Being must be without beginning of days or end of years; but, as the Redeemer, he is the beginning and the ending-the Alpha and Omega of the whole work of salvation, (§ 22.) The Word-the Conqueror of the beast is now identified with the Father Almighty; and we have already seen that this Word is no other than he who trod the wine-press alone,the Lamb, by whose blood the accuser was overcome.
When the mysteries of redemption are fully developed, the manifestation of God in Christ will be exhibited to have been something assumed for a temporary purpose, in order to bring the part taken by the Godhead in this wonderful work within the comprehension of man. Eventually it must appear that God and Christ are one and the same being; that God himself is the Redeemer and Saviour; that the language of the Psalmist, "Cast thy
burden upon the Lord," and that of Jesus, "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden," constitute the same gospel invitation; that the burden of iniquity, of which David speaks as too heavy for him to bear, is the same kind of burden as that described by Paul as so much a subject of lamentation, (2 Cor. v. 2-4;) and that the righteousness of Christ spoken of by the apostle (1 Cor. i. 30) is identic with the righteousness of God spoken of by the prophet, (Is. xli. 10,)—the Deity veiling himself for a season in the person of his Son, or under the character of his Sonship, that he may bring the mystery of that sovereign grace in which mercy and justice are reconciled, within the limited comprehension of finite beings. When the end comes, (1 Cor. xv. 24,) the veil concealing this divinity from mortal eyes is withdrawn, and the benefactor, the Redeemer, exhibits himself to the astonished recipient of his favour as the Sovereign God, the Lord of hosts, (Is. liv. 5.)
§ 473. I will give to him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.'—That is, not merely abundantly but gratis, without money and without price, (Is. lv. 1.) And this supply not to be drawn from the fountains of the earth, the third of which became blood, (Rev. viii. 10,) nor from the broken cisterns alluded to by the prophet, (Jer. ii. 13,) but from the fountain coming forth from the house of the Lord, (Joel iii. 18)-the fountain opened for sin and for uncleanness, (Zech. xiii. 1)—a fountain opened-revealed, manifested-for the house of David, the household of faith, and for the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the beneficiaries of the economy of grace: "For in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert, and the parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water," (Is. xxxv. 6, 7.) Where by nature there are no means of atonement, such means will (in this new state of things) be provided by grace. As it is also said, (Is. xliii. 18–20,) "Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing: now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert. The beast of the field shall honour me, the dragons and the owls, [accusatory and unclean principles ;] because I give waters in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert." "For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground.” "I am the first, and I am the last; and besides me there is no God," (Is. xliv. 3, 6.) "When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue faileth for thirst, I the Lord will hear them, I the God of Jacob will not forsake them. I will open rivers in high places, and fountains in the midst of the valleys: I will make the wilderness and the dry land springs of water," (Is. xli. 17, 18.) So John vii. 37, 38: "In that day, [the great day of the feast,] Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let
him come unto me and drink. He that believeth on me, as the Scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water;" and John iv.14, “Whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give, shall never thirst," (§ 182.)
Keeping in view the cleansing quality of the element of water, an element otherwise also so indispensable to animal and even to vegetable life, and comparing these characteristics with the sinner's need of purification from guilt, by some adequate atonement, we cannot but see in these passages a uniform allusion to the propitiation of Christ. To be without this means of ablution, and of eternal life, is to be in danger of perishing as in a wilderness or desert "where no water is," (Ps. lxiii. 1.) To be sensible of this danger, is to thirst; to participate in the atonement of Christ, must be to partake, in fact, of the fountain of living water; to rely as a matter of faith on this propitiatory provision, is to come unto Christ to drink, to wash, and to be clean; and to abound in faith in this particular, is to see Christ as he here reveals himself, inviting and leading the disciple to the fountain of the water of life; having, as it were, by these views of faith, a reservoir within one's self, to which recourse may be had in every moment of discouragement.
The prominent feature of development to be attended to in this passage of the Apocalypse is, that it is he who sits upon the throne, that gives of this fountain of life freely, gratuitously, without any claim of merit on the part of the recipient. The supply, as well as the promise, is a matter of grace, and this of sovereign grace; and whether the invitation, the promise, or the supply, come from Jesus, from the Lamb slain, or from Jehovah, the source is equally sovereign-all coming from Him who sits upon the throne.
§ 474. He that overcometh shall inherit all things; or, these things, as our edition of the Greek, with some others, has it.-If we ask, What things? the answer is, These new things just spoken of things pertaining to the economy of redemption-all things of the new heaven and the new earth; these all are to be possessed by the right of inheritance: vincens jure hæreditario possidebit hæc, (G. & L.) The inheritance is a free gift on the part of the testator; but the gift having been made, the heir maintains possession as against other claimants by right. The inheritance itself we suppose to be the merits or righteousness of Christ; the figure of a bequest by testament being an equivalent to what is elsewhere spoken of as an act of imputation. Apocalyptically, however, we have supposed this appellation, the overcoming, ó vixãov, (he that overcometh,) to apply to a principle the principle, for example, of sovereign grace; that is, of imputed righteousness emanating from sovereign grace, which may be said to overcome all other principles, or all principles opposed to the salvation of the sinner. It is in fact the principle of substitution, or of vicarious sacri
fice, represented and carried out in Jesus Christ; the disciple having the benefit of the triumph by entering into the new position created by it—the new state of things resulting from the victory.
The several extraordinary promises made to this overcoming principle in the introductory epistles of the book, have been already commented upon, (§§ 46, 56, 65, 80, 86, 96, 111, 113 :)—participation in the tree of life; exemption from the power of the second death; participation of the hidden manna; power over the nations; clothing in white raiment; the position of a pillar bearing a certain name in the temple of God; and a position with Christ on his throne. These promises, which we have shown to be apocalyptically applicable to a principle rather than to a human being, may be considered parts of the one promise here given, that of the inheritance of all things. From the fulness of the former assurances, the present would appear redundant, were it not for the peculiar form of the annunciation; this being the only passage in which the figure of inheriting, or of an inheritance, xhypovoμéw, xλngovouía, is employed in the Apocalypse. The several advantages before promised as gifts, are here set forth as secured by testamentary arrangement; this peculiarity directing our attention to the testament (Дaðýzŋ) or will itself, for further information. This instrument, in the present case, must be the new testament; because the last will of a testator always takes precedence over every other the last rendering all preceding it null and void.
Of Jesus Christ himself it is said, (Heb. i. 4,) that he is "made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they." The disciple obtains his inheritance by adop tion in Christ, (Eph. i. 5 and 11 ;) Christ being in the first instance the heir or inheritor of all things, (Heb. i. 2,) and the disciple an heir through Christ; for which cause, he (Christ) is called the Mediator of the New Testament, (Heb. ix. 15 ;) corresponding with our suggestion, that in point of fact Christ only can be said to have overcome, or to conquer, or to have conquered; as even in the war in heaven, the brethren overcame the accuser only by the blood of the Lamb, and through the word of his testimony. The design of the Apocalypse cannot be to glorify, or to manifest the glory of the disciple; it must be to set forth the true character and work of Christ, and to manifest the glory to which he is entitled. Accordingly, all that is promised to the overcoming may be predicated of Christ; and if applied to any other, it must be, as we apprehend, to some overcoming principle of which Christ is the personification, or which may be identified with him.
The apostle says, (1 John v. 4 and 5,) "this is the victory that overcometh the world, our faith." But the victory is not the victor, it is a result of the efforts of the conqueror; and Jesus Christ himself tells his