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which Christ is pleased here to resume, and they shall live with me as sons for ever which before was given by himself, chap. i. and ever: He that overcometh, &c. 8. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning 8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the end ; to show, that as he first made and the abominable, and murderers, the world, so he was now about to put a
and whoremongers, and sorcerers, period to it, and would give to every thirsty or believing soul an everlasting life in the and idolaters, and all liars, shali new Jerusalem, which shall no more decay, have their part in the lake which than water, which is an ever-springing burneth with fire and brimstone : fountain, can be dried up.
which is the second death.
After a description given of the celestial 7 He that overcometh shall in- happiness of the righteous at the day of judgherit all things; and I will be his ment, here follows the eternally miserable God, and he shall be my son. condition of the wicked; and eight several
sorts of sinners are here summed up, who shall Observe here, 1. That our desires of hap- be excluded out of heaven, and cast into piness must be accompanied with endea- hell, namely, the fearful, such as dare not vours after it, or they will be ineffectual; own Christ, or for fear of suffering have disto thirsting in the former verse, he joins owned him, or apostatized and revolted overcoming in this verse : we must not from him; unbelievers, such especially as barely wish, but work; not only talk, but have sat under the dispensation of the gosfight: and not only fight but overcome our pel, but have rejected our Lord Jesus Christ, spiritual enemies in fighting, or we are mi- and have refused to come unto him that serable; how strong soever our desires after they might have life; the abominable, happiness may be supposed to be, without such as live in the practice of sins against proportionable endeavours we can have no nature, sodomy, and such uncleanness as good ground of hope. Observe, 2. He renders them abominable in the sight of that overcometh, that is, he that is over. God and man, Rom. i. 26.; murderers, coming, he that daily maintains the com- such as destroy either the soul, body, or bal, though he has not yet obtained a per- good name, of their neighbours, especially fect conquest over his spiritual enemies, yet persecutors ; the whore and her followers, he keeps the field with sword in hand, re- who are drunk with the blood of the saints; solving never to throw down his weapon, whoremongers of all sorts, both spiritual but to die as a conqueror, rather than be and corporal, particularly such as are guilty taken a prisoner. Observe, 3. The en- of uncleanness in a conjugal state ; sorcercouraging promise given to the conqueror, ers, such as exercise witchcraft, consult He shall inherit all things. Where note, with the devil, and trade with familiar spiThe extent and latitude of the promise, the rits; idolaters of all sorts and kinds, such enjoying all things, that is, all blessings as worship false gods, or the true God after and benefits, all joys and comforts, that are a false manner; covetous persons, who make requisite to make him perfectly and perpe. the world their god; and sensual persons, tually happy. Nole also, God's way and who make their belly their god; lastly, all manner of dispensing the mercy promised, liars, those which lie with the lip, and talk and that is, by free gift
, he shall inherit all falsely; those that lie in their lives, as all hypothings, not merit any thing; an inheritance crites do, whose practice gives their profession is gratuitum paterni amoris pignus, an thelie; those who are the inventors of the docestate freely given by the father to his chil- trine of lies, which is no better than the docdren. Observe, 4. A superadded promise, trine of devils; these, all these, shall have their I will be his God, and he shall be my son: part in the lake that burneth with fire and that is, I will give him the manifestation of brimstone, that is, in exquisite torments, his adoption before angels and men : I am and everlasting. From the whole note, 1. now his God, and he is now my son, but the How the timorous and fearful stand in the world knoweth it not; they brand my peo- front of all those vile sinners, whose ways ple for a generation of hypocrites, and some- lead down to the chambers of death and times they call in question their own sin- hell. Behold here! God's martial law excerity, and their title to the privilege of ecuted upon cowards and renegadoes, whose adoption; but at the great day I will pub- fear makes them revolt from Christ in time licly own them before angels and men, and of danger. Think of this, all you timorous make it appear that I love them as a father, and faint-hearted professors ! who cannot
bear the thought of lying in a nasty dun. description of it. "Heaven, called the New geon for owning Christ, how will you en Jerusalem, is represented by a city, with dure to lie in a lake of fire and brimstone magnificent gates and walls; and the for disowning of him! Is not the litile church, the collective body of glorified finger of an angry God heavier than the saints, is here called the Lamb's wife, esJoins of all the tyrants and persecutors in poused before, but the marriage solemnized the world? Note, 2. That although eight now. Note here, That as the earthly Jeru. sorts of sinners only are here reckoned up, salem was a type of the church militant, so yet all others who live and die impenitently the church triumphant is called the New in any known sin, besides these, of what Jerusalem, and compared to a great city for kind 'soever, are certainly included, and the multitude of its members, and styled their damnation implied also, as well as holy, because sanctity is the special qualithese: for whoever lives in the habitual fication of those who are the inhabitants of practice of any known sin, without convert. it. Note, 2. The light which is found in ing from it unto God, is certainly in a state this city; it is not compared to the light of damnation. Note lastly, That the sins of the sun, for that is attended with scorchhere mentioned must not be understood co. ing heat, nor to the light of the moon, pulatively, but disjunctively: we must not which is variable and uncertain, but to the suppose that such as are guilty of all the be- light of precious stones, which is clear and fore-mentioned sins, are the persons threat- pure, and has nothing annoying in it. Note, ened with hell-fire; but such as are with 3. The great safety and security of this allowance guilty of any one of these, or of city, and of all the citizens inhabiting any other besides these, and continuing im- therein : here is a wall great and high; penitently in them.
walls are for defence, (called mænia à
muniendo,) and the higher the wall the 9 And there came unto me one of greater the defence: God's omnipotency is the seven angels which had the as a wall, and will be an invincible bulwark seven vials full of the seven last about his saints in heaven : nothing shall plagues, and talked with me, saying, endanger them, nothing shall offend them. Come hither, I will show thee the Note, 4. Here are twelve gates for convenibride, the Lamb's wife. 10 And and to give free and easy access from all
ency of cntrance into this city on all sides, he carried me away in the spirit to a parts, cast, west, north, and south ; 10 sig. great and high mountain, and show- nify that the church in heaven will be made ed me that great city, the holy Jeru- up of persons coming from all parts, as salem, descending out of heaven Christ foretold, Matt. vii. 11. Luke xiii. from God, 11 Having the glory of 29. They shall come from the cast, &c.
and shall sit down with Abraham. The God : and her light was like unto a triumphant church is a collective body of stone most precious, even like a jas- believers of all nations, kindreds, and pecper-stone, clear as crystal ; 12 And ple, tongues and languages. Note lastly, had a wall great and high, and had That as ihe names of workmen are sometwelve gates, and at the gates twelve times set upon foundation stones, by which angels, and names written thereon, it is well known in after-ages who were the which are the names of the twelve builders; in like manner it is here intitribes of the children of Israel: 13 was founded in twelve patriarchs, so the lat
mated, that as the ancient Jewish church On the east three gates ; on the ter christian church in and by twelve apos. north three gates ; on the south tles, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corthree gates ; and on the west three ner-stone, or the foundation of both; he gates. 14 And the wall of the city being fundamentum fundans, they fundahad twelve foundations, and in them menta fundata ; teaching us that our faith the names of the twelve apostles of must be built upon the doctrine of Christ the Lamb.
and his apostles, and upon no other doc
trine whatsoever, though it has a pretended St. John having delivered, before, a ge
stamp of infallibility upon it. neral account of the saints' happiness in
15 And he that talked with me had heaven, descends here to a more particular a golden reed to measure the city,
and the gates thereof, and the wall The fifth, sardonyx ; the sixth, sarthereof. 16 And the city lieth four- dius; the seventh, chrysolite; the square, and the length is as large as eighth, beryl ; the ninth, a topas; the breadth : · And he measured the the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the city with the reed, twelve thousand eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an furlongs: The length, and the amethyst. 21 And the twelve gates breadth, and the height of it are were twelve pearls ; every several equal. 17 And he measured the gate was of one pearl ; and the wall thereof, an hundred and forty street of the city was pure gold, as and four cubits, according to the it were transparent glass. measure of a man, that is, of the
Some will have all this to signify and reangel.
present the purest state of the church here
upon earth ; but if there shall be any state Still St. John proceeds in the description on this side eternity which answereth this of the heavenly state, and the church trium- glorious representation, how much more phant in it; this is called a city, in respect will the perfect glori church in heaven of its magnificent building, comely order, fully answer it; What was said of Jerusaand invincible strength; a great city, in lem of old may be truly spoken of the New regard of its largeness and capaciousness, Jerusalem above. Psal. lxxxvii. 3. Very being full of glorified saints and angels ; and excellent things are spoken of thee, thou Jerusalem, becausc of that everlasting peace city of God: her pavement of gold, her which is there enjoyed, as the Hebrew word gaies of pearl, her walls of precious stone, signifies ; and here an account is given of denoting the durableness and permanency the measuring of this great city: we read of the saints' happiness, the delight and of its measuring before, chap. ix. but dif- satisfaction that accompany it, and the referently from its measuring now; then it splendent glory of it; as gold excels all was measured by a man, now by an angel ; metals, and is not subject to corruption, as then by an ordinary reed, now by a golden precious stones are full of splendour and reed; intimaling the transcendency of the glory, in like manner will the mansions of state of the church now to what it was before, heaven be most glorious, the conversation and representing the firmness, perfection, there pure and incorrupt, affording saints and greatness, of the New Jerusalem. Here such an entire satisfaction as entirely exnote, An observable difference in the mea.
ceeds all that the most rich and glorious suring of the church militant and o! the things of this world can afford for the grachurch triumphant: the church militant, tification of the outward senses. upon a just measure by the reed of the word is found unequal in its parts, some parts of 22 And I saw no temple therein: it are purer and better than others, but in for the Lord God Almighty, and the the New Jerusalem all parts are equal in Lamb, are the temple of it. 23 And perfection and purity; the length is as large the city had no need of the sun, neias the breadth, and the height equal to ther of the moon, to shine in it: for either : the church of Christ in heaven shall be exceeding large and great, perfect and the glory of God did lighten it, and complete, nothing shall be found irregular the Lamb is the light thereof. 24 in it, all things can there endure the measur
And the nations of them which are ing reed, and abide the exactest trial. saved shall walk in the light of it:
and the kings of the earth do bring 18 And the building of the walî their glory and honour into it. 25 of it was of jasper : and the city was And the gates of it shall not be shut pure gold, like unto clear glass. 19 at all by day: for there shall be no And the foundations of the wall of night there. 26 And they shall the city were garnished with all bring the glory and honour of the manner of precious stones. The nations into it. 27 And there shall first foundation was jasper ; the se- in no wise enter into it any thing cond, sapphire : the third, a chalce- that defileth, neither whatsoever dony: the fourth, an emerald: 20 worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in of danger, nothing that can either disthe Lamb's book of life.
turb or disquiet. Observe, 4. Who the
persons are that shall be everlastingly deObserve here, 1. St. John declares that barred the enjoyment of this happiness — all the New Jerusalem shall not want either that have defiled themselves by lust and unthose spiritual supplies or natural advan. cleanness, every person that hath not by tages which Jerusalem below stood in need holiness of heart and life separated himself of; no need of any temple there for exter- from sin and wickedness, and dedicated nal worship and ordinances which it is our himself to God and his service; nothing duty to wait upon God in here: What that defileth, nothing that worketh abomineed of an house of prayer for them that nation; no open scandalous sinner, or he want nothing to pray for? What need of that maketh a lie, shall be admitted : to ministers and ordinances, to teach them tell a lie is bad, but to make a lie is much whose knowledge is perfected ? What need worse, this is the devil's sin in a special of sacraments to remember Christ in and manner, it is his by temptation, it is his by by, when they shall always see Christ face approbation, it is his by practice, he is a to face ? Again, what need of the natural liar, and the father of lies and liars; it were light of the sun and moon, where the sun of well if our customary liars would consider it. righteousness for ever shineth, and where The sum of all is, “That without grace and God is all in all ? Happy they that enjoy holiness here, there can be no expectation him, for they enjoy all good in him and by of glory and happiness hereafter ; this fits him, he being the fountain of all goodness? at once for the employment of heaven, Observe, 2. Having thus described the city, and the enjoyments of heaven, it makes St. John next declares who shall be the ci- meet for the inheritance in light; and if we tizens, namely, the nations that are saved, have not our present fruit unto holiness, all believing Jews and converted Gentiles, our end can never be everlasting life." called elsewhere the general assembly and
CHAP. XXII. church of the first-born, which are a great multitude ; these shall be admitted into it, AND he shewed me a pure river and partake of the glory and happiness of of water of life, clear as crystal, it; and whereas it is added, that kings do proceeding out of the throne of God bring their glory and honour into it, this and of the Lamb. is not to be so understood as if there would be a distinction in heaven between kings St. John in this and the four following and subjects; no, all the saints there are verses, goes on with the description of the kings and priests unto God; neither is it heavenly Jerusalem, which he had begun meant that kings shall carry their earthly in the former chapter ; and here we have glory and honour with them into heaven; observable, 1. The city described, as havbut that kings who shall be so happy ing a clear rider running through it, and as to go thither, shall see all their hon- this of the water of life; an allusion doubt. our and glory swallowed up in the glo- less to the earthly paradise, Gen. ii. which ry and happiness of that place and state, was well watered, without which accommoand shall confess that all their crowns are dation no place can be happy; the heavenly infinitely short of the crown of glory, and paradise here, or the New Jerusalem, is said that their thrones are dunghills compared io have a pure river of water in it, denot.. with the dignity of this throne. Observe, ing the pure and unmixed joys of heaven, 3. It is declared what perfect security and and those rivers of pleasure which are at peace the saints enjoy in the New Jerusalem, God's right hand for evermore. Here is together with their glory, riches, and hap- not a well of water, but a river, not a mudpiness ; this is signified, ver. 25. The gates dy or feculent water, but clear as crystal, shall not be shut at all by day, and there not corruptible or dead, but living water, is no night to shut them in; the gates water of life. Observe, 2. The head or shall be open, to show their peaceable spring of this river declared, from whence state and secure tranquillity, without fear of ii doth arise; not from the hills, which may any hostile invasion or entry of enemies, be cut off, diverted, or dried up, but it pro. either by force or fraud; it is added, there ceeds out of the throne of God and of the shall be no night there, either in a literal Lamb, and therefore can no more fail than
a metaphorical sense, no darkness, God and Christ can sail; no river can fail, no interruption of happiness, nor fear unless the spripgs that feed it fail; the saints
893 in heaven shall be refreshed with such con- least decay, to all eternity : thus are the solations as flow from the Father, Son, and leaves of this tree for the healing of the Holy Spirit, and their comforts cannot fail nations. until they fail. He showed me a pure river, &c. proceeding out of the throne of
3 And there shall be no more God.
curse : but the throne of God and of
the Lamb shall be in it ; and his 2 In the midst of the street of it, servants shall serve him : 4 And and on either side of the river, was they shall see his face ; and his there the tree of life, which bare name shall be in their foreheads. twelve manner of fruits, and yielded 5 And there shall be no night there : her fruit every month : and the and they need no candle, neither leaves of the tree were for the heal- light of the sun ; for the Lord God ing of the nations.
giveth them light : and they shall Note here, 1. That as there was a river
reign for ever and ever. and a tree of life in the terrestrial paradise, St. John has not yet done with this coso in allusion thereunto both are said to be pious description of the New Jerusalem, in the heavenly paradise ; behold here a but here he closes it by doing these two tree of such vast proportion and extent, that things. 1. He shows what shall not be its branches extend to both sides, that all found there : there shall be no curse, no may receive benefit by it ; who can this accursed person, or accursed thing, no sin, agree with but Jesus Christ, who is called a
nor any thing sinful, that deserves the curse; tree of life, because from him we have our and there shall be no night there, no natural, our spiritual, and our eternal life? darkness of ignorance or error, or darkness from this tree do bud forth all the fruits of of affliction, temptation, or desertion, no grace and comfort, and that for all seasons night of natural darkness, no night of spiand conditions. In Christ, 1. Our souls ritual darkness, much less of eternal darkhave all necessaries for food and physic, ness, which is the portion of the wicked : Its leaves are for healing, as well as its farther, there shall be no need of natural fruits for food. 2. All variety of fruits, light, the light of the sun ; no need of articalled here twelve manner of fruits, that ficial light, the light of a candle; no need is, variety of graces, and comforts of all of the spiritual light of the word and ordisorts. 3. In him are these fruits at all nances, all which shall then and there cease. times : this tree bears fruit every month, 2. He shows what there shall be there, namewinter fruits as well as summer fruits, even ly, 1. The throne of God and the Lamb, in the black month of sickness and death. that is, the glorious and everlasting presence Christ'is continually distributing of his di- of God and Christ, as on a throne of royal vine fulness to the satisfaction of his people; majesty, insomuch that the name of the he is all in all, in the enjoyment of mercy; city may be Jehovah Shammah, the Lord he is all in all, in the want of mercy; he is is there. 2. It is added, that his servants all, in order to his people's salvation, and he shall serve him, that is, the glorious angels is all in their glorification. Quest. But will and glorified saints shall continually stand there be any need either of food or physic before him, and administer unto him, not in heaven > if not, what need of the fruits of spend their eternity in a perpetual gazing this tree for food, or of its leaves for heal. upon God, but executing his commands, ing? Answ. We cannot suppose that in obeying him with vigour, praising him with the heavenly state there will be any want cheerfulness, loving him above measure, either of meat or medicines, any hunger that fearing him without torment, trusting him shall require food, or any sickness to stand without despondency, serving him without in need of physic; but as food and physic lassitude and weariness, without interruption are the instrumental means of the preserva- or distraction, praising God, and singing tion of natural life, without which it will eternal hallelujah's to the Lamb for ever certainly and suddenly decay ; In like and ever. 3. is declared that they shall manner our Lord Jesus Christ doth not see God's face, which imports fruition as only give spiritual life unto his people, but well as vision of him, togeiher with a sweet he is the conserving cause of it, he doth and satisfactory delectation in him. St. maintain, and will preserve it, without the Matt. v. 8. Heb. xii. 14. Blessed are the