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great degree of blessedness or happiness arising from the keeping and understanding of these sayings. A full assurance of divine forgiveness is probably the source of as great happiness as the human mind is capable of enjoying in this life ; and, consequently, a knowledge of the plan of mercy by which this forgiveness is secured, must be a source of the like happiness in proportion as it is understood by the disciple, and appropriated to his own peculiar circumstances.

Vs. 8, 9. And I John saw these things, Κάγώ 'Ιωάννης και ακούων και βλέπων and heard (them.) And when I had ταύτα και ότε ήκουσα και έβλεψα, έπεσα heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which showed προςκινήσαι έμπροσθεν των ποδών του αγγέme these things. Then saith he unto me,

λου του δεικνύοντός μοι ταύτα. Και λέγει See (thou do it) not: for I am thy fellow- μοι· όρα μη σύνδουλός σου είμι και των servant, and of thy brethren the prophets, αδελφών σου των προφητών και των τηand of them which keep the sayings of ρούντων τους λόγους του βιβλίου τούτου • this book: worship God.

τω θεώ προσκύνησον. .

$ 528. “And I John saw,' &c.; or, as we might read the passage, And I John, who saw and heard these things, when I saw and heard them I fell down to prostrate myself,' &c.—The apostle relates his falling into the same mistake before, (Rev. xix. 10,) and notwithstanding what was then said to him, he seems to at the error.

We are to recollect, however, that all this is a vision ; as in a dream, during which the reasoning faculties are in a great measure suspended. John gives us an account of his own behaviour, just as it appeared to him in the vision, not just as it should have been in reality ; his impression seems to have been that the angel was a personification of the Supreme Being, and as such entitled to divine honours. This may have arisen from his construction of the declaration, · Behold, I come quickly,' without the preface of, thus saith the Lord. The same style of speaking, however, is to be found in the Psalms and prophets ; as, Is. Ixiii. 1-5, and Ps. xl. 7, where no one supposes the prophet or psalmist to be speaking of himself. The expression, “ The angel which showed me these things,” probably refers to the whole vision of the bride ; as we may suppose the apostle to have imagined that none but the Deity himself could thus unfold the mysterious purpose of sovereign grace.

· Then saith he unto me,' &c.—The heavenly messenger announces himself to be an instrument of revelation only; as such, he styles himself one of the prophetic brethren of the apostle ; and what seems also a little remarkable, one of those whom he has himself just pronounced blessed; that is, one of the keepers of the sayings of this book. The keeping, therefore, here intended, is not merely the hearing and understanding for one's own sake, but it is the keeping of a treasure for the benefit of others; as the steward of a household keeps the funds intrusted to him for the purpose of appropriating them to certain objects; to which objects he does sub

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sequently appropriate them. This keeping consists, accordingly, in disbursing and giving out, as well as in receiving. So Paul speaks of his fellow-apostles and himself as ministers (servants) of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. Like the angel, they were all keepers of the mysteries comprehended in the sayings of this book. Such keepers were also the prophets, and they are all pronounced blessed; we may suppose, not only because they discovered the truth and enjoyed the knowledge of it themselves, but also because they were made the blessed means or instruments of making it known to others. So, apocalyptically, we may speak even of the elements of revelation charged with setting forth the economy of grace, as keepers of the sayings of this book.

Worship God.'—This admonition, as we have noticed before, ($ 428,) was given, not so much we apprehend for the sake of the apostle, as for the instruction of those who were to come after him. As if it were said, on the former occasion, Whatever may appear to be implied in some parts of this book to the contrary, bear in mind as a rule of interpretation, that God only is to be worshipped ; or that, strictly speaking, He alone is an object of worship. So, in this last instance it might be said, emphatically, Bear in mind that God is now manifested to be all in all. The Lamb and the Word are merged in the present manifestation of the Sovereign God; to Him alone, therefore, all your adoration is due.

Vs. 10, 11. And he saith unto me, Seal Και λέγει μοι: μη σφραγίσης τους λόnot the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand. He that is a napos yun dzyuz tuti. o údızūv údı

γους της προφητείας του βιβλίου τούτου: u njust let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be littly still: and he that κησάτω έτι, και ο ρυπαρός ρυπαρευθήτω is righteous, let him be righteous still: έτι και ο δίκαιος δικαιοσύνην ποιησάτω and he that is holy, let him be holy still. έτι, και ο άγιος αγιασθήτω έτι.

$ 529. “And he saith unto me, Seal not,' &c.—Here is an injunction the opposite of that given the prophet in the time of the captivity : “But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased. And I heard," the prophet adds, “but I understood not: then said I, O Lord, what shall be the end of these things ? and he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end !” and again : “ But go thy way till the end, for thou shalt stand in thy lot at the end of days."

It was not given to Daniel to understand or even to inquire into the meaning of the words of his prophecy ; they were to remain sealed till a certain distant epoch. The words or sayings of the prophecy of the Apocalypse, on the contrary, are not to be sealed; for the epoch, once distant, is now at hand. We may accordingly expect to find in this book of the apostle John, when properly understood, the end referred to in the book o Daniel; and perhaps a proper application of the prophecies of Daniel to the book of the Apocalypse may be equivalent to the standing of that prophet in his lot at the end of days; that is, the purport of his prophecies will be manifested to have its place, when and where the truths of the divine purpose of salvation by grace shall be fully exhibited.

We do not take time, however, apocalyptically, in a literal sense; the declaration, There shall be time no longer, ($ 230,) is to be borne in mind here as elsewhere ; besides, it is now about eighteen hundred years since this time was said to be at hand. The construction we put upon the passage must be consistent therefore with the fact. In addition to this, we may

notice that the word translated time in this place, (xcigós, season,) differs somewhat from that translated time, (zgóvos,) Rev. x. 6. The season is near—the opening, unsealing, and unveiling of that which was shut, is now seasonable, without any reference to the expiration of a chronological period. The developments of the Apocalypse are, to all preceding prophecies, that which a time of fulfilment is to the prediction ; whenever, and wherever it may be that the disciple fully understands this revelation of Jesus Christ, then and there, to him, the season is come. Meanwhile, it is near in a more general sense, as the means of understanding, withheld from the prophet, are now within the reach of every follower of Jesus, through the medium especially of this portion of divine revelation.

$530. · He that is unjust, let him be unjust still,' — O údızőv ifixradio. This verb is uniformly rendered elsewhere in the Apocalypse by the term ,hurt; and, consistently with this rendering, the translation here should be, the hurting, let him or it hurt still ; nocens noceat adhuc, (G. & L.) We have already given our reasons for supposing the expression hurt to signify, apocalyptically, an action the opposite of justifying, or of tending to justification, (9$ 56, 174.) We take it to apply to the tendency of doctrinal principles, the masculine article (6) relating to ó lógos, the saying or doctrine understood, ($ 507.) The doctrine, or any element of doctrine, operating against justification, let it do so still; that is, let it be manifested to do so.

The operation of the second death was the opposite of justification. It was to condemn, or cause condemnation, and it did so operate upon the beast, the false prophet, the accuser, and the systems death and hell. Tried by, and exposed to, the fire of the second death, they were manifested to be void of a principle of justification, or righteousness, and consequently to be wholly inconsistent with the divine plan of grace and mercy: and this manifestation continues, and will continue still. As the beast and false prophet are tried day and night for ever and ever, (Rev. xx. 10,) and as the smoke, or evidence of the torture of the elements devoted to the worship of the beast, ascendeth up for ever and ever, ($ 334,) the overcoming principle, ó (2.6yos) vixwv, on the contrary, is incapable of suffering from this second death, or from any thing thus tending to condemnation, (Rev. ï. 11;)

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it cannot be hurt by it: so, while mercenary principles were to be tried in the balances of the judicial power-upon the black horse, (Rev. vi. 6)—the elements of sanctification and atonement (the oil and the wine) could not be unjustified or hurt by any of his operations. The power seated on the black horse may still be seen in operation ; but, his true character being exhibited, his weighing can only affect principles amenable to his legal standard, (8 154.) The power of the four angels to hurt the earth and the sea may still continue, but they can do nothing to affect the elements of truth represented by the one hundred and forty-four thousand sealed ones of the twelve tribes; neither does their power, we may presume, extend to the new earth, or the trees (the tree of life) of the new earth.

The power of these angels to hurt may be still exhibited, but it cannot affect any thing in the holy city, or any element peculiar to the new order of things; for here there is no more death, (neither first nor second death,) neither sorrow, nor crying, nor pain. The power of the scorpion-locusts may still be manifested, but it must be manifested not to extend to the unjustifying of those having the seal of God in their forehead, (Rev. ix. 5.) The Euphratean horsemen may still hurt, but their power to unjustify is still manifested to be confined to the third of men, (Rev. ix. 19,) and none of these elements can be supposed to be found either in the holy city or in the new heaven and new earth, where there is no more a sea or threatening element. So, likewise, the same tendency to hurt or to oppose justification may continue to exist in the principles, represented by those opposed to the testimony of the two witnesses, (Rev. xi. 5;) but their true character being recognised, they cannot affect the principles of the economy of grace, represented either by the elements of the holy city or by the things of the new creation. The language of the text, however, is general. We refer to these examples of hurting only by way of illustration. At the same time, such being the use made of this Greek verb in all other parts of the Apocalypse, there seems to be no reason for giving it a different construction in this place. In the nature of the case all legal principles, or elements of the legal dispensation, must ever remain the same. That which is opposed to the justification of the sinner must always remain of the same character. “ The law worketh wrath,” (Rom. iv. 15,) and its tendency to hurt, (å8ıxñowı,) or to operate against the justification of all offending in any one point, must necessarily be unchangeable.

$ 531. “And he that is filthy, let him be filthystill ;' or, and the defiling, (principle,) let it defile still.—Here there is a difference in the Greek editions ; some of them employing the adjective gun após, filthy, with the imperative passive øvnapevoýro, let him be filthy; and others using the active present participle gurðv, defiling, with the imperative active ovawoéto,

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let him, or it, defile. We prefer this latter, because it accords best with the active voice of the preceding verb, respecting which there is no difference: and applying it as we do to principles or doctrinal elements, unchangeable in their own nature, we find no inconsistency in the declaration that the doctrine or saying tending to defile, or to make filthy, will, and must ever continue to do so. If we suppose the expression to be applied to human beings, we should think otherwise, for we could hardly imagine the disciple, or the pretended disciple, or even the unbelieving, bidden to remain defiled, or to continue to defile.

The kind of filth of which the Greek term here employed is expressive, is primarily the accumulation of dirt arising from manual labour, to which persons engaged in dirty or filthy occupations are subjected. Metaphorically, the term is expressive of sordid avarice, mean penuriousness, such as that for which a miserly person may be distinguished, (Donnegan, art. Péros, and compounds.) Spiritually, we apply it to doctrines of which selfish and mercenary motives are the ruling principles. Principles of this character defile or render filthy all doctrines or doctrinal systems into which they insinuate themselves; and this they will ever do, notwithstanding the manifestation of the truth—the real character of these defiling principles may be exhibited, but it cannot be changed.

The same Greek term is used adjectively (James ii. 2) to express the ragged appearance of the poor man; his vile raiment; and (Zech. iii. 3. 4) it is applied to the filthy garments of the high priest, Joshua. noun, we meet with it Job xiv. 4, Tis rào xátapos čorai ēno pórov ; “ Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean ?” equivalent to the question, How can a sinner be justified by the unclean process of self-justification? So Job ix. 31, “If I wash myself in snow water, and make my hands ever so clean, yet thou shalt plunge me in the ditch, (ixarūs šv púzmus épaves, thou shalt plunge me in the defiling pit,) and my own flesh shall abhor me." As if he had said, Whatever my pretensions to righteousness or to selfatonement might be, thou wouldst place me in that position which must exhibit my real defilement—this defilement being of the character alluded to by the prophet, (Is. Ixiv. 6,) “ All our righteousnesses are as filthy rags, and we are as an unclean thing.” Of the sons and daughters of Zon (the misrepresented elements of the economy of grace) it is said, their filth, or defilement, shall be purged away, (Is. iv. 4,) and so, in the manifestation of that economy, in the heavenly Jerusalem, no defiling element is permitted to enter, (Rev. xxi. 27.) These elements themselves, nevertheless, remain. and must remain, wherever they are, of the same character—the defiling principle will ever defile. The only remedy for the elements of truth is an entire separation. As it is said, figuratively, in allusion to them, “Come

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