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author has corrected ; and though the work is not all he could desire, it will yet be found a substan. tial summary of his discourses on the Apocalypse.
Already £130 and upwards have been realized by the sale of these Lectures, which the author has devoted to the Church Building Fund ; and by means of this sum, and another placed in his hands, he has paid for every thing in the shape of ornament, such as it is, in the Church in Crown Court, and thus the donations of the congregation have been expended exclusively for the mere enlargement of the building.
It is the earnest prayer of the Lecturer that these and all his labours may redound to the glory of God, and to the good of souls.
The author takes this opportunity of stating, that during the present year he will publish, on the first of each month, one or more Lectures illustrative of the other interesting portions of the Apocalypse, which he had not time to take
in Exeter Hall.
I. “ The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to
show unto His servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by His angel unto his servant John: who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw. Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this
prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein : for the time is at hand.'
REVELATION i. 1-3. The members of my own congregation may recollect that some time
ago I began a series of addresses, explanatory of the structure, the principles, and the objects of the Apocalypse. I then stated, what I tell you now, that in these expositions I shall produce little that is original, less that is brilliant—but I trust much that is really profitable. A great deal has been written upon this book ; much very foolishly—more very rashly-nothing, however, in vain ; but recently, and especially in the pages of Mr. Elliott's Hora Apocalypticæ, one of the ablest productions on this subject, increased light has been reflected on the pages of the book of Revelation. I tell you candidly, that I shall beg and borrow from the book of Mr. Elliott all I can; and I ask you not to acquiesce in his interpretation, because he is a learned man, nor in my opinion, because I agree with him ; but receive only what seems to you to be the just exposition of the words of the Holy Spirit of God.
The name applied to this book is instructive, though I must say not a few Christians practically interchange it with another name of opposite import. The first half of the one name is like that of the other in sound—but the whole meaning of the one is diametrically opposite to that of the other. One is the Apocrypha, which means what is hidden—the other is the Apocalypse, which means what is revealed and made known. The Apocrypha is the title given to those books which are adopted by the Church of Rome, of human origin, and of no value in deciding what is truth ; the Apocalypse is the name of the Divine and inspired book, made known to John in Patmos. On the Apocrypha I am silent, or speak only to condemn it: on the Apocalypse I would that I were far more learned and eloquent, in order that I might adequately illustrate and recommend it.
The words which are rendered in our version-"the Revelation of Jesus Christ,” have been misapprehended. It does not mean the revelation made by Jesus Christ, but the revelation of Jesus Christ himself. In other words, it does not mean Christ the revealer, but Christ the revealed; a revelation, or apocalypse, or portrait of Christ, which was communicated by Christ to John the seer in Patmos. And that I am correct in this interpretation will be plain, I think, to your comprehension, from passages where the original word occurs; and the word apocalypse occurs very frequently in Scripture, but uphappily, in our admirable translation justly the subject of almost universal eulogy—there is a change of rendering, though there be none in the original. For instance: in the First Epistle to the Corinthians, the first chapter, at the seventh verse, it is in our version—"So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Now in the original it is "waiting for the apocalypse of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Again : in the Second Epistle to the Thessalonians, the first chapter, at the seventh verse, you will find another rendering, but it is still the same original word: “And to you who are troubled, rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven." It is, literally translated—“in the apocalypse of the Lord Jesus Christ from heaven." Again: in the First Epistle of St. Peter, the first chapter, and the seventh verse, and also at the thirteenth verse, we meet with the same word, but again differently translated. And here I may remark how great a pity it is that the same word should be the subject of a variety of translations. If it had been translated in one way throughout the New Testament, it would have made the beauty and the force of the meaning of the Spirit of God evolve more vividly. We read, in the First Epistle of Peter, the first chapter, and the seventh verse“ That it might be found unto praise, and honour, and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.” In the original it is"in the apocalypse,” in the revelation of Jesus Christ.” . And in the thirteenth verse of the same chapter-"Gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” Here again it is in the original—" in the apocalypse of Jesus Christ.” And in all these passages it means, not a disclosure, or revelation, or manifestation made by Christ, but made concerning or of Christ. In other words, the title of this book is not Christ the revealer, but Christ the revealed ; and this revelation of Christ, we are told, was also given by Christ to John His servant, in the Isle of Patmos.
This book, then, is an inspired portrait of the Son of God; it is, if I may use the expression, the epiphany of Jesus—the full description of His personal glory, to which prophets and martyrs looked forward with waiting hope--an apocalypse so brilliant that the sight of the Jew was dazzled by its distant splendour, so much so that he could not see the intervening valleys of Gethsemane and Calvary, through which Christ had to pass, in order to emerge and inherit His predestined glory. Very beautifully, therefore, the book begins—“Behold, He cometh with clouds, and every eye shall see Him ;” and very appropriately this book closes" Surely, I come quickly, Amen. Even so come, Lord Jesus.” It begins with His advent, and ends with it. That sublime, sustaining, and precious hope is in the eye of the holy seer, when he sat down to receive and record its bright visions, and the same hope is in his eye when he kneels down at the close and cries—"Come, Lord Jesus." He had seen and leaned on the bosom of the Sufferer, and he longs to see and reign with his risen and glorified King. May we also sympathize with him, "Whom having not seen, may we love; and in whom, though now we see Him not, yet believing, may we rejoice with joy unspeakable, and full of glory.
The distinction between the revelation of Christ in the Apocalypse, and the revelation of Christ in the Gospels, is briefly this : the Gospels represent Christ the sufferer-the Apocalypse depicts Christ the conqueror. The Gospels detail “ His agony, His cross, His passion, His bloody sweat,” – the Apocalypse describes His throne, His “many crowns,” and prostrate saints adoring and saying—“Unto Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in His blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto our God, to Him be glory and honour and blessing.”. In the Gospels we see the shadow of the cross, deep, dark, and palpable to all—in the Apocalypse we behold the lustre of the crown shining forth in unearthly brilliancy. In the Gospels we have Christ a priest at the altar-in the Apocalypse we see Christ a King upon His throne; in the one we have Christ in the robes of Aaron-in the other we have Christ in the royalties of David ; in the first we behold Christ the sacrificing priest, the atoning victim-in the second we discover Christ with the “ many crowns” upon
His head, “Lord of lords, and King of kings.” Thus, then, the Gospels reveal Christ amid the associations of Calvary -the Apocalypse reveals Christ with all the accompaniments of glory ; each in its place, each for its object, is the revelation, or the apocalypse of Christ.
The language in the passage I have selected for exposition, discourages and discountenances the very popular, but I humbly conceive very erroneous idea,—that we are not to study, and that we cannot possibly become acquainted with things predicted, but not yet performed. Most men say, 'Things performed we may study and improve ; but things predicted we have nothing to do with, except to lay them aside on the shelf, and wait till their actual performance casts its light upon them, and thus shapes the dim prophecy into history. But certainly this idea is not sanctioned in the passage I have selected for exposition ; for this revelation was sent to Christ's servant John, “to show unto His servants things that shall come to pass.” It does not read thus—" to show unto his servant John," but “ to show unto His servants ;” the word is in the plural number ; that is, to all Christians. To show them what? Not merely the things which have already