Auence us to act contrary thereunto; for the Jews shall be converted, and there shall if we will do as the most do, we must be follow a quiet and peaceable state of the contented to go where the nrost go, even church for a long time, styled here a thouinto the lake of fire burning with brim- sand years ; during which time Satan shall stone.

be bound, and there shall be no molestaCHAP. XX.

tion from him. From the whole learn,

That be the devil never so devilish, Christ AND I saw

an angel come down has power 10 overpower bim. Christ has from heaven, having the key of a great chain in his hand to bind Satan : the bottomless pit and a great chain intimating, that how mighty and malicious in his hand. 2 And he laid hold soever Satan is, Christ has him as a dog in on the dragon, that old serpent,

a chain. But observe a little, how Christ's which is the devil, and Satan, and power meets with and masters Satan's pow. bound him a thousand years,

er : the devil carries power in his name, 3

he is called a dragon; in his nature, as And cast him into the bottomless being an angel ; in his numbers, which pit, and shut him up, and set a seal are numberless : but Christ overpowereth upon him, that he should deceive the him, so that he cannot do his own will nations no more, till the thousand without him; he bound him in the execuyears should be fulfilled : and after tion of his malice, though his malice be that he must be loosed a little sea. chain, in a chain of justice, and in a chain

boundless. Satan is bound in a double son.

of providence; he cannot move a foot This chapter begins with a fresh and glo- either to tempt or trouble us, without a rious vision which St. John had of an an- permission froin Christ. gel's descending from heaven, to bind Satan for a thousand years; and herein we

4 And I saw thrones, and they have observable, 1. The person binding, sat upon them, and judgment was the angel of the covenant, Christ Jesus (for given unto them : and I saw the he only has the keys of the bottomless souls of them that were beheaded of hell, and of death, Reo. i. 18). This for the witness of Jesus, and for the angel is here said to come down from hea. word of God, and which had not ven, and with a great chain in his hand, denoting his omnipotent power and so

worshipped the beast, neither bis

received his vereignty over Satan, and his ability to re- image, neither had strain him. Observe, 2. The person bound, mark upon their foreheads, or in Satan; where mark, that he is set forth here their hands ; and they lived and by five names, he is called the Dragon, reigned with Christ a thousand the Serpent, the Old Serpent, the Devil, and Satan. And nole, Christ's power is

years. set forth in as many terms as the devil has These words are conceived to set forth litles, he is said to lay hold on him, to bind the glorious and happy condition of the him, to cast him into the bottomless pit, to church of Christ here on earth, during the shut him in, or seal him up for a thousand time of Satan's restraint ; and the term of years, that is, to restrain him and render a thousand years, shows that will be the him incapable of doing such mischief to the longest happy condition that ever the miworld as he had done before. Observe, 3. litant church enjoyed, for purity of ordiWhat we are to understand by Christ's bind- nances, for increase of light and knowledge

, ing Satan : some thereby do understand for the power of godliness, for the abun, Christ's overthrowing the power of the devil dance of professors, for the more open and in the heathen world ; his casting down public profession of christianity, for outthose strong holds of Satan, to wit, igno- ward freedom and peace, and all this for a rance, superstition, idolatry, and lying ora- long continuance of time ; which happy. cles, by the light and power of the gospel, state and condition is here set forth by preached among the Gentiles; his curbing of thrones, showing the saints' dignity and do. Satan, that he should no more cozen the world minion over their enemies. And whereas with heathenish delusions as he had done. St. John says, he saw the souls of martyrs Others understand this binding of Satan 10 who had shed their blood for Christ, the be after the destruction of antichrist ; when meaning, say some, is, he saw them in their successors of the same faith, those 5 But the rest of the dead lived pious christians which should at that time not again until the thousand years live, and in their principles and practices

This is the first are like the holy martyrs ; these shall then resurrection. 6 Blessed and holy is

were finished. enjoy a more quiet, happy, and comfortable state, during this time, than the ser. he that hath part in the first resurvants of God enjoyed at any time before. rection : on such the second death Yet observe farther, That this glorious con- hath no power, but they shall be dition of the church is not absolute, but priests of God and of Christ, and comparative only, both in respect of pu: shall reign with him a thousand rity, and in respect of peace; for whilst the church is on this side heaven, there will

years. be both corruptions within, and tempta- By the rest of the dead, understand the tions without : hypocrites there will be, and subdued enemies of the church in their sucoffences will come, though freedom from cessors, who are said to be dead politically, all these will at that time be more than in respect of their outward condition, usual ; yet taking up the cross, and being which will now be very low : they lived conformed to Christ in his sufferings, will not again a political life ; that is, they did be duties belonging to saints whilst the not regain or recover that power to perse. world endares Observe lastly, That yet cute the church, which once they had, but there is no ground from hence to expect are now divested of in great measure, Christ's personal reign upon earth, or his namely, until the thousand years are finishcorporal presence with his church here : fored; then they shall have liberty again to it is not said that he reigned with them, vent their enmity against the church, joinbut that they reigned with him; denoting ing with Gog and Magog, as their prede.' that this kingdom is spiritual, consisting in cessors, the worshippers of the beast, did purity and peace, in righteousness and joy, combine together before them. This is in the Holy Ghosl... As to a personal reign the first resurrection, that is, the living of Christ then with his people here on again of the saints, in that glorious manner earth, it scems not probable, because the before described, in holy societies, with scripture is silent of it, and joins Christ's greater degrees of purity and peace. Learn, personal coming and the day of judgment That the reformation of the church, after together. Besides, were Christ personally the ruin of its Pagan and Papal enemies, upon earth, how should we enjoy him, and is as a splendid and glorious resurrection to converse with him? It is impossible we her : and accordingly such as are sharers in should enjoy a glorified Christ until our this political resurrection are pronounced bodies be spiritualized, which they will ne- blessed ; Blessed and holy is he that hath ver be until they get to heaven. Once part in the first resurrection, that is, more, What will become of the saints dur- blessed are they that shall have their lot to ing these thousand years of Christ's sup- live in this happy time, when the means posed presence with them? Either they of holiness will more abound, and the meawill live all that thousand years, which is sures of holiness be more extensive and uni. not rational to suppose,) or they will die in versal. The second death shall never affect that time; if they die, and go to heaven, them : everlasting misery shall be escaped they will go from Christ, and not to him, of them; and they shall be priests unto and must for a time be absent from him, God, to offer up, not expiatory, but gratu. instead of being for ever with him; and latory, sacrifices of prayer and praise unto doubtless heaven will be a melancholy and as the priesthood is spiritual, so place, if Christ be out of it. The sum then is the kingdom also. They shall reign is this, " That the saints living and reign- spiritually over their lusts and corruptions, ing with Christ, holds forth the flourishing and have greater power to overcome leinpcondition of the church militant : the ex- tations, and this for a thousand years ; that pression of sitting upon thrones, speaks an is, during the time of their living here, in honourable condition that the hurch will

that part of the happy millennium in which be certainly in, after the downfall of anti- they shall live, they shall in that time en: christ; and the term of a thousand years, joy a more holy, happy, peaceful, and shows it will be the longest happy condi- Aourishing condition, than the church of tion that ever the church enjoyed.” God God did ever so long enjoy in former times. Almighty hasten that desirable time. -Some will have all this to be understood

him ;

concerning a spiritual resurrection from the lian church before his last and fatal overgrave of sin to a life of holiness and grace; throw. Observe lastly, That after the deover such indeed the second death or ever. Struction of these agents and instruments of lasting misery shall have no power : but Satan's fury, his own full and final destructhough this may be alluded to, yet a politi- tion is declared ; which may be called his cal, not a spiritual, resurrection seems here second imprisonment in that lake of fire 10 be principally intended.

and brimstone, which is both easeless and

endless, there to keep company with the 7 And when the thousand years beast and false prophet to all eternity. Be. are expired, Satan shall be loosed hold here the deceiver and the deceived out of his prison, 8 And shall go plagued together ; the devil that deceived, out to deceive the nations which are and the beast and false prophet that were in the four quarters of the earth, deceived by him, and were his instruments Gog and Magog, to gather them to- lake of fire, to be tormented for ever

. Sa

to deceive others, are cast together into the gether to battle ; the number of tan was indeed condemned to this before

, whom is as the sand of the sea. 9 and reserved thereunto, but the actual and And they went up on the breadth of final execution thereof is suspended until the earth, and compassed the camp the end come. of the saints about, and the beloved

11 And I saw a great white throne, city: and fire came down from God and him that sat on it, from whose out of heaven, and devoured them. face the earth and the heaven fled 10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and for them. 12 And I saw the dead,

away; and there was found no place brimstone, where the beast and the small and great, stand before God; false prophet are, and shall be tor- and the books were opened: and mented day and night for ever and another book was opened, which is ever.

the book of life : and the dead were Observe here, 1. A prophetical prediction, judged out of those things which that when the long time of the church's were written in the books, accordliberty and peace shall be expired, which is ing to their works. 13 And the sea here expressed and set forth under the no- gave up the dead which were in it; tion of a thousand years ; God will then and death and hell delivered up tbe take off his restraint from ihe devil, and he dead which were in them: and they shall influence the wicked world once more to make opposition against his church : were judged every man according to When the thousand years are expired, their works. 14 And death and Satan shall be looscd' out of his prison. hell were cast into the lake of fire. Behold here Satan's restless malice against This is the second death. 15 And mankind, and particularly against the church whosoever was not found written in of Christ. Observe next, That Satan is the book of life was cast into the first said to deceive the nations, and then lake of fire. to gather them together to the battle against the saints : the same saints, either in their Here is another vision which St. John persons or in their successors, who did for- saw, namely, a lively representation of the merly reign, will now suffer

. But by great day of judgment, when all, both whom? Gog and Magog : where is pro. good and bad, that ever lived, shall be bably an allusion to these two names men- raised and sentenced according to their tioned often in the Old Testament, who works : the state of the wicked is set forth were the last enemies of the Jewish church in this chapter, and the happy condition of before Christ's first coming. In like man. the righteous in heaven gloriously described ner the last enemies of the christian church in the iwo next chapters. Observe here, are here set forth by that name, who shall 1. The judge described as sitting upon a be utterly destroyed a little before Christ's throne, or seat of judgment; a throne, to second coming to judgment. Satan with denote that this judge is a king ; and a all his united power, and combined force, white throne, 10 denote the purity and will attempt the whole body of the chris- righteousness of this judge; and a great white throne, because erected for a great every man's work at the great day; acJudge, and for a great service, namely, the cording to the nature and quality of the judging of the whole world. Observe, 2. wicked man's works shall his judginent and The dreadful majesty and glorious power of punishment be; according to the sincerity, this judge declared, that neither heaven nor not according to the imperfection, of the earth are able to abide his presence, but are righteous man's works, shall his reward be. said to flee away, and that there was no God grant that the consideration of this place found for them. Observe, 3. The may so far influence us, that no profit may persons judged are here described, and that, tempt us, no pleasure entice us, no power 1. By their condition and qualification, all embolden us, no privacy encourage us, to the dead, both small and great ; all that do that thing, of which we cannot give a ever lived, and all that shall then be found good account in the day of judgment. alive. 2. By their posture, they stand be

CHAP. XXI. fore the judge, whilst he sits to show his authority. 3. By the manner of proceed. In the conclusion of the foregoing chapter St. John ing, which is represented as being after the had a vision of the day of judgment, and the exform of well-ordered judicatories here on

ecution of the sentence on the wicked was briefly

declared and set down : in this chapter he has & earth; wherein the books are produced, vision of the New Jerusalem, the holy city, out namely, the book of God's omniscience,

of which all the wicked are excluded, and the ex

cellences thereof are more largely insisted upon, and the book of conscience, the book of for the consolation of the righteous; concerning the law, and the book of the gospel. They

which he thus speaks : that had not the written law, shall be judg. ed by the law of nature ; they that had the AND I saw a new heaven and a

new earth : for the first heaven written law are to be judged by that; and they that had the gospel, 10 be judged by and the first earth were passed away; that; and every one according io their and there was no more sea. 2 And works. Observe, 4. The execution of the I John saw the holy city, new Jerusasentence of this great judge upon the wick- lem, coming down from God out of ed and impenitent world; they are cast heaven, prepared as a bride adorned into the lake of fire, which is the second for her husband. death. From the whole learn, 1. That it is certain that there shall, and necessary that By the new heaven and the new earth there should, be a day of judgment. 2. here, all understand a new state and face of That in that day there will be no exemp- the church ; but some apply it to the state of tion of any persons from the examination the church 'militant here upon earth, and of the judge. I saw all the dead, small others to the state of the church triumphant and great, stand before God. 3. That in heaven. Accordingly they take the new Jesus Christ, called here God, (which heaven and the new carth to be the effect of clearly proves his deity,) shall come in the that great change which shall be made by clouds to judge the world ; and will then fire at the universal conflagration; and they be found such a judge as the riches of the are called new, not so much in regard to wealthiest cannot bribe; such a judge as substance, as in respect of qualities, being the power of the mightiest cannot daunt; now for nature more stable, and for beauty such a judge as the subtilty of the wisest more glorious. Quest. But what use shall cannot elude ; such a judge as there is no there be of this new heaven and new earth ? appealing from, no repealing of, his sen- and who shall dwell therein ? Answ. We lence. Learn, 4. Thai as ihe same person cannot tell, but must rest satisfied with what shall be judged, who formerly lived, so in God has told us, that therein shall dwell the same bodies that died, and were either righteousness ; that it shall be a standing buried in the earth, or consumed in the sea. monument of God's power and greatness. The sea gave up her dead; by which un- It is added, that the first heaven and the derstand all places, though attended with first earth were passed away: not by annever so many improbable circumstances nihilation, but by a qualitative mutation. of a resuriection, shall yet give up the dead. And no more sea ; that is, say some, as Death and hell, thai is, death and the it was before, turbulent, changeable, subgrave, gave up the dead which were in ject 10 corruption and vanity ; say others, them ; that is, by the power of God were no more troublesome state of things, which made to restore them. Learn, 5. That the is oft.times signified by the sea.

A new sentence denounced will be according to and glorious state of ihings was undoubt

edly here designed relating to the church. freed from. All sorrow, and all the causes Observe next, The character St. John gives of sorrow, shall be removed; they shall of the glorious state of the church trium- have no outward occasion, nor inward disphant, ver. 2. He compares her, 1. To a position to weep: there shall be no more beautiful city, for amplitude and largeness, death, but immortality and eternal life ; nor for compact structure, and for commodious any more pain or sickness, but pleasure for habitation ; she is called holy, because no evermore.

Lord! what a sovereign cordial unclean thing can enter into her, and be- is this against all our present sorrows and cause that holiness shall there be perfected sufferings ! to consider the time is at hand which was here begun. 2. To an adorned when all tears shall be wiped from our eyes, bride; no spouse on her so all sorrows, and the causes of sorrow, banadorned as she was. The church in heaven ished from our hearts, and everlasting joys is so called, to denote her dignity, and the shall possess our souls, and we shall be with love which Christ bears to her, and the de- our Lord for ever, to obey bim with vigour, light which he takes in her, which is so to praise him with cheerfulness, to love him continual, as if it were always a wedding- above measure, to fear him without torment, day; and she is adorned for him, and to serve him without interruption or disadorned by him, with spiritual beauty and traction, and be perfectly like unto him, glory, and perfection of grace.

as well in holiness as in happiness, as well

in purity as in immortality ! 3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven, saying, Behold, the taber

5 And he that sat upon the throne nacle of God is with men, and he said, Behold, I make all things new, will dwell with them, and they shall And he said unto me, Write ; for be his people, and God himself shall these words are true and faithful. be with them, and be their God. 4

6 And he said unto me, It is done. And God shall wipe away all tears I am Alpha and Omega, the beginfrom their eyes ; and there shall be ning and the end. I will give unto no more death, neither sorrow, nor him that is athirst, of the fountain of crying, neither shall there be any the water of life freely. more pain : for the former things are passed away.

Note here, 1. How these new heavens and

new earth come to be effected and made, Observable is that variety of expressions namely, by the omnipotent power of Christ, which the Holy Ghost here makes use of, Behold, I make all things new; a good are to set forth the excellency of the church tri- gument to encourage us to go unto Christ umphant by. I. She is blessed with God's by prayer for renewing grace. Surely he immediate presence and abode, of which that makes new heavens can make new the tabernacle was a sign ; the Lord mani- hearts; he that renews an old world, can festing himself in heaven unto his saints in renew us in the spirit of our minds, and a more immediate way than ever he did make old things pass away, and cause all unto them here on earth. The tabernacle things to become new. Next he commands of God is with men ; and to show the per- St. John to write, that these words set manency of this privilege, it is added, He down here, and throughout this prophecy, shall dwell with them ; after an inhabita- are true and faithful. We see then that tion here by grace, shall follow a cohabita- the holy scriptures were written at the Lord's tion hereafter in glory. Next it is said, They command, and therefore from him they do shall be his people, and he will be their derive their authority. Observe, 2. The God; which must not be so understood as word of assurance here uttered by Christ, if that relation did now begin between them, for the confirmation of what he had before but the comfort of that relation is now per- declared and promised, He said unto me, fectly understood, and they reap the com. It is done ; signifying thereby, that it is as plete advantage of that covenant-promise, certain as if it was already done; namely, whose sweetness they did only taste before. whatever he had promised relating to his 2. Having described the positive good church's happiness, and all that he had which the triumphant church shall eternally threatened relating to her enemies' destrucrest in; St. John next sets forth the primi- tion; let not the church then at any time tive evils which they shall everlastingly be stagger in her faith. Observe, 3. The title

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