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“And to the angel” of the church at Pergamus write: • These things saith he that hath the sharp two-edged sword: I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where the throne of Satan is +: and yet thou holdest fast my name, and didst not deny faith in me, [even] in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful witness, who was slain among you, where Satan ; dwelleth. Nevertheless I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there such as hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumbling-block before the sons of Israel, that they might eat things offered to idols, and might commit fornication. So hast thou also such as hold the doctrine of the Nicoláitans § in like manner. Repent therefore; or else I will come to thee quickly, and will war against them with the sword of my mouth.’ He that hath an ear, let him hear what the spirit saith to the churches. To him that overcometh I will give to eat of the hidden manna; and will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth but he who receiveth it.
“And to the angel | of the church at Thyatira write: * These things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes as a flame of fire, and whose feet are like fine brass; I know thy works, and thy love, and service, and faith, and patience, and thy last works, which are better than the first. Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee T, because thou sufferest thy wife Jezebel, who calleth herself a prophetess, and teacheth and seduceth” my servants to commit fornication, and eat things offered to idols. And I have given her time to repent; and she will not repent of her fornication. Behold, I will cast
* Or, messenger. + The chief seat of opposition and persecution.
** thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, who calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce, &c. R. T. -
* - 2 P
her on a bed of sickness, and those who commit adullery with her into great affliction, unless they repent of her deeds”. And I will kill her children by the pestilence: and all the churches shall know that I search the reins and the hearts, and will give unto every one of you atcording to your works. But to you I say, even to the rest at Thyatira, as many as receive not this doctrine, and as have not known the deep things of Satan, as they speak + ; I will put on you none other burthen. But what ye have, hold fast till I come. And he that overcometh, and performeth my works to the end, to him I will give powerf over the nations; and he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter they shall be broken in pieces; even as I have received from my Father. And I will give him the morning-star.' He that hath an ear, let him hear what the spirit saith to the churches.
Ch. III. “And to the angels of the church at Sardis write: ‘These things saith he that hath the seven spirits of God,
and the seven stars: I know thy works, that thou has! l appearance of being alive, and yet art dead. Be watch. ful, and strengthen the things which remain, which at ready to die ||: for I have not found thy works perfect before my God T. Remember therefore how thou has received and heard, and keep those things, and repent Is therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as * thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come on thee. Yet thou hast a few persons in Sardis, that ha" not defiled their garments: and they shall walk with no in white; for they are worthy. He that overcometh shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will by no mea"
* of their deeds. R. T. + i. e. the deep things of Satan as they are justly called. Newcome. ** mysteries of Gnosticism, which were hostile to the doctrine of Christ, and which west called by the Gnostics, the deep things of God. See Wetstein.
3. Or, authority. $ Or, messenger. | Or, about to die. “I before God, R. T. *
blot out his name from the book of life, but I will consess his name before my Father, and before his angels.” 6 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the spirit saith to . the churches. - o 7 “And to the angel” of the church at Philadelphia write: ‘These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth and none 8 shutteth, and that shutteth and none openeth : I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, which none can shut: for thou hast but little power, and yet hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name. 9 Behold, I will cause those of the synagogue of Satan + (who say that they are Jews, and are not, but speak falsely, behold, I will make them) to come, and do obeisance before thy feet, and know that I have loved 10 thee. Because thou hast kept my commandment concerning patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of trial, which is about to come on all the world, to try 11 those who dwell upon the earth. I shall come quickly:: hold fast what thou hast, that no man take thy crown 12 from thee. Him that overcometh, I will make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go out no more : and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, of the new Jerusalem, which will come down out of heaven from my God; and I will 13 write upon him my new name.’ He that hath an ear, let him hear what the spirit saith to the churches. 14 “And to the angels of the church at Laodicea write: * These things saith the Amen ||, the faithful and true 15 witness, the chief of the creation of God T : I know thy
* Or, messenger.
+ Satan, the principle of opposition, personified. The synagogue of Satan are Jewish adversaries to the gospel. '
* Behold, I shall come quickly: R. T. § Or, messenger.
|| the Truth, N.
*I Or, the beginning of the creation of God. The first born of the new creation, being the first who was raised from the dead. See Col. i. 15. 18.
works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would that 16 thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art luke. warm, and neither cold nor hot, I will soon cast the 17 out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and grown wealthy, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and pitiable, and 18 poor, and blind, and naked; I counsel thee to buy of me gold purified in the fire, that thou mayest grow wealthy; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness may not appear: and to anoint thine eyes with eye-salve, that thou mayest 19 see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zea20 lous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock : if any one hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he 21 shall sup with me. To him that overcometh I will grant to sit with me on my throne; even as I also overcame, and 22 sit with my father on his throne.’ He that hath an ear, let him hear what the spirit saith to the churches.” CH. Iv. AFTER these things I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me, and saying, “Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which 2 must be hereafter.” And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was placed in heaven, and one sat 3 on the throne *. And he who sat [was] in appearance like a jasper and a sardius: and a rainbow was round 4 about the throne in appearance like an emerald. And round about the throne were twenty-four thrones: and upon the thrones I saw twenty-four elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and on their heads crowns of gold. 5 And out of the throne proceed lightnings, and thunderings, and voices. And seven lamps of fire were burning before his throne *; which are the seven spirits of God. 6 And there was before the throne as it were a lavert of glass, like crystal : and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four living creatures full of 7 eyes before and behind. And the first living creature was like a lion, and the second living creature like a steer, and the third living creature had the face of a mani, and the fourth living creature was like a flying 8 eagle. And the four living creatures had each of them six wings, which were full of eyes round about and within : and they rest not day and night, saying, “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty; that was, and is, and 9 is to come.” And when those living creatures give glory, and honour, and thanks, to Him who sat on the throne, 10 who liveth for ever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before Him who sat on the throne, and worship Him who liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns 11 before the throne, saying, “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory, and honour, and power: for thou hast created all things, and by thy will they wereș, and were created.” Ch. v. And I saw in the right hand of Him who sat on the throne a book, written within and without, sealed with 2 seven seals. And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, “Who [is] worthy to open the book, and 3 to loose the seals of it?” And none in heaven, or on the earth, or under the earth, was able to open the book,
* “We are not to imagine,” says Doddridge, “that the person sitting on the throne, [or the Lamb, ) or the twenty-four elders, or the four animals, were real beings, existing in nature; though they represented, in a figurative manner, things that did really exist. I think it—probable that all which passed was in the imagination of St. John" This observation is very just and important. The whole scenery of this vision passed in the imagination of St. John; and we can no more argue the real external existen" of such beings as angels and devils are commonly conceived to be, from their appear ance in this vision, than we can infer the real existence of a lamb with seven eyes, * * dragon with seven heads. All these visionary characters are alike symbolical of the means by which events, whether good or evil, are brought to pass under” direction of divine Piovidence.