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attack them, see note ch. i. 16. It is with this powerful sword that Antichrist shall be slain, and the enemies of the church shall be finally subdued". The word of God, advancing in its purity, and gaining dominion over the hearts and actions of men, shall in due time expel idolatry, infidelity, and the persecuting spirit of worldly policy and of insincere religion f. This “word of God” is described as having a living efficacy, “sharper than any two-edged “sword,” penetrating into the inmost parts of man f; and it is represented as an object of terror to those of the brethren, who, from an evil heart of unbelief, shall apostatize from the living God Ś. And, in the subsequent verse, the whole congregation is directed to exhort each other daily, lest any of them be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. Apply this to the Church of Pergamos, which the members of it might then have done, by having recourse to the same Sacred Scripture. Ver. 17. Hidden manna.] This expression will become intelligible, by the perusal of the 6th chapter of Saint John's Gospel from the 26th verse. Our Lord declares to the multitude, who followed him in the expectation of being miraculously fed, that he himself is the bread of life, the manna from heaven, which shall support those partaking of it to everlasting life : and when they could not, or would not, understand him in the spiritual sense which he intended, he tells them that he is to be understood in a figurative, and not in a literal meaning. “It is “the Spirit that quickeneth, the flesh profiteth no“thing ; the words that I speak to you, they are “Spirit, and they are Life.” The “hidden manna” is this bread of life in its spiritual signification, of which the manna, free from corruption, laid up in the tabernacle, was only a type; namely, the benefits derived to the faithful followers of Christ by the offering of his body; forgiveness of sins and everlasting salvation. In the midst of a figurative discourse, our Lord presented his disciples with this plain interpretation : “Verily, verily I say unto you, “he that believeth on me hath everlasting life; I “am that bread of life".” He who through faith in his crucified Redeemer, follows him in his victorious career, unmoved by the temptations or threats of the enemy, is by his Lord's appointment entitled to this food of heavenly life. But this “Life is hid “with Christ in Godf.” “It does not yet appear “what we shall bef.” “Eye hath not seen, nor ear “heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, “the things which God hath prepared for those that “love hims.” Such appears to be the hidden manna, J namely, the ineffable joys of a blessed immortality. From the small remains of history, which are preserved to us of this church, she seems to have remembered these splendid promises of her Lord; for many of the Pergamenians underwent the fiery trial of martyrdom, at the time when Polycarp suffered at Smyrna ||. Wer. 17. JWhite stone..] Stones, Jowool, calculi, were used by the ancient nations, as the names import, to calculate and to vote with ; and in criminal pro
* Is. xi. 4. 2 Thess. ii. 8. Rev. xix. 15, 21. + Matt. xii. 36, 37. John viii. 31, 37, 43, 47. xii. 47, 48. xv. 3, 7, Heb. i. 3. 1 Pet. i. 23, 25. 1 Heb. iv. 12. § Heb. iii. 12. “ the
• John vi. 47, 48. Col. iii. 3. f 1 John iii. 2. § 1 Cor. ii. 9. | Euseb. Hist. Eccl. lib. iv. c. 15.
P 2 cesses
cesses the white stone was the mark of acquittal, the black one of condemnation :
Moserat antiquus niveis atrisque lapillis;
The white stone, presented to the conquering Christian, may be supposed to signify, “well done, “ thou good and faithful servant.” But this white stone is inscribed with characters; so were the Jobot of the ancients. The letter Q with the Greeks was the token of condemnation; or, in a general sense, of disapprobation. So Persius;
Et potis es nigrum vitio praefigere Thetaf.
But on this white stone, given by our Lord to his approved servants, was written a new name, which will be explained in the following note. Ver. 17. A new name.] By the custom of nations, from the earliest ages, a person raised to dignity was commonly invested with a new name or title, expressive of his deserts. Many instances occur in Scriptures. It is the promise of God to Zion, that, becoming the glory and the light of the Gentiles, “she shall “be called by a new name, which the mouth of the “Lord shall name.” He has promised also to the Eunuchs and Gentiles, who shall “keep his covenant, “ and love the name of the Lord, a place and a name “better than of sons and of daughters, an everlast“ing name which shall not be cut off $.” Of this kind and nature is the new name or title, given by the Lord of Heaven to his elected servants. The
* Ovid. Metam. lib. xv. 41. # Sat. iv. 13.
f Gen. xli. 45. 2 Sam. xii. 25. Dan, i. 7. John i. 42. Matt. xvi. 18.
§ Is. Klii. 1, 6. lvi. 5. honour
honour which they shall receive at his hands, when their spiritual warfare is accomplished, is beyond conception, and can only be known by being enjoyed.
cHAP. ii. v ER.18—to the end.
18 And to the angel of the Church in Thyatira write: Thus saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes as a flame of fire, and his feet like smelting brass. 19 I know even thy love, and thy
service, and thy faith, and thy patience, and thy last works to be more than the first : 20 But I have against thee, that thou sufferest thy woman Jezebel, who calleth herself a prophetess, and teacheth and seduceth my servants to commit fornication, and to eat meats sacrificed unto 21 idols: And I have given her a time, that she might repent, and she will not repent of
18 And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira, These things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes like unto a flame
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22 her fornication; Behold, I cast her into a bed, and those who commit adultery with her, into great tribulation, unless they shall repent from her 23 works; And her children will I slay with death ; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts; Aud I will give unto every one of you according to your 24 works. But unto you I say, unto the rest in Thyatira, as many as hold not this doctrine, (whosoever have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak,) I shall put upon you none other 25 burthen ; Only that which which ye have, hold fast until I come. 26 And he who overcometh, and who keepeth even unto the end my works, to him will I give power over the 27 nations, (And he shall rule over them with an iron sceptre, as the vessels of earthen ware are broken to pieces,) 28 Even as I have received from my Father; and I will give
to repent of her fornication, and she re22 pented 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. 23 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. 24 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. 25 But that which ye have already, hold fast 26 till 1 come. And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the 27 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 28 my Father. And I will