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. “Satan,” against the seat of persecution, of corrupt morals, and of corrupt philosophy *.
Ver. 13. Antipas.] No account has been preserved to our times, of this martyr ; but Andreas Cæsariensis reports, that he had read the history of his martyrdom t.
Ver. 14. Doctrine of Balaam.] This Church is hitherto commended for its stedfast faith and perseverance, even in times of great trial. But she had in her bosom some who taught impure doctrines. By referring to Numb. xxxi. 16, and then to the whole 25th chapter of the same book, we learn that Balaam suggested to Balak the means, or stumbling-block, by which he decoyed Israel from their duty; and that the sin which they committed, when fallen into this snare, was apostacy from their God, by joining in the heathen sacrifices with the dissolute women, who were employed to seduce them. Hence, by the Apostles Saint Peter and Saint Jude, a defection from the true religion, when united with immoral and lascivious practices, is called, “ following the way, “ or error of Balaamt.”
Ver. 15. Nicolaitans.] See note, ch. ii. 5. These were followers of the doctrine of Balaam, as the name signifies both in Hebrew and Arabic. See Michaelis, Introd. to New Test. ch. xxviii. sect. 3.
Ver. 16. I will war against them.] Not against you the Church, but them, the corrupters of it. Yet, insomuch as many received these impure doctrines, and the rulers of the Church had not been vigilang to reclaim or eject them, all are called to repent, For the weapon with which their Lord threatens to
+ Comm. in loc.
* See the last note.
attack them, see note ch. i. 16. It is with this powerful sword that Antichrist shall be slain, and the enemies of the church shall be finally subdued *. The word of God, advancing in its purity, and gaining dominion over the hearts and actions of men, shall in due time expel idolatry, infidelity, and the persecuting spirit of worldly policy and of insincere religion f. This “ word of God” is described as having a living efficacy, “sharper than any two-edged “sword,” penetrating into the inmost parts of man I; and it is represented as an object of terror to those of the brethren, who, from an evil heart of unbelief, shall apostatize from the living God 9. And, in the subsequent verse, the whole congregation is directed to exhort each other daily, lest any of them be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. Apply this to the Church of Pergamos, which the members of it might then have done, by having recourse to the same Sacred Scripture.
Ver. 17. Hidden manna.] This expression will become intelligible, by the perusal of the 6th chapter of Saint John's Gospel from the 26th verse. Our Lord declares to the multitude, who followed him in the expectation of being miraculously fed, that he himself is the bread of life, the manna from heaven, which shall support those partaking of it to everlasting life : and when they could not, or would not, understand him in the spiritual sense which he intended, he tells them that he is to be understood in a figurative, and not in a literal meaning. “ It is
* Is. xi. 4. 2 Thess. ii. 8. Rev. xix. 15, 21.
+ Matt. xii. 36, 37. John viii. 31, 37, 43, 47. xii. 47, 48. xv. 3, 7. Heb. i. 3. 1 Pet. i. 23, 25. Heb. iv, 12.
$ Heb. iii. 12.
" the Spirit that quickeneth, the fleshi profiteth no“thing; the words that I speak to you, they are “ Spirit, and they are Life.” The “ hidden manna" is this bread of life in its spiritual signification, of which the manna, free from corruption, laid up in the tabernacle, was only a type; namely, the benefits derived to the faithful followers of Christ by the offering of his body; forgiveness of sins and everlasting salvation. In the midst of a figurative discourse, our Lord presented his disciples with this plain interpretation : “ Verily, verily I say unto you, " he that believeth on me hath everlasting life; I “ain that bread of life*.” He who through faith in his crucified Redeemer, follows him in his victorious career, unmoved by the temptations or threats of the enemy, is by his Lord's appointment entitled to this food of heavenly life. But this " Life is hid " with Christ in Godt.” “ It does not yet appear " what we shall bet." “ Eye hath not seen, nor ear “ heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, “ the things which God hath prepared for those that “ love himş.” Such appears to be the hidden manna, namely, the ineffable joys of a blessed immortality.
From the small remains of history, which are preserved to us of this church, she seems to have remembered these splendid promises of her Lord; for many of the Pergamenians underwent the fiery trial of martyrdom, at the time when Polycarp suffered at Smyrna.
Ver. 17. White stone.] Stones, tapos, calculi, were used by the ancient nations, as the vames import, to calculate and to vote with ; and in criminal processes thė white stone was the mark of acquittal, the black one of condemnation :
* John vi. 47, 48. § 1 Cor. ii. 9.
+ Col. iii. 3. 1 John iii. 2. || Euseb. Hist. Eçcl. lib. iv. c. 15. P 2
Mos erat antiquus niveis atrisque lapillis ;
The white stone, presented to the conquering Christian, may be supposed to signify, “well done, “thou good and faithful servant.” But this white stone is inscribed with characters; so were the type of the ancients. The letter with the Greeks was the token of condemnation; or, in a general sense, of disapprobation. So Persius ;
Et potis es nigrum vitio præfigere Thetat.
But on this white stone, given by our Lord to his approved servants, was written a new name, which will be explained in the following note.
Ver. 17. A new name.] By the custom of nations, from the earliest ages, a person raised to dignity was commonly invested with a new name or title, expressive of his deserts. Many instances occur in Scripturet. It is the promise of God to Zion, that, becoming the glory and the light of the Gentiles, “she shall “ be called by a new name, which the mouth of the “ Lord shall name.” He has promised also to the Eunuchs and Gentiles, who shall “ keep his covenant, “ and love the name of the Lord, a place and a name “ better than of sons and of daughters, an everlast“ing name which shall not be cut off g.” Of this kind and nature is the new name or title, given by the Lord of Heaven to his elected servants. The
. Ovid. Metam. lib. xv. 41.
+ Sat. iv. 13. # Gen. xli. 45. 2 Sam. xii. 25. Dan. i. 7. John'i. 42. Matt. xvi. 18. 5 Is. xlii. 1, 6. lvi. 5.
honour which they shall receive at his hands, when their spiritual warfare is accomplished, is beyond conception, and can only be known by being enjoyed.
. PART I.
The Address to the Church in Thyatira.
CHAP. ii. Ver. 18-to the end.
18 Kaita á yéng tñs | 18 And to the angel of | 18 And unto the angel of
ky Ovaleiçois ix the Church in Thya the church in Thya. κλησίας γράψον" tira write: Thus saith tira, write, These Τάδε λέγει ο υιός το the Son of God, who things saith the Son
Ois, ó fxwe res hath his eyes as a of God, who hath his οφθαλμός αυτό ως flame of fire, and his eyes like unto a flame φλόγα συρος, και feet like smelting brass. of fire, and his feet are οι σόδες αυτέ όμοιοι 19 I know thy works, 19 like fine brass; I know 19xxnxonsávy. Oidá even thy love, and thy thy works, and chari
08 så iga, rj Thing service, and thy faith, ty, and service, and áyánn, rij The and thy patience, and faith, and thy patience, draxoviar, rj The thy last works to be and thy works; and wisor, rj Tanimo more than the first : the last to be more μονής σε, και τα 20 But I have against 20 than the first. NotΕρία σε τα έσχαία thee, that thou sufferest withstanding, I have πλείονα των πρώ
thy woman Jezebel, a few things against 20 twr" 'Ara' fxw
who calleth herself a thee, because thou sufκαλά σε ότι αφείς
prophetess, and teach ferest that woman Jetwo yuvaixe os ’It
eth and seduceth my zebel, which called Sabria, dégrou
servants to comunit herself a prophetess, žarno topoqñtu,
fornication, and to eat to teach and to seδιδάσκει και πλανά
meats sacrificed unto duce my servants to Tès lui's senos,
21 idols: And I have commit fornication, wogvīrai vj zidw
given her a time, that and to eat things sa21 λόθυλα φαγείν. Και
she might repent, and crificed unto idols. 18wxx airí xeóvor,
she will not repent of | 21 And I gave her space