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The flesh of the firstling of the flock, offered by Abel, the flesh of the paschal lamb, the unleavened bread, the manna, the quails, the shew-bread of twelve cakes, the flesh of the daily sacrifice, the wheat, the milk, or the rich pastures* of the promised land, the honey from the rock, the bread of the eucharist, and the material flesh of Christ, severally represent, as we apprehend, the same fruit of the tree of life-so many figures of the same spiritual meat or food spoken of in this passage of the Apocalypse as twelve monthly fruits. These figures are susceptible no doubt of a different classification or arrangement, and for some of them other figures may be substituted. Our design is rather to suggest the kind of construction to be given to the passage, than to attempt a precise interpretation of it.

'And yielded her fruit every month.'-That is, continually and perpetually. As a plant bearing twelve varieties of flowers, and having one of these varieties in bloom every month, must be always in blossom throughout the year, Christ and his cross, (the tree of life,) as revealed in the Scriptures, through the medium of twelve modes of illustration, afford to the spiritual understanding a continual and perpetual exhibition of the means of eternal life peculiar to the economy of grace-the means not merely of forgiveness, but more especially of obtaining the enjoyment of eternal happi

ness.

We do not know that there is occasion for carrying this analysis further, but as the number of the fruits multiplied by the number of the months would produce the mystic number one hundred and forty-four, this pecu

":

*The prominent idea to be associated with the figure of pastures, as employed Ps. xxiii. 2, we take to be rather that of the position of rest than that of a supply of food. The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want;" because he feeds me with the bread of life. "He maketh me to lie down in green pastures ;" as their position in Christ, and the casting of their burthen upon the Lord, gives to those who have been labouring to establish a righteousness of their own a state of rest. "He leadeth me beside the still waters," (the opposite of those waters elsewhere spoken of by the Psalmist as coming over his soul,) by bringing me to the fountain or river of life. "He restoreth my soul," by making me a new creature in Christ. "He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness," by bringing me into his own way of justification; and this, it is added, he does for his name's sake; that is, for his own glory.

With these views the disciple "fears no evil," although contemplating all the terrors of the law, as in the valley of the shadow of death; for there is no condemnation to them that are thus in Christ Jesus. With these views he finds himself as a guest at the royal table, admitted in the presence and in despite of his accusers, to eat and drink with his sovereign; set apart in Christ, and thus enjoying the security peculiar to the Lord's anointed.

We have indulged in an analysis of this short psalm, because, in our apprehension, it affords a specimen of the correspondence of the figures of the Old Testament with those of the New. Well might the Singer of Israel close this poetical effusion with the exclamation, "Surely, goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and 1 will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

liarity may point out the illustration, afforded by the fruits of this tree of life, to be a result of the combined testimony of the Old and New Testament revelations-the twelve apostles and the twelve tribes. The names of the months, and the peculiar characteristics of their respective seasons, may also throw some further light upon the character of these twelve fruits; but we do not venture upon these inquiries at present.

§ 514. And the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.” -So it was said of the tree seen in the vision of Ezekiel, "The fruit thereof shall be for meat, and the leaf thereof for medicine." We were told in the preceding chapter, (Rev. xxi. 4,) that under the new state of things there is to be no pain, no death, no sorrow nor crying; and here we have the reason given for it-that whatever cause of pain or death there may be, or may have been, the antidote is now immediately at hand. As it was said of the redeemed, Rev. vii. 16, "They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more, neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat," (that is, oppressively ;) and for this we have here also the reason-the supply of food is ever at hand, the fruit of the tree of life is unceasingly within reach; and if there be no suffering from the light or heat of the sun, it is because the leaves of the tree of life afford ample protection.

The word rendered healing, expresses the attendance and kind offices of the physician, as well as the good effects of his medicine, (Rob. Lex. 302;) so the leaves of the tree of life afford relief by their shade as well as by their medical qualities. Corresponding with this idea it is said, Ps. cxxi. 5, "The Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand;" Ps. xci. 1, 2, " He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High, shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty;" Is. xxxii. 2, "A man shall be as a hiding-place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest, as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land." These allusions to Christ and to the protecting shadow of his merits, accord with his character as the true Physician, and with that of his propitiation as the true balm of Gilead. It can be to no other than this remedy for the guilt of sin that David alludes in his petition, Ps. xli. 4, “ Heal my soul, for I have sinned against thee," a healing process explained by the prophet in his prediction of Christ, (Is. liii. 3,) "He was bruised for our iniquities, and with his stripes we are healed." The leaf of the tree of life thus bears the same relation to the fruit as the element of water bears to the figure afforded by an article of food. The leaf of the tree, and the river of the water of life, both direct our attention to the same propitiatory provision. In fact, the fruit and the leaf owe their virtue to the living stream by the sides of which the tree is planted; for which reason the leaf of the tree described by the prophet, it is said, (Ezek. xlvii. 12,) shall not fade, or wither: an important consideration to those depending upon its shade.

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What is particularly remarkable of this apocalyptic tree, however, is that its leaves are for the healing of the nations, (the Gentiles.) Of the holy Jerusalem the prophet says, (Is. xxxiii. 20-24,) "The inhabitant shall no more say, I am sick; the people that dwell therein shall be forgiven their iniquity." And this we may suppose is attributable to their participation of the leaves of the tree of life; for if these leaves be for the healing of the nations, much more must they insure health to the inhabitants of the city. In both cases, however, the healing must be of the same character— it consists in forgiveness. The nations, (Gentiles,) as distinguished from the inhabitants, may be contemplated as brought to the city, within the influence of the tree of life, to be healed, or to be forgiven. As it was said of the strangers to whom the apostle Peter addressed his first epistle, speaking of them as healed by the stripes of him who bore our sins in his own body on the tree, "For ye were as sheep going astray, but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls," (1 Peter ii. 25;) and as Paul speaks of the Ephesians, by nature Gentiles, aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, once strangers and afar off, but now brought nigh by the blood of Christ-the position of the Gentile, of the Israelite estranged from his own. land, and of the sheep gone astray, being apparently nearly equivalent figures. Apocalyptically, we suppose the effect of the propitiatory elements represented by the leaves of the tree of life, upon the legal or self-righteous elements spoken of as the nations, to be analogous to this bringing nigh of Gentile converts by the blood of Christ. Legal elements, independent of their relation to the economy of redemption, are hostile to the economy of grace, as, under the conduct of the accuser, they were led on to the attack of the beloved city; but the same elements leading to conviction of sin, and taken in connection with the divine plan of atonement, are reconciled to the sovereign principle of salvation by grace, and may be thus represented as healed by the leaves of the tree of life. The first Gentile state is such as it appears under the old order of things; the second, or healed state, is such as is exhibited on the coming in of the new heaven and new earth, and the consequent manifestation of the new Jerusalem, (the new vision of peace.)

Vs. 3, 4. And there shall be no more curae: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it: and his servants

shall serve him: and they shall see his

face; and his name (shall be) in their

foreheads.

Καὶ πᾶν κατάθεμα (οὐκ ἔσται ἔτι· καὶ ὁ θρόνος τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ τοῦ ἀρνίου ἐν αὐτῇ ἔσται, καὶ οἱ δοῦλοι αὐτοῦ λατρεύσουσιν αὐτῷ· καὶ ὄψονται τὸ πρόςωπον αὐτοῦ, καὶ τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ ἐπὶ τῶν μετώπον αὖ

τῶν.

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$515. And there shall be no more curse.'-Legal elements are he re deprived of their power; "For as many as are of the works of the law,

(¿1⁄2 éorov vóμov,*) are under the curse; for it is written," says Paul, Gal. iii. 10, "cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them." "Behold, I set before you this day," said Moses, "a blessing and a curse; a blessing if ye obey the commandments of the Lord your God, and a curse if ye will not obey," (Deut. xi. 26-28.)

Such was the condition upon which the promised inheritance was granted to the people of Israel, and upon which possession of the land was to be retained. We have supposed that land, flowing with milk and honey, to represent the rich abundance of the merits of Christ, the inheritance of the saints. There is, however, this difference: the inheritance of the literal Canaan was conditional; it depended upon an exact fulfilment of the law, on the part of those to whom the grant was made;-the inheritance of the spiritual Canaan is a free gift. The possession of the one necessarily involved the peril of the curse; in the possession of the other, there is no such peril. The position of the Israelites in the land of promise, corresponded with that of our first parents in Paradise; obedience was the condition of enjoyment. The result was the same in both cases-the condition was not observed, the penalty of the curse was incurred, and the enjoyment forfeited.

Here, it may be said, two trials of human ability were typically made; one of man generally, the other of the chosen people of God. By both of these experiments we are taught that a position under the law is necessarily a position involving the curse. By the works of the law no flesh can be justified, man cannot obtain or retain possession of eternal life by his own fulfilment of the law. The fault was not in the garden of Eden, or in the land of Canaan, but in those to whom the possession was given. Accordingly, the new Jerusalem exhibits the same benefits, the enjoyment of the same inheritance, but without the legal condition. Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law,† (Gal. iii. 13;) the hand-writing of ordinances, (the statutes,) involving the peril of the curse, has been blotted out, or, rather, all their requisitions have been fulfilled by him who became sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in him—old things have passed away, all things have become new.

516. But the throne of God and the Lamb shall be in it;' or, and the throne, &c.-There is no occasion for using the conjunction zai disjunctively here. The advantage enjoyed by the city about to be described, is something in addition to what was before said of it: "There shall be no more curse, and the throne of God and the Lamb shall be in it."

Out of the works of the law: something proceeding from that system, and depending upon it.

The word rendered curse in Galatians is xardoa; in this passage of the Apocalypse it is xataraua; but they both signify obnoxious to punishment, (Rob. Lex.) and are very nearly equivalent terms.

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One advantage arising from this position of the throne in the city is, as we have noticed, ($510,) that the source whence the pure river of the water of life proceeds is in the city; there is no danger of its being cut off; it forms with the throne a constituent part of the city. The throne itself (the great white throne, §455) is that which exhibits the sovereignty of God and the Lamb, identifying them both as one sovereign. As we might render the Greek-" The seat of God and the Lamb shall be in it,"-the figure does not admit, as we are apt to imagine, of the idea of two seats on one throne; God and the Lamb, in this stage of revelation, are identic. This throne is in the city; it is a constituent part of the city; and corresponding with this, we say the element of divine sovereignty is a constituent part of the economy of grace; while the infinite power of the righteousness of Jehovah to save to the uttermost all to whom it is imputed, as it is the instrument of exhibiting the sovereignty of God and the Lamb, is also a constituent part of the same economy. These also are reasons why there is no more curse; viz., the predominance of sovereign grace, and the certain and secure supply afforded by the river of life flowing from the throne.

It was said of the redeemed, (Rev. vii. 17,) “ And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes"—we have here an explanation of the process. The element of divine sovereignty is a constituent element of the plan of salvation; the two are inseparable. It is also the never-failing source of the atoning and justifying power-the disciple amidst every doubt casts himself upon this one overcoming principle of sovereign grace, and is sustained by that infinite righteousness which, in the language of inspiration, is declared to be "like the great mountains." Here every doubt is ended, and every tear is wiped away.

'And his servants shall serve him ;'-God and the Lamb, one Being, one and the same occupant of the throne-as otherwise we may presume it would have been said, their servants shall serve them. The word translated servant, (dovλos,) differs very materially in its import from ó μodwróg or opioios, which signifies a hired person. The individual serving for wages is at liberty to hire himself out or not. If he chooses to forego the prospect of compensation, he is under no obligation to serve, he may remain idle; but the servants in the sense of the text (8õvλo) are under an obligation to serve. They are not supposed indeed to be in a position of bondage as under the law, but they are in the position of those who have been redeemed from captivity, and under the obligation of gratitude to devote themselves to the service of their Redeemer. They have been bought with a price, (1 Cor. vi. 20, vii. 23 ;) they belong therefore to him that bought them, and are therefore bound to glorify him in their body and in their spirits which are his. To deny this obligation would be to deny the Lord that bought them; a heresy predicted of certain false teachers, (2 Peter ii. 1,)

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