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The fourth address is
TO THE CHURCH IN THYATIRA. (ch. ii. v. 18–29.) “And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write ; These things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet are like fine brass; “I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works; and the last to be more than the first. “ Notwithstanding, I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols. “And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not. “Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds. “And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts; and I will give unto every one of you according to your works. “But unto you I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine, and which have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak; I will put upon you none other burden. “But that which ye have already, hold fast till I come. “And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: (And he shall rule them with a rod of iron ; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers:) even as I received of my Father. And I will give him the morning star. “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.”
The fifth address is
TO THE CHURCH IN SARDIS.
“And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars;
“I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.
“Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God. Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard ; and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee. Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white : for they are worthy. . “He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.
“He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.”
The sixth address is
TO THE CHURCH IN PHILADELPHIA.
“And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth; “I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name. “Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee. “Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee, from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth. Behold, I come quickly: hold fast that which thou hast, that no man take thy crown. * - “Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God; and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God; and I will write upon him my new name.
“He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.”
The seventh and last address is
TO THE CHURCH IN LAODICEA.
“And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write ; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God: “I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. “So then, because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. “Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked : “I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eye-salve, that thou mayest see. “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. “Behold, I stand at the door and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father on his throne. “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.”
These addresses have suggested to my own mind the following considerations:
1st. That the whole remaining part of the Book of Revelation, and in that the history of the church for the last eighteen hundred years, is but the carrying out and development of the principles here so strikingly exhibited ; and that in what remains to be accomplished, they will be exhibited in their highest perfection, both of justice and of mercy; both in their rewards and punishments | Hence we see that the same watchful and scrutinizing eye which is here shewn to take such particular knowledge of the internal state of the church, and of the least departure it makes, either in doctrine or practice, from the truth, still watches, and has ever watched, over it with the same sleepless care and the same jealous interest. Yes, it watches over it now. And there are no enemies against which we are here warned ; no conflicts against which we are strengthened ; no encouragements which are given; no rewards promised ; no consolations afforded ; but what we may all take to ourselves, and ought to take to ourselves— each and individually.
2nd. The most demonstrable arguments are afforded for the divinity of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the divinity of the Holy Ghost; and that although they are two persons, they are one with God. To this effect we see, that in the preface to each of the addresses, Christ assumes the attributes and prerogatives of Deity, at the same time identifying himself as the Saviour who died and rose again; and concluding each with the solemn, most solemn exhortation, to attend to what THE SPIRIT saith unto the churches.
3d. They most forcibly direct our attention to the essentials of gospel truth, waiving all those unimportant distinctions of particular churches in our day which man has made, and which have been and still are, the cause of so many dissensions. The church, as described here, consists of all those, be their minor distinctions what they may, and of only those “who have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” Of all those, and those only, who can take up the language of John, and say, “Unto Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto God and the Father, to Him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.”
4th. We have, in these addresses most distinctly implied, the glorious expectations of the Church with regard, 1st, to the nations being broken to pieces; 2nd, to the second coming of the Saviour; 3rd, to the reign of the saints; 4th, to the coming down of the New Jerusalem from heaven; and 5th, to Christ taking possession of a throne distinct from that on which he now reigns with the Father, (ch. iii. 21).