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The Address to the Church in Laodicea.
CHAP. iii. VER. 14-21.
14 Kai tão a ryére , 14 And to the Angel of 14 And unto the Angel
της εκκλησίας εν the Church in Laodi- of the Church of Λαοδικεία γράψον" cea, write: Thus saith the Laodiceans, write, Τάδε λέγει ο 'Αμήν, the Amen, the faith- These things saith the o náplus ó wisus ry ful and true Witness, Amen, the faithful and αληθινός, η αρχή της the Beginning of the true Witness, the Be
κτίσεως τ8 Θε8. 15 Creation of God. I ginning of the Creation 15 οιδα σε τα έρα, , know thy works, that 15 of God; I know thy
ότι έτε ψυχρός εί, thou art neither cold works, that thou art έτε ζεσός: όφελος
nor hot; I would that neither cold nor hot: Yuxgos g's, lesos thou wert cold or hot: I would thou wert cold 16"Ουτως, ότι χλι- 16 So then, because thou 16 or hot. So then be.
αρός εί, και έτε ψυ- art lukewarm, and nei- cause thou art luke. χρός, ότε ζεσός,
ther cold nor hot, I warm, and neither cold μέλλω σε εμέσαι εκ am about to nauseate nor hot, I will spue
το σόματός με thee out of my mouth; thee out of my mouth: 17 "Οτι λέγεις: "Οτι 17 Because thou sayest
17 Because thou sayest, ελέσιος είμι, και
that I am rich, and am I am rich, and increasσεπλότηκα, και, έδεgrown wealthy, and
ed with goods, and γος χρείαν έχω" και have weed of nothing,
have need of nothing; έκ οίδας, ότι συ ει
and knowest not that and knowest not that και ταλαίπωρG», και
thou art wretched, and thou art wretched, and • inseryos, xai wlovmiserable, and poor,
miserable, and poor, χος, και τυφλός, και
and blind, and naked. and blind, and naked. 18 γυμνος: Συμε ελεύω
18 I counsel thee to buy 18 I.counsel thee io buy σοι, αγοράσαι παρ'
of me gold purified of me gold tried in the έμε χρυσίον σεπυ
in the fire, that thou fire, that thou mayest εωμένον εκ πυρός, ,
may'st be rich; and be rich; and wh ένα τελετήσης" και
white raiment, that raiment, that thou ιμάτια λευκά, ένα
thou may'st be clothed; mayest be clothed, and περιβάλη, και μη
and that the shame of that the shame of thy φανερωθή η αισχύνη thy nakedness may not
nakedness do not apo της γυμνότηλός σε
και κολλέριον έγχρί
appear; and to anoint σαι τες οφθαλμές thine eyes with eyeσε, ένα βλέπης.
salve, that thou mayest 19 'Εγώ όσες έαν φι- 19 see. As many as I
hã, theyxw ry war love, I prove and chas
δεύω» ζήλωσαν έν, ten; be zealous, there20 riġ puslaróncoy. 'idè, 20 fore, and repent. BeEsnna ini thu dú
hold, I stand at the gær, rj xgéweise
door, and knock; if τις ακέση της φω
any one shall hear my ής με, και ανοίξη
voice, and open the την θύραν, εισελεύ
door, I will come in σομαι προς αυτόν, ,
unto him, and will sup και δειπνήσω με αυ
with him, and he with τε, και αυτός με έμε.
He who over11 Ο νικών, δώσω αυ
cometh, to him will I τα καθίσαι μεθ' ε
give to sit with me on με έν το θρόνων με,
Throne; as I also ως καγώ ενίκησα, ,
have overcome, and και εκάθισα μελα τα
am seated with my σειρός με εν τω
Father on his Throne. Spóna aŭtê. 'OI
22 He that hath an ear, χων ες, ακεσάτη,
let him hear what the τι το πνεύμα λέγει
Spirit saith unto the ταις εκκλησιαις. .
pear; and anoint thine eyes with eye-salve,
that thou mayest see. 19 As many as I love, I
rebuke and chasten :
be zealous, therefore, 20 and repent. Behold,
I stand at the door, and knock; if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and
will sup with him, and 21 he with me. To him
that overcometh, will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my
Father in his Throne, 22 He that hath an ear,
let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the Churches.
Ver. 14. Laodicea.] Upon the river Lycus (for. there were other cities of the same name) stood this city, flourishing in wealth, in the times immediately preceding the date of this vision *. Near to it was situated the city of Colossæ; and in the times of Saint Paul, these appear to have been sister Churches of the same character, neither of which had been personally visited by this great Apostle to the Gentiles f. To each of them he wrote epistles, which he ordered to be read interchangeably by both. And that which now bears
Pliny, Nat. Hist. v. c. xix.
+ Col. ii. 1.
the inscription to the Ephesians, is supposed by some able writers to have been the Epistle to Laodicea *. But at the time of Saint John's banishment to Patmos, the Church of Colossæ seems to have been absorbed in that of Laodicea; or at least the latter appears to have been at that time the superior and predominant Church. But its ruin and present state of desolation are described by modern travellers as more complete and lamentable than that of the other six.
Ver. 14. The Amen.] This word imports truth and certainty; “I am he, all whose promises will be most “strictly fulfilled.” See 2 Cor. i. 20. .
Ib. Faithful and true IVitness.] See note, ch. i. 4.
Ib. The Beginning of the Creation of God.] See note, ch. ii. 17. For this seems to refer to the new creation, new building, where in Christ all things are made new f. There is a new commandment, a new worship, a new temple, a new city, 8 THUTUS TUS ATITEKS, of which Christ is the corner stone and foundation f. And he is not only the usxn, but the atasxn from the grave, the first fruits, insuring the resurrection of his followers. Ver. 15. Neither cold nor hot.] Many are the
professed Christians, in all countries, as well as in Laodicea, who, contented to be named after their Redeemer, are indifferent to their actions and their consequences. Supposing themselves rich in his merits, and “wanting nothing,” they fall into a lifeless sort of Christianity, which must needs be disgusting to that zealous Master who suffered so much for them, laying so fair a foundation for their active exertions. Here he calls upon such persons to examine their situation; they are poor instead of rich*; naked instead of clothed t; and blind, that is, ignorant, and wilfully so. For our Lord told the Pharisees, “If ye were blind,
+ 2 Cor. v. 17.
* See note, ii. 1.
(that is, necessarily ignorant,) ye would have no sin; “ but now ye say we see, (now ye presume upon your fancied knowledge, and refuse divine instruction) “therefore your sin remaineth.”
Ver. 18. Buy.] That is, attain in preference to worldly riches. See Is. lv. 1, 4. Prov. xxiii. 13. Matt. xiii. 44-47.
Ib. Gold purified.] Ierugwulevyv, such virtue as will stand the fiery trial, or such as men possess after severe trials, assisted by the Divine Grace; for, see the following verse.
Ver. 19. As many as I love, &c.] See Heb. xii, 5—12, which is exactly to the same purpose.
Ver. 20. Sup.] The kingdom of Christ is described as a feast for all people £. He is the bread of life; none who come to bim shall hunger or thirst §. But it may be said, if Christ prepares the supper, why is he represented as standing at the door, and knocking for entrance? But this action is agreeable to the office he bears in the allegory or parable. He is the Bridegroom ||, and his servants sit in his house to a late hour, waiting his arrival ; when returning from the wedding, according to eastern custom,“ he cometh and knocketh," and they open to him, and he maketh them to sit down to meat. Luke xii. 36-38. See also John xiv. 23, which tends likewise to illustrate this
passage. Ver. 21. On my throne.] This is the last reward promised to those who overcome; and it is the richest
S 26 in te, ch. ii. 9.
+ See note, ch. iii. 4. II 111110.6. Matt, viii. 11. Luke xiv. 16. xxii. 19, 30. s Jusela y l. 35, Rey. vii. 16. Matt. xxv. 1, 14. John iii. 29.
and most glorious. Yet it is in perfect concordance with similar promises in Scripture. Our Lord's seat is upon the throne of God, at the right hand of the Father*; and he has prepared a place for his true followers, “ that where he is, there may they be also t." They are “ heirs of God, joint-heirs with Christ; and with him they are to reign I.” These splendid rewards are to be obtained only through Christ, by those who follow him faithfully in his career of spiritual warfare, and of victory, “as he also hath overcome.''
* Heb. viii. 1. xii. 2. Matt. xxvi. 64. xxii. 4. Mark xvi, 19. † John xiv. 2. 1 Heb. i. Rom. viii. 17. Eph. ii. 6. Coloss, iii. 1-4. 2 Tim, ü, 12.