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V. 20. He which testifieth these things Λέγει ο μαρτυρών ταύτα' ναι έρχομαι saith, Surely I come quickly :
ταχύ. . Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.
'Αμήν, έρχου, κύριε Ιησού. $ 545. · He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly.'— These words are still the language of Jesus, who is the testifier or witness referred to, as we learn from the preceding verses, (vs. 16 and 18.) It is Jesus who testifies as to the consequences of any alterations in the words of the book, and it is consequently he who now announces his coming with a species of asseveration. or this same Jesus, " the faithful witness," it was said, at the commencement of the book, (Rev. i. 7,) Behold, he cometh with clouds; which coming with clouds we supposed to consist in a reveJation of himself through the medium of the types, and shadows, and symbolic language of the sacred Scriptures, ($ 18,) and particularly in the figurative exhibition of this Apocalypse.
In the address to the angel of the church of Ephesus it is said by the same speaker, “Repent, and do thy first works, or else I will come unto thee quickly ;” an intimation that the purpose of this coming, whenever it takes place, is to correct erroneous views in matters of faith, ($ 44 ;) so it is said to the angel of Pergamos : “ Repent, or else I will come,” &c. (Rev. ii. 16.) A like caution is given to the angel of the church of Philadelphia, (Rev. iii. 11:) “ Behold, I come quickly; hold fast,” &c. As it had been before said, “If thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee,” (Rev. ii. 3 ;) while, to the church of Laodicea, aster a very severe rebuke, it is said, “If any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him," &c. In these cases the coming is spoken of hypothetically, as depending upon a certain contingency-something to take place if the occasion called for it—the existence, for example, of certain erroneous views of doctrine requiring a perfect manifestation of truth for their correction. The angels or churches are not supposed to know the event: at the same time, the speaker knew that the occasion would call for his coming, and therefore it was previously said by the Spirit, (aside from these addresses,)“ Behold, he cometh.” It was foreseen that the contemplated contingency would take place. The errors prevailing would call for the counteracting manifestation ; accordingly,
except in these addresses, the coming is spoken of as an event positively to take place. The kind of coming contemplated we suppose to be the same in both cases.
At the close of the sixth chapter certain elements are represented as unable to abide the face of Him that sitteth upon the throne, or to endure the wrath of the Lamb, the day of that wrath being come, ($ 170.) The coming of this day we take to be equivalent to the coming of the Lord; these elements fleeing from the face of Divine Sovereignty for the same reason that the old heaven and the old earth fled away from the face of him who sat upon the great white throne. The wrath of the Lamb here spoken of we presume to be of the same kind as that with which the holders of Nicolaitane doctrines were threatened, (Rev. ii. 16 :) “ Repent, or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of, my mouth ;'--this sword of the mouth being also the same as that with which the rider of the white horse was armed, (Rev. xix. 15,) and with which the forces of the beast and false prophet were slain ; a weapon employed in the destruction of error, and not in the destruction of human beings. The same wrath and, of course, the same coming, we conceive to be alluded to, (Rer. xi. 18,) immediately upon the sounding of the last trumpet : “ The nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead," &c.-a coming involved in the coming of the hour of the judgment of God, (Rev. xiv. 7,) which hour is likewise the time of harvest, (Rev. xiv, 15;) these being not successive events, but different figures of one event. The same may be said of the “great day of God Almighty," the day of the battle of Armageddon, ($ 369,) the coming of which is spoken of as like unto that of a thief, (Rev. xvi. 14, 15;) corresponding with the coming threatened the angel of the church of Sardis. We have given our reasons for supposing the battle of Armageddon to be coincident with the destruction of Babylon, ($ 442;) so we suppose the hour of the judgment of the great city, (Rev. xviii. 10,) to correspond with the day of wrath, (Rev. vi. 17.) And as the manifestation of truth must be equivalent to the destruction of falsehood, so the coming of the marriage feast of the Lamb (Rev. xix. 7) unust be coincident with the coming of the judgment of Babylon, of the battle of Armageddon, and of the day of wrath. From all these passages we conclude that the coming in question consists in a revelation of truth in its proper spiritual sense.
$ 546. Immediately after the exhibition of the New Jerusalem, it was s aid, (Rev. xxii, 7,) Behold, I come quickly ;' corresponding with the declaration uttered immediately after the account given of the gathering of the kings of the earth for the battle of the great day; with this difference, that the coming quickly is a coming to all the coming as a thief, is a comng to those unprepared. The coming of Jesus, quickly or suddenly, will
happen even to those who look for him; but his coming as a thief, must be to those who do not look for him. The coming quickly, is that which the follower of the Lamb cheerfully greets; the coming as a thief, is that which the adversary cannot abide. To the beast and bis forces upon the field of Armageddon, the Word comes as a thief; to those keeping the sayings of the book, the same Word comes suddenly, but neither sooner nor more suddenly than desired. As the coming with the reward (Rev. xxii. 14) or hire of an employer, is desired by those about to receive the reward, so the annunciation of the approaching development of truth is one cordially responded to by him who hears it.
The last declaration of this coming—that which we are now considering-differs from the preceding by the substitution of the word vai, surely or verily, for idoú, behold—as if the speaker, after having repeatedly said, Behold, I ani coming suddenly, now declared himself to have actually come verily, I am come suddenly, or verily, 1 do come. The verb is in the present tense, although a future signification is sometimes implied in the use of it. When the circumstances require it, the expression may be said to look to something to come ; but otherwise we may take it in the ordinary acceptation of the present tense. As we find it used, Luke xiii. 7, idov, zpía érn foxouou Sprūv xaggóv, Behold, (these) three years I come seeking fruit; so here it is not said, verily, I will come suddenly, but, verily, I do come, or I am come. Such a coming we may suppose to result from the developments of this book properly understood.
The Spirit and the bride say, Come: it is not merely the vision of peace, (the new Jerusalem,) or the letter of that vision alone which unveils the Saviour, but it is this vision with the spiritual understanding—the letter accompanied with the spirit, and so received by him who hears. To understand this book in its proper spiritual sense, is to witness the coming of Jesus. Corresponding with this, the Greek term constituting the title of the book, Apocalypsis, (Revelation,) is rendered in our common version (i Cor. i. 7) by the word coming ;*—Paul speaking of those whom he addressed as waiting for the coming (apocalypse) of the Lord. The same Greek term, apocalypsis, rendered revealed,t (com. ver.) is applied to what is usually considered the second coming of Christ, (2 Thess. i. 7 ;) where those who are troubled are assured of rest in the apocalypse (revelation) of the Lord from heaven with his mighty angels. The same term expresses enlightening, Luke ii. 32," a light to lighten the Gentiles ;” and is rendered, Rom. viii. 19, manifestation—the earnest expectation of the creature waiting
* Wiclif, schewynge; Tyndale, Cranmer, and Geneva, apperynge, (appearing ;) Rheims, revelation.
† Wiclif, schewynge; Tyndale, Cranmer, and Geneva, “when the Lord Jesus shall shew himself from heaven.”
the manifestation of the sons of God. The same Greek term, as a verb, apocalypto, is applied (2 Thess. ij. 3, 8) to the coming (revelation) of the man of sin ; the revelation of “ that wicked," and the revelation of the Lord Jesus with his holy angels being coincident, the last destroying the first “ with the brightness of his coming”—the manifestation of truth, in its own nature, detecting, exposing, and consequently destroying error. The same verb is applied (1 Peter i. 5) to the revelation in the last time, of the way of salvation ; and immediately afterwards, in the seventh verse, the noun apocalypsis is rendered by the word appearing ; and, in the thirteenth verse, by the word revelation, (Tyndale and Cranmer, declaring,) both applicable to the final manifestation of Christ. From these examples we seem to be warranted in the conclusion that, in the scriptural sense, the revelation, or showing, or apocalypse of Christ, and the coming, or appearing of Christ, are equivalent and interchangeable terms: when and where Christ is fully revealed or unveiled, then and there he is come.
$547. In sixteen other passages of the New Testament the term coming, as applied to the second advent of our Lord, is expressed in the original by the word napovoia, (parousia,) a word signifying actual presence, or being present, (not the act or motion of coming,) from the verb ndiqerju, compound of napà and ciui, to be present, to be by the side of one : Lat. adsum. From signifying actual presence, the word seems to be taken in Scripture for the appearance of that presence, the one implying the other; as the opponents of Paul said of him, (2 Cor. x. 10.)“ His letters are weighty and powerful, but his bodily presence (the parousia of his body, his personal appearance) is weak, and his speech (2.6yos, discourse, doctrine, reasoning) contemptible.
Jesus gave his apostles the assurance of his being with them in effect at all times, (Matt. xxviii. 20;) but this was not the parousia, or manifestation of his presence alluded to Matt. xxiv. 3, 27, 37, 39, which is evidently identic with the coming, or rather the being come, in the clouds, (fpy'ueron éri rõv veqel.ov,) spoken of in the thirtieth verse of the same chapter. Paul declares himself to have been present with the Corinthians in spirit, (1 Cor. v. 3;) but this was not the manifestation of his presence, or parousia, which some of them considered so insignificant. The term parousia is also employed (2 Thess. ii. 1-8) to express the coming spoken of as a revelation in the preceding chapter—a revelation the counterpart or opposite of that of the man of sin. So the coming of that wicked is distinguished by the same appellation, ( parousia,) in immediate connection with what is said of the parousia or coming of the Lord. These peculiarities warrant, we think, the further conclusion that the terms parousia and apocalypsis are equivalents: both, as used on these occasions, signifying an intellectual appearance or presence : a manifestation to the unierstanding, bearing a strict analogy with the exhibition of a corporeal or personal presence, or of
a being come. Where and when Jesus Christ is unveiled or revealed, there and then he is present ; his coming has taken place, in the scriptural sense of the expression. The coming of Jesus Christ and the coming of the man of sin are to be understood in the same sense ; the revelation of the first being the means of destroying the lasi, and one being no more a personal or corporeal appearance than the other.
$ 548. As the revelation (apocalypse) of Jesus Christ and his coming (parousia) appear to be nearly interchangeable expressions, so we think the coming of the kingdom of God and the coming of the Lord are equivalents, in the same Scripture sense of the terms.
To the inquiry of the Pharisees, When does the kingdom of God come ? Jesus replied, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation ; neither shall they say, Lq here! or Lo there! for behold, the kingdom of God is within you: and immediately upon giving this answer, he described to his disciples what he terms the day of the Son of man; the state of things " in the day when the Son of man is revealed,” (unveiled, noxalúnetai, Luke xvii. 20–24.) So, after a vivid description of the circumstances of his own advent, in which he says, (Luke xxi. 27,)“ And then shall they see the Son of man coming (fexóuevov) in a cloud with power and great glory," he adds in reference to this description, (v. 31,) “ So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand.” In the account given of the transfiguration on the mount by three evangelists, there is the same interchangeable use of these terms to be noticed : “ Verily, I say unto you, (Matt. xvi. 28,) there be some standing here, which shall not taste of death till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom ;” Mark ix. 1, · Verily, I say unto you, that there be some of them that stand here which shall not taste of death, till they have seen the kingdom of God come with power ;” Luke ix. 27, “But I tell you of a truth, (verily,) there be some standing here which shall not taste of death till they see the kingdom of God.” The circumstances attending this declaration corresponds so precisely in the three accounts, that we cannot hesitate to believe that they all refer to that same prediction; and we can only account for the difference between the expression employed by Matthew and that given by Mark and Luke, as the words of Jesus, by taking it for granted that these evangelists considered the coming of Christ and the coming of the kingdom of God, or seeing the kingdom itself, as equivalents. In the Scripture sense, to see one is to see the other. We conclude, accordingly, that what is affirmed of the one may be equally affirmed of the other ; and further, that, as the coming of the kingdom of God is identic with the coming of the Lord, so either of these must be identic with the apocalypse, revelation, or unveiling of Jesus, which we have shown to be identic with his parousia, or coming; as any two objects equal to a third object, must be