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the parallel passage in Isaiah, Bishop Lowth has written this judicious observation : “ These seem to be ge“neral images to express beauty, magnificence, purity, “strength and solidity, agreeably to the ideas of eastern “nations; and to have never been intended to be
strictly scrutinized, or, minutely and particularly
explained, as if they had each of them some moral " and precise meaning.” Nothing more seems intended than to afford some general, but lofty and sublime notion of the splendour of this superb and heavenly mansion, which the Apostle Paul, following the words of the Prophet Isaiah *, represents to be beyond conception t. And, to describe the building, as composed of the very richest and most costly materials, yet such as few persons have seen, or can imagine, is figuratively to say the same thing . Yet, that the reader may not confine his notions to earthly splendour solely, at the twelve gates are twelve angels, and on each of the gates is inscribed a name of a tribe of Israel *; and the foundation is raised (as in Eph. ii. 20. and 1 Pet. ii. 5,) “on the “ Apostles and Prophets; Jesus Christ himself being the “chief corner-stone.” Every thing unclean and faulty, is excluded from this city; whence we may deduce an additional proof that this prophecy is not to have its final completion in this world; where the good and the bad, the wheat and the tares, are to grow together until the “ end t.” Some commentators have been led to a different interpretation, by observing that the new city descends from heaven; and is therefore, say they, upon earth : but this objection will be completely removed, by remarking that the earth, to which the Heavenly Jerusalem descends, is not the earth we now inhabit. A new Heaven and a new earth are produced;
And in these lines of the same author, are described several of the precious stones, which are figuratively employed to build the New Jerusalem:
Αλλοι δ' ιχνευασιν επι προβολησιν άναυσων
Or the mild, gently-purpling amethyst, 1 Cor. ii. 9. Isaiah Ixiv, 4. + Eye hath not seen, nor hath ear beard, nor have entered into " the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for those that “ love himn."
| This figurative language thus applied, may be seen by consulting Lam, iv, 1-7; & i Cor. ii. 19-15.
.“ Behold,” says the Creator, “I make all things new $.” This vision therefore appears to exhibit the future mansions of the blessed. It succeeds the general judgment of the dead; and to no other mansion can in any wise be applied the glorious representation which describes the favoured inhabitants admitted to see “ the “ face of God 3,” and reigning for ever and ever ||. Such is the city alluded to by the Apostle to the Hebrews, who, speaking of this world, says, “here we “ have no continuing city, but seek one to come. Agreeably to which, in this prophecy it is declared that there is “here no temple.” In this world, as now constituted, Religion cannot subsist without her temples; without some external mode of bringing men to God. But when “just men, made perfect, see face to face" the glories of their God, Faith and Hope, on which
* See note, cb. vii. 4,
Ch. xx. 11. xxi. 1. 4, 5.
+ Matt. xiii. 40.
Compare 1 Cor. xiii. 12. Ileb, si. 10, 16. xii. 22,
the worship is founded, being absorbed in Reality, the nearer Presence of the Deity will supersede the use of a Temple. Th. superior Light and Knowledge, emanating from his glorious Presence, will remove darkness and error, and the necessity of that stated worship, which is the ordinary means of preventing man from being estranged from his Maker. Here “ we know in "part, and prophesy in part;" that is, imperfectly : “but when that which is perfect is come, that which “is in part shall be done away
Chap. xxii. Ver. 1. And he shewed me a river of water of Life ; &c.] In a thirsty soil and hot climate, like that of Palestine, where most of the prophecies were delivered, water is a necessary means of fructification; and the practice of irrigation is much used in agriculture. But, as water is to the soil, supplying health and vigour to its languid plants; so is the influence of God's Holy Spirit to the human soul, when sinking in its spiritual progress. Thus refreshed, the soul brings forth “ fruits unto holiness, and the end everlasting
life t.” Water is therefore used, in Scripture, as the symbol of such supplies of Divine Grace I. The waters of the River of Life proceed from the throne of God, and of the Lamb ş; from the Fountain of all mercy : and the salutary streams support the tree of Life, which
* 1 Cor. xiii. 9, 10.- Many passages of the ancient prophets, some of which may have been typically or partially fulfilled, seem to belong to these times, and still to await their final completion. Isaiah iv. 3–6; xxv. 6-9; lx; lxi. 10; lxvi. 20--24. Ezek. xl; xliii. 7; xlvii. 1-5 --12; xlviii. 20. 35. + Rom. vi. 22.
Isaiah vii. 6; xxx. 25; xxxii. 20; xxxv. 6, 7; xli. 17 ; xlix. 9; xliii. 20; lv. 1; liv, 13; lvii. 11. Jer. ii. 13; xvii, 13. Ezek. xlvii. 2. Joel ui. 18. Zech. xiii. 1; xiv. 8. John iv. 13, 14; vii. 38. 39. See note, ch. iii, 1.
is to be seen in this Paradise regained, a never-failing source of immortality. The fruit, continually renewing, supports the body to eternal life; whilst the leaves (that no part may be unserviceable) are a balın or healing application for the wounds of sin, to those of the nations who had lived in ignorance of the Divine laws, but now partake the benefits of Redemption.
The remaining expressions describing this blissful state, will be found explained under note, ch. i. 16. ii. 10. iii. 22.
Ver. 2.) Some MSS. says Dr. Jortin, “ instead of •* εντευθεν και ελευθεν, read εντευθεν και εκειθεν: sed nil And he quotes cybev nal ev@ev as used by Aristotle, Herodotus, Sophocles, and in Consi. Apost. ; and observes; "Nothing is more common than evez nai eyba: and hinc " et hinc, in the Latin poets.” And he remarks, that the very same expression is used by St. John, in his Gospel, chap. xix, 18*.
• Discourses on the Christian Religion, p. 210. 2d edit,
PART PART VIII.
CHAP. xxii, VER. 6-to the end.
6 Και είπί μοι• Ούτοι | 6 And he said unto me, ,
6 And he said unto me;. οι λόγοι πισοί και
« These words are wor- These sayings are faithαληθινοί και Κυρίων “thy of belief and true, ful and true. And the Ο Θεός των πνευμά- " And the Lord God Lord God of the holy των των προφηλών
" of the prophets hath prophets sent his angel επέςειλε τον άγγε“ sent his angel to
to shew unto his serλον αυτο δείξαι τους
shew unto his ser- vants the things which δέλοις αυτέ, α δει “ vants things which must shortly be done. γενέσθαι εν τάχει. .
“ must come to pass 7 Behold, I come quick7 Kui ide, isxou 7 « in a short time. And ly: blessed is he that ταχύ μακάριο και
· behold, I come soon. keepeth the sayings of τηςων τες λόγες της
“ Blessed is he who the prophecy of this τσροφητείας το βι
“keepeth the words of 8 book. And I John saw 8 Κλία τότε. Και “the Prophecy of this these things, and heard, εγώ 'Ιωάννης, ο α
8 « book." And it was them. And when I had κέμ» και βλέπων I John who heard and heard and seen, I fell ταύτα και ότε ήκεσα saw these things: and down to worship beκαι έβλεψα, έπεσα when I had heard and fore the feet of the προσκυνήσαι έμ..
seen, I fell down to angel which shewed me προσθεν των οδών worship before the feet 9 these
9 these things. Then to ajény Tă deixa of the Angel who shew- saith he unto me; See
νύοντος μοι ταύτα. ed me these things. thou do it not: for I 9 Kuinys 4or• "oça 9 And he saith unto me, am thy fellow-servant, μή: σύνδαλός σε
" See thou do it not: and of thy brethren the είμι, και των αδελ
“ I am a fellow servant prophets, and of them φών σε των προφη“ with thce, and with
which keep the sayings τών, και των τηςένthy brethren the pro
of this book : worship των τες λόγες τε “phets, and with those 10 God. And he saith βιβλία τότε τα " who keep the words unto nie; Seal not the Θε.. τσροσκύνησον:
" of this book: wor- sayings of the prophe