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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 I. 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 i Pet. ii. 5,) “on the
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 αναιρων
Or the mild, gently-purpling amethyst.
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 so love hiin.”
1 This figurative language thus applied, may be seen by consulting Lam, ir, 1-T ; & 1 Cor. iii. 1.-13.
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 7.” 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; -“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 ll. 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 away *.”
* See note, ch. vii. 4.
Ch. xx. 11. xxi. 1. 4, 5. # Ch. xxii. 4, 5.
† Matt. xiii. 40.
Ś Compare 1 Cor. xii. 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 froin 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
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 . 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 --1?; xlviii. 20. 35.
+ Rom. vi. 22.
Isaiah viii. 6; xxx. 25; xxxii. 20; xxxv. 6, 7; xli. 17 ; xlix. 9i xliii. 20; lv. 1; liv. 13 ; lvii. 11. Jer. ii. 13; xvii. 13. Ezek. xlvii. 2. Joel iij. 18. Zech. xii. 1; xiv. 8. John iv. 13, 14; vii. 38. 39. 6 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. iji. 22.
Ver. 2.) Some MSS. says Dr. Jortin, “instead of “ εντευθεν και ελευθεν, read ελευθεν και εκειθεν: sed nil opus. And he quotes cybev xal ev@ev as used by Aristotle, Herodotus, Sophocles, and in Consi. Apost. ; and observes; “Nothing is more common than evez nui ev@e: 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 edite
CHAP. xxii, ver. 6-to the end.
6 Και είπί μοι• Ούτοι | 6 And he said unto me, οι λόγοι πισοί και
“ These words are worαληθινοί και Κυρίου "thy of belief and true, Ο Θεός των πνευμά- " And the Lord God των των προφηλών “ of the prophets hath επέςειλε τον αγε- “ sent his angel to λον αυτο δείξαι τους < shew unto his serδέλοις αυτέ, και δεί “ vants things which
γενέσθαι εν τάχει. . “ must come to pass 7 Kui idd, rexom.c. 17 « in a short time. And ταχύ μακάρι και
“ behold, I come soon. της ών τες λόγες της
" Blessed is he who τσροφητείας το βι- :
“keepeth the words of & Gar's Týty. Kai " the Prophecy of this εγώ 'Ιωάννης, ο α
S“ book.” And it was xéwi xzi Back Tow's I John who heard and ταύτα" και, ότε ήκεσα saw these things: and και έβλεψα, έπεσα when I had heard and
προσκυνήσαι έμ- seen, I fell down to προσθεν των οδών worship before the feet To w;rhy tã deixa of the Angelu ho sheiryúolos
. ed me these things. 9 Kui niya par "oça 9 And he saith unto me, μή: σύνδελός σε
" See thou do it not: is, ะ รฉ23
“ I am a fellow servant φών σε των προφη
“ with thce, and with τών, και των τηςέν
" thy brethren the proτων τες λόγες τε phets, and with those βιβλία τότε το “ who keep the words Os Cpcoxunicor
" of this book: wor
6 And he said unto me;,
These sayings are faithful and true. And the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to shew unto his servants the things which
must shortly be done. 7 Behold, I come quick
ly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book. And I John
saw these things, and heard. thein. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the
angel which shewed me 9 these things. Then
saith he unto me; See thou do it not: for I am thy fellow-scrvant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings
of this book : worship 10 God. And he saith
unto nie; Seal not the