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presume to be the same as that spoken of on former occasions as the Lamb's book of life; of which we have before remarked, (§§ 87, 305,) that its contents are not the names of human beings, in a literal sense, but the principles or elements of the economy of grace. The use of these two first books, accordingly, may be that of ascertaining whether the principles, doctrines, or systems tried, belong to God's plan of salvation (the other book) or not. If not, they are given over to the exhibition of their true character, represented as a trial by fire-the action of the Word of God— as a perpetual test: an action compared to that of an immense furnace or lake of fire and brimstone; the latter element representing the unceasing and perpetual character of this trial.
'And the dead were judged out of the things written in the books, according to their works.'-Principles of a certain character generate only what Paul terms dead works, (Heb. ix. 14;) works involved in those elementary views which the disciple is exhorted to lay aside, as he advances in the knowledge of the truth, (Heb. vi. 1.) Opposites of these dead works are those of him who serves the living God. Faith in the atonement of Christ changes the character of these works, purging the conscience from apprehension of the penalty of guilt, and inducing a service of God from a sense of gratitude. The principles generating dead works, we take to be those impelling the disciple to action from mercenary motives—the dread of punishment and the hope of reward; the opposite principles are such as stimulate his obedience by a grateful remembrance of the unmerited mercy of God, in the salvation of his soul. The latter principles are those found in the Lamb's book of life; for in that there is no room for the element of apprehension. The other principles tried by the law and the testimony, are proved and manifested not to belong to this book of life; and, consequently, are doomed to an endless exhibition of their condemnation. Both classes are judged according to what is written of them in the two books, the law and the testimony; and by this trial, comparing their tendencies with what these statutes require, it is ascertained whether they belong or not to the third book.
The dead here seen on trial we suppose to be of both classes; all of them have been slain while in the service of the beast; but when released from this service, some of them, like captives released from Babylon, may prove to belong to the true view of God's plan of redemption, (the book of life.) The law is good, if a man use it lawfully;" so the principles of the law are good, if lawfully used; in which case they may be said to be found written in the Lamb's book of life; but if unlawfully used, they are in the service of the beast and of the accuser. It is then that they are slain by the sword of the Spirit, and that they are given over to trial by the Word of God as by fire. Some principles, however, are no doubt radically and
altogether wrong; they are incapable of serving God, or of promoting his glory; and these, when tried by what is written in the law and the testimony, are utterly condemned. Such are all the elements of self-righteousness, self-dependence, pride, and vainglory, "small and great."
$459. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it.'-Three different receptacles of the dead are described in this passage as simultaneously giving up their contents. In the ordinary sense, one of these (death) would comprehend the other two; those drowned in the sea, as well as those in the grave, or in hades, (hell,) being all the subjects of death. The peculiarity of the classification is itself a caution against the adoption of any ordinary sense.
The earth (the land) and the heaven having fled away, the first may be said to have given up its dead, in the persons of those described as the remaining ones, (oi loiroi,) dwellers upon the earth, elements of the earthly system. The sea, as distinguished from the land, we have taken to be the figure of judicial wrath, (§ 124 ;) a system exhibiting the terrors of the law. As such it has its dead principles-principles extending no further than to influence the disciple's conduct from motives of fear, being in themselves dead elements, and bringing forth only dead works. Some of these principles may be contemplated, perhaps, like those of the law lawfully used, as bringing the disciple to Christ; in which case they are found in the book of life-the action of the present judgment being, as we suppose, that of making the discrimination between them.
'And death and hell gave up the dead which were in them.'-We have already given our reasons for considering these terms appellations of doctrinal systems, (§§ 156, 157,) creating positions analogous to those usually imputed to death and the grave, or the state immediately subsequent to death. To these inseparable companions (inseparable so far as the sinner out of Christ is subject to them) power was given (Rev. vi. 8) over the fourth of the earth, to kill with the sword, with hunger, with death, and with the beasts of the earth, (§§ 158, 159.) They may be now contemplated as called upon to give an account of their use of this power. Their dead may be those whom they have killed-the principles, motives, &c., which through their instrumentality are manifested to be dead works; or their dead may be the elements of the systems by which their power has been exercised: perhaps the result under either construction would not materially differ. They are systems, in effect, of condemnation, sustained by the element of self-righteousness, (the green horse,) an opposite of the divine righteousness represented by the white horse. Their own elements, or those subject to their power, are equally dead works.
And they were judged every man according to their works; or, as the original may be rendered, 'They were judged each according to their works:"
Καὶ ἐκρίθησαν ἕκαστος κατὰ τὰ ἔργα αὐτῶν. Εt judicati sunt singuli secundum opera ipsorum, (G. and L.) The words every man, in our common and other English versions, seem to have been introduced under a misapprehension of the subjects in contemplation. The sea, and death, and hell, have given up their dead, and they are judged each* according to their works-according to what they have just given up. These systems are judged; the tendencies of their principles are examined-compared with what is written in the books (the law and the testimony.) The sea is not said to be condemned-the law, lawfully used, may be found written in the book of life; but the other two, as appears from what follows, have not a saving principle in them.
We usually suppose hell to be the place of punishment after judgment and condemnation; but here we see hell delivering up its dead to be judged. We cannot suppose punishment to be inflicted first, and judgment to be passed afterwards. Neither can we suppose the sea, in the ordinary sense, to have some dead to give up, and death some others, and hell some others; out there is no difficulty in supposing them, as so many systems, to have each their respective principles or elements—their tendencies or works-by which they are now judged.
§ 460. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire.'—These two elements, according to the preceding verse, have just been tried; sentence has been passed upon them, and they are now described as undergoing the execution of that sentence. The sea is not mentioned as exposed to the same fate; apparently because, for the reason just given, (§ 459,) it is not a subject of condemnation. It is besides correct in itself, and therefore has no fallacies calling for the action of fire to expose their true character.
This lake is the same, no doubt, as that into which the false prophet, the beast, and the accuser have been cast: and the purpose with regard to
*The Tyndale, Cranmer, and Geneva versions, employ the term every man ; the Rheims version renders the passage, "and it was judged of every one." Wiclif uses the distributive pronoun each, but by his previous use of the expression dead men, it is evident that he takes the whole representation in the ordinary sense: “I saie deed men, greet and smale, stonding in the sigt of the trone: and bookis werun opened, and another book was opened: which is the book of liif, and deed men werun demed of the thingis that weren writun in the bookis aftir the werkis of hem, and the see gaf his deed men: that werun in it, deeth and helle gauen her deed men: that weren in hem, it was demed of eche: after the werkis of hem, helle and deeth weren sent into a pool of fier, this is the secunde deeth, he that was not foundun writun in the book of liif: was sente into the pool of fier."
The Greek term rezgòs, thus rendered dead in the singular, and dead men in the plural, might be more strictly rendered dead body or dead bodies; the term in the Greek being commonly applied to human carcases-Vid. Donnegan-rezgés, a dead body. In this sense it is used, Rev. xvi. 3, aïμa iç rezyou, blood, as of a dead body. So we find it employed by the LXX, in the account given, Gen. xxiii. 3-15, of the
death and hell must be the same as that before declared with regard to the other elements, (v. 10,) that they should be tormented day and night for ever and ever-tortured, tried, as prisoners on the rack, with the view of extorting confession, ($210, 334.) The interpretation we have before adopted with regard to this lake, or furnace of fire, (§ 440,) is the only one admissible here.
Death and hell, apocalyptically, are systems, assemblages of doctrine. They cannot be, literally, affected by fire; nor can they be sensible of punishment; but their fallacies, as systems of salvation, or as exhibitions of man's position, may be exposed. It may be shown, and forever shown, that they are incapable of giving life; that their tendency is only that of eternal destruction—that of retaining the sinner in a position of hopeless condemnation. This is to be manifested by a just application of the word of God to entire systems, as well as to their elements. The time for this process has now come: as systems they have been tried by the law and the testimony; they have been found not to bring forth a single principle belonging to the book of life, and they are now doomed to exhibit their perfect incongruity with the economy of grace, by an everlasting exposure to the action of the revealed word, spiritually understood—a word compared by God himself to a fire, (Jer. xxiii. 29,) and variously spoken of, according to the degree of its development, as the fire which is to try every work, (1 Cor. iii. 13,) and the fire which is to burn as an oven, acting as a refiner's fire, and as fuller's soap, (Mal. iii. 2.)
This is the second death;' or, according to our Greek, 'This is the second death, the lake of fire.'-Death and hell are cast into the second death! the first death, apparently, is cast into the second death! Hades, a term in any sense applicable to something subsequent to death, is itself also
negotiation of Abraham for a place to bury his dead (bodies.). The pagan notion of the semi-materiality of departed spirits, allowed of the employment of the term in describing the supposed state of the soul in the lower regions: as vezyoßayńs, laden with the dead, said of Charon's boat, (Jones's Lex.) Otherwise to speak of a soul as dead, would be a contradiction in terms.
Dr. Jones supposes the Greek adjective rezgòs to be derived from the Hebrew Naker, signifying separate-"separated from the living;"-with which we might associate only the idea of a separation of the spirit or soul from the body, and thus apply the term to either member of the union. But according to Trommius, signifies alienation-something regarded as foreign-as we may suppose the Gentiles were contemplated by the Jews. And as the bodies of dead persons, among the Hebrews, were set apart or separated as unclean, the almost uniform use of this term, therefore, appears to involve its application, as a figure, to something the opposite of what is spiritual; accordingly, we suppose these apocalyptic dead (bodies) to represent principles, or doctrinal elements, depending upon a literal or carnal construction of the language of revelation, as opposed to the spiritual understanding.
exposed to the second death! The anomaly presented by this figure must be intended to prove a bar to any interpretation approaching a literal construction. Whatever this second death be, it is something capable of acting upon death and hell, as well as upon the beast, the false prophet, and the accuser, while incapable of acting upon those beheaded for the witness of Jesus. It is at the same time something subsequent, in the order of revelation at least, to both the first and second resurrection; although not so in every case, as we find the beast and the false prophet were exposed immediately to the second death, without any reference to either of these resurrections.
We do not suppose this term second, however, to be employed in a literal sense. It is second as being greater in importance, and second, perhaps, as a spiritual understanding is to a natural understanding; as it is said, 1 Cor. xv. 46, "That is not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural, afterwards that which is spiritual." So, this second death may apply to the final exhibition of revealed truth, in its spiritual sense, as we have considered the action of the fire from heaven upon the besiegers of the beloved city a final development of this character.
The first death apparently corresponds with the state of the slain after the battle of Armageddon, whose flesh was given to the ravenous birds. It is characteristic of the peculiar helplessness and destitution of merit incident to the position of the disciple under the law; as it is described by the apostle, Rom. vii. 9, When the commandment came, sin revived, and I died. Hell, or hades, and death may be considered almost as interchangeable terms; hell representing the position of hopelessness attributed to the bottomless pit. Thus Satan may be said to have suffered the first death when he was confined to the pit for a thousand years; as he was afterwards doomed to the second death in the lake of fire.
By way of distinction, we may denominate the first death, perhaps, the legal system, and Hades the bottomless pit system. The action of the sword of the Spirit exhibits the destructive character of these systems to those dependent upon them; the action of the fire from heaven, or of the lake of fire, exhibits the destruction of these systems themselves; death and the bottomless pit being both subjected to the perpetual test represented by the unquenchable fire of the lake. The first death, like Apollyon with his host from the pit, destroys the hopes of the disciple; the second death destroys the destroyer, as well as every element co-operating with him; while the casting of Hell into the lake of fire, is equivalent to casting the bottomless pit into that lake, both figures being equally incapable of a literal or ordinary construction.
Whatever the lake of fire be, and however difficult it may be to define its action upon these two elements, it is evident that the power of death and