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Ver. 11. He that hath an ear.] See note, ch. ii. 7.
Ib. Second death.] For an explanation of the expression, “ he who overcometh,” see note, ch. ii. 7. To the spiritual conqueror, in that passage, immortal life is promised; but it is here inferred that he must not expect to approach to it otherwise than through the passage of death, which is the common lot of man by the divine sentence*; and by which the “ Captain of Salvation, the Lord of Life,” himself passed to victory. This is the first death. But beyond the grave, (where death, in the common acceptation of the word, can no more prevail,) is the second death; not only a total extinction of all our pleasurable feelings, and of all our hopes of happiness, but an ever-during sense of this extinction, “ where the worm dieth not, and the “ fire is not quenched.” To death, in this secondary sense, our Saviour frequently alludes. “He that " believeth in me shall never die, o un arobavy ELS TOU alwve, shall pot die for ever t; Jolin xi. 26; see also John viii, 51, x, 28: in which passages it is clear from the context, that our Lord did never intend to exempt his followers from the first death, or common passage through the grave I for, this kind of death, by the victory of our Lord, being disarmed of its sting; being deprived of the power of retaining “the soul in hell;” being to the good Christian only a short passage to immortality ;-is expressed by the gentle term sleep. “Our friend Lazarus sleepeth.” And again, “The “ maid is not dead, but sịcepeth S.” And we are exhorted by our Saviour not to be afraid of this first death, “ of them that kill the body,” but of Him who can inflict the second death, “who is able to destroy “ both soul and body in hell;" in that very lake of fire which is described as the second death in Rev. xx. 14, and xxi. 8. which two passages will be found to elucidate the sense of this expression, “the second " death,” as used in the Apocalypse *
Gen. iii. 19,
+ So translated by Dr. Clarke, 1 John xii. 25. Matt. x. 28.
§ Matt. ix. 24. John xi. 11, 13. i Cor. xi. 30. xv. 6, 18, 51. 1 Thess. iv. 14, 15, Rom. iv. 17. Matt. xxvii. 52. Luke xx. 36, 37, 38, This metaphorical application of the word sleep, so useful to divest
death of its terrors, continued long in popular use with the Christian world. Prudentius, speaking of the Christian bodies deposited in graves, says,
es non mortua, sed data sonino ;"
not dead, but sleeping. And so says Tertullian : Neque ipsi mortui sumus, qui Deo vivimus, neque mortuos sepelimus, quia et illi vivunt in Christo. (Tertull. de Monog. cap. vii. ad fin.) Hence the place of Christian burial was called xoruningsor, cæmeterium, sleeping-place.—The lofty heathen writers, who could promise to their readers no such resurrection of the body, called the death of the good ingov iti vor (Homer) ; which noble expression probably gave rise to that beautiful epitaph, ascribed to Callimachus :
Τηδε Σαων και Δικωνος Ακανθιος ιερον ύπνον
In sleep :--for who shall say the good are dead? * Irenæas, one of the earliest commentators on the Apocalypse, explains “ the second death” to mean the Gehenna, or eternal fire. Iren. lib. v. c. 35. This distinction between the two deaths may be read to advantage in the sublime Poet, who, speaking in the person of Adam, says :
how gladly would I meet
yet one doubt
Pursues me still, lest all I cannot die ;
Before we leave this passage, let us remark how appropriately the reward of escaping the second death is holden forth to the good Smyrnæans, when called to martyrdom, and how consistently our Lord represents himself to these martyrs, as “ He who was dead, and " is alive!"
Lest that pure breath of life, the spirit of man,
Paradise Lost, book x. 775–788.
The Address to the Church in Pergamos.
CHAP. ii. VER. 12–17.
12 Και τώ αγέλω της 12 And to the Angel of έν Περγάμω έκκλη
the Church in Pergaσίας γράψον Τάδε
mos, write; Thus saith λέγει ο έχων την he who holdeth the two
12 And to the Angel of
the Church in Pergamos,write,These things saith he, which hath όπο σατανάς κα14 τοικεί. Αλλ' έχω
soupalar thy diso-13 edged sharp sword: I 13 μου την οξείαν oi
know thy works, and δα τα έρία σε, και where thou dwellest, σε κατοικείς, όπε και even where the throne θρόνος το σατανά: of Satan is; and thou και κραθείς το όνομά
holdest fast my name, με, και εκ ηρνήσω and hast not denied την πίσιν με,  my faith ; [even) in εν ταϊς ημέραις, εν
the days in which Anais 'Alimas ó páp
tipas my faithful witTUS que ó aisòs, ös
ness was, who was slain απεχθάνθη σαρ' υμ ,
among you, where Sa
the sharp sword with 13 two edges. I know thy
works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan's seat is : and thou holdest fast my name, and bast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you,where Satan dwellconsul.
καλά σε ολίγα, ότι έχεις εκεί κρατονίας thì iboxào Beλαάμ, ος εδίδασκεν τα Βαλάκ βαλεϊν σκάνδαλον ενώπιον των υιών Ισραήλ, ,
φαγείν ειδωλόθυτα, , 15 xj Dogverxı. OUR
τως έχεις και συ κρατοντας την διδαχήν
των Νικολαιτών ό16 μοίως. Μετανόη
σον δν ει δε μή, έρχομαί σοι ταχύ, και τσολεμήσω μετ' αυτών έν τη δομφαία το σόμαλός με. . 17 ο έχων ούς, άκου
σάτω τί το ανεύμα λέγει ταϊς εκκλησία αις" το νικώντι δώσω αυτό το μάννα το κεκρυμμένε, και δώσω αυτη ψήφον λευκών, , και επί την ψήφου όνομα καινον γείχαμμένον, και έδεις οίδεν ει μη και λαμβάνων.
14 tan dwelleth. But I 14 eth. But I have a few
have against thee a few things against thee, bethings, that thou hast cause thou hast there there those who hold them that hold the the doctrine of Balaam,
doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to who taught Balak to cast a stumbling-block cast a stumbling-block before the children of before the children of Israel; to eat things
Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols, and
sacrificed unto idols, to commit fornication: and to commit forni. 15 So hast thou also those 15 cation. So hast thou
who hold the doctrines also them that hold the
of the Nicolaitans in doctrine of the Nico16 like manner. Repent, laitanes, which thing I
therefore, or else I am 16 hate. Repent; or else coming unto thee soon, I will come unto thee and I will war against quickly; and will fight
them with the sword against them with the 17 of my mouth. He sword of my mouth. that hath an ear, let
17 He that hath an ear, him hear what the let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the Spirit saith unto the Churches: To him who Churches: To him that overcometh, to him overcometh, will I give will I give of the hid- to eat of the hidden den manna; and I will
manna; and I will give give him a white stone, him a white stone, and and upon the stone a in the stone a new name
written, written, which no man which none knoweth knoweth, saving he that but he who receivethit. receiveth it.
Ver. 12. Pergamos.] A city of great account, enriched and adorned by a long succession of the Attalian Kings. The last of these, Attalus Philo. meter, bequeathed his dominions to the Romans, and it then became the residence of a Roman pro
cousul. Pliny the elder, who wrote but a short time before the date of this Revelation, describes it as the most famous city in Asia*. A heathen metropolis would naturally become a central seat of corruptive doctrines and morals; and in this sense it might be called “ the throne of Satan.” It might also acquire this appellation from being the seat of the pagan persecuting government, whence issued the edicts and instruments of persecution; and it appears that Antipas, the faithful martyr, was slain here f. It was also a grand seat of heathen learning, because its famous library of 200,000 volumes would necessarily attract the residence of the learned; whence also from this place would probably be derived that “philosophy and vain deceit,” against which, as corruptive of Christianity, the apostle warns his disciples F. And the Bebi, or depths of Gnostical learning, are ascribed to Satan, in the address to the Church of Thyatira g. So, in more senses than one, Pergamos may have been styled the “ Throne “ of Satan.” It is described by modern travellers as containing at present from two to three thousand Turks, who have converted its best churches into mosques. Yet there are some few Christians remaining, to whom a priest sent from Smyrna, occasionally officiates.
Ib. Two-edged sharp sword.] With this instrument of power our Lord has been already described, in ch. i. 16, where see the note. The description is peculiarly proper in this place, because the supreme Head of the Church now appears against the “ Throne of
Nat. Hist. lib. v. c. XXX.
+ Ver. 13.