Imagini ale paginilor
PDF
ePub

eous, let him be righteous still; and he that is holy, let him be holy still."

From these words, we may see the mercy and goodness of our bounteous Creator, in giving us the book of Revelation of his will by Jesus Christ. In it is shown the way of life, immortality, and endless happiness, and also the ways of sin and death. Therefore, the sayings of it are not to be sealed up. Reason he has given unto us; freedom of will is given unto us; thus if we walk in the way of life, we are sure of his aid and assistance. But if we continue in sin, the fault is our own; the Spirit will not always strive with man.—Gen. 6: 3. Therefore, let him who is desirous to be unjust, be unjust still; and he that is delighted in filth, let him be filthy still; and he who hath pleasure in holiness and righteousness, let him be holy and righteous without wavering; and he who finds comfort in heavenly-mindedness, let him persevere therein unto the end.

Verse 12: "And behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be." In order to convince us of the danger of a sinful life, and to encourage a life of holiness, we are shown, in this verse, how cautiously we ought to act. Our life, at best, is but a span; the hour of death is coming on apace. We know not the time, but we know that there is neither work nor device in the grave, whither we are all hastening.-Eccl. 9 10. Therefore, let us be wise unto salvation, and give no sleep to our eyes nor slumber to our eyelids, till by sincere repentance of our sins, and faith unfeigned in the Lord Jesus Christ, we are prepared to meet our God with serenity and holy boldness.

Verse 13: "I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last."

Verse 14: "Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city."

In these two verses, the prophet shows us,

First, that there is a great First Cause, whose existence is from eternity to eternity.

Second, that this great and eternal Being has given us his laws and commandments.

Third, the blessed state of those who obey his command

ments.

Fourth, that these laws are the gates or entrances into the holy city of the living God, where his saints may have a right to the tree or law of life, and reign with him for ever and ever.

Verse 15: "For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie." From these words, we may observe,

First, the estimation in which those are held who live without the boundaries or limits of this divine and holy law.

Second, that all such obstinate sinners cannot enter the gates of this city, or inherit eternal life.

Verse 16: "I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star." This verse presents to the mind many considerations; the principal of which are the following:

First, God's loving kindness and tender mercy to fallen man, by sending his beloved Son into the world to die for us, and also to show us the way of salvation.

Second, it reminds us of the promises concerning the Redeemer, through all the Old Testament.

Third, it is a convincing proof of the glory which he hath with the Father, as Mediator.

Fourth, by his power and advocacy with God, he sent his angel or spiritual gift to John, in order to have these things testified in the churches.

Fifth, it proves the Mediator's care and concern for the spiritual welfare of the churches.

Sixth, Christ being the root and offspring of David, shows his kingly state, and that none but he has a right to rule and govern the churches.

Seventh, the Redeemer being the star, shows his willingness to guide the eternal day.

bright and morning churches to glory or

Eighth, that any mortal assuming this prerogative is an Antichrist.

Verse 17" And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely." Here are a variety of invitations to come to the fountain of salvation and inherit eternal life.

First, the Spirit invites, for God willeth not the death of sinners.

Second, the bride or true church espoused to Jesus Christ, invites all to join with them and be saved.

Third, and let him that heareth and understandeth the gospel, say to his fellow mortals, Come and partake of all the blessings purchased for you by the blood of our glorious Redeemer.

Fourth, let him that is athirst come to that pure river, whose waters spring up to eternal life.—John 4: 14.

Fifth, and whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely. Thus we see what a powerful invitation is given to lost sinners, by the free grace of God through Christ Jesus.

Verse 18: "For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:

""

Verse 19: "And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book." This wonderful book is to stand on record forever.

It can

receive no addition without incurring the wrath of God, its author; neither can any part be taken away. The eternal Father, having revealed his will to his Son, the Son of his love, sent and signified it by divine inspiration to his faithful disciple and servant John. Its veracity, therefore, cannot be doubted. It contains the very essence of true Christianity, the faith of the primitive church. Its prophetic parts are so exactly calculated as to time, place and circumstances, as to become the wonder and admiration of mankind: and time will make it more so. It is a treasure of divine knowledge, and a barrier against deism and infidelity, and which will ere long completely overthrow them. It is written in such characters that neither heathen, papal, nor other enemies, could understand them.

John, in his usual modesty of style, claims no merit for writing this book. On the contrary, he repeatedly assures us that he did it by divine command, and that they are the sayings of God.

The right exercise of reason, aided by revelation, will, I am fully convinced, before this century ends, manifest the great purpose that God had in view in giving us this perfect revelation of his will. At present, that part of mankind who call themselves Christian, are mad and distracted, and the nations are angry with each other. But it is still darkest just before the dawn of day. Thus it was before the deluge, when men became corrupt before God, and filled the earth with violence. Thus it was before the light of the gospel shone forth into the world, and instructed mankind in the knowledge of divine truth. Thus it was before the glimmering light of the Reformation appeared, and partially disclosed the enormities of popery.

At present, Christendom is corrupt, and filled with violence and blood. The pernicious mists of covetousness and ambition, with their evil influences, have overspread it, and kept from us those rays of celestial light which the gospel

affords. That light that enlighteneth every man that cometh into the world, now shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehendeth it not. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men love darkness rather than light, because their deeds are evil.―John 3: 19.

Thus evil deeds and wilful ignorance have brought on the. calamities that have desolated Europe. When these severe judgments are ended, the Christian world will renounce its errors, and millennial light will begin to dawn upon it.

Verse 20: "He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly: Amen. Even so, come, Lurd Jesus." By considering these words we shall find,

First, an additional proof of the Redeemer's power, in that quickly may he require our souls, and call us up to his judgment seat, to receive a reward according to the deeds done in the body.

[ocr errors]

Second, that a strong resignation to divine will is here expressly recommended, let our situation in life be what it may -either in prosperity or adversity, in tribulation, and afflic tion, and persecution, and sickness, at all times - we should be ready to say, in the sublime words of the prophet, " Even so, Lord Jesus."

66

To conclude, this holy and faithful apostle and prophet, after having left on record the word and will of God, for our instruction and salvation after having shown us the attributes and perfections of the eternal Jehovah, and his merciful interposition in behalf of his fallen creature, man, by the Lord Jesus Christ—after having made known the Re deemer's power in opening the seals and shewing the strait and narrow way to eternal life, and the broad way to sin and death — after showing the various ways by which the gospel would be sounded to mankind, and the fatal errors that would be established by the false sounds of it — after shewing the three woes which these erroneous doctrines occasioned, and the vials of God's wrath in consequence

« ÎnapoiContinuă »