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cesses the white stone was the mark of acquittal, the black one of condemnation :
Mos erat antiquus niveis atrisque lapillis ;
His damnare reos, illis absolvere culpa*. 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 vapor 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 S.” Of this kind and nature is the new name or title, given by the Lord of Heaven to his elected servants. The
+ Sat. iv, 13. # Gen. xli. 45. 2 Sam. xii. 25. Dan, i. 7. John i. 42. Matt. xvi. 18. Is. xlii. 1, 6. lvi, 5.
* Ovid. Metam. lib. xv. 41.
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.
chap. ii. Ver. 18—to the end. 18 Kai tā drying ras | 18 And to the angel of | 18 And unto the angel of
šv Ovaleigous 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 Oeč, é exewne tes hath his eyes as a of God, who hath his οφθαλμές αυτά ως flame of fire, and his eyes like unto a flame Oróryse wupòs, rail feet like smelting brass. of fire, and his feet are οι πόδες αυτά όμοιοι 19 I know thy works, 19 like fine brass; I know 19xxaxonobáva. Oidé even thy love, and thy thy works, and chari
og tà igia, j thy service, and thy faith, ty, and service, and ágárny, ry The and thy patience, and faith, and thy patience, dresoviar, rý Thy thy last works to be and thy works; and wisie, rý thy mo more than the first : the last to be more μονής σε, και τα 20 But I have against 20 than the first. Notέρία σε τα έσχαία
thee, that thou sufferest withstanding, I have πλείονα των πρώ
thy woman Jezebel, a few things against 20 Tavo 'Ara' f'xou
who calleth herself a thee, because thou sufxalà ož ito aprīs
prophetess, and teach ferest that woman Jeτην γυναίκα σε Ιε
eth and seduceth my zebel, which called sebin, négera
servants to commit herself a prophetess, sculiny wpoçətin, xj fornication, and to eat to teach and to se- · διδάσκει και πλανά
meats sacrificed unto duce my servants to τες έμες δέλες,
21 idols: And I have commit fornication, Wogveãous ij zidw
given her a time, that and to eat things sa21 aótula Oxyzīv. Kai
she might repent, and crificed unto idols. έδωκα αυτή χρόνου,
she will not repent of | 21 And I gave her space
Ver. 18. Thyatira.] This was a considerable city in the road from Pergamos to Sardis*, Lydia, who at Philippi received the Apostles Paul and Silas, was of this place; and being a person of consequence, and divinely called to receive the Christian Religiont, probably became the cause of establishing a Church here. So that, on this account, as well as because this address of our Lord is directed to the Church of Thyatira, we can give no credence to the notion which was holden by some persons in Epiphanius's time, (300 years after the date of this epistle,) that the church in this city was founded after the time of Saint John's seeing this vision. No Christians are at this time reported to be found in the remains of this city.
Ib. Eyes as a flame of fire, &c.] Thus the Son of God appeared in ch. i. 14, where see the note, and the meaning of the word χαλκολιβανον.
Ver. 19. Thy last works to be more than the first.] This is great commendation, and the reverse of the fault for which the Ephesians are reproved, (v. 4.) and of that lamentable state, described in Saint Luke, xi. 26. 2 Pet. ii. 20. Tu erxuie Zeipova Tūv wwwlõv, the last state worse than the first.
Ver. 20. Jezebel.] This might be literally, a wo
* Strabo and Pliny.
+ Acts xvi. 14.
man of great rank and influence at Thyatira, who seduced the Christians to intermix idolatry and heathen impurities with their religion. Such seducers were in the church in Saint Paul's time* And the history of Queen Jezebel, that eminent patroness of idolatry, as delivered in the Books of Kings, shews that such a woman would be fitly represented under that name. But there is another sense in which it also may be applied; for, in symbolical language, by a woman is signified a city, a nation, a community, a churcht. This passage is so understood by Venerable Bede, who explains the term Jezebel to mean I a synagogue of false apostles pretending to be Christian; and it may signify a sect of seducers, 'like that described in verses 14 and 15 of this chapter ; for the same doctrines are ascribed to both. In the comment of Andreas Bishop of Cæsarea, written about the year 500, and containing the matter, as the writer professes, of more ancient commentators on the Apocalypse, of Irenæus, Papias, Methodius, &c. it is said, that the Nicolaitan heresy is here called Jezebel figuratively ș, on account of its impiety and intemperance. See also the note below, ver. 24.
Ver. 20. Fornication.] The edict of the Apostles, (Acts xv.) forbids to the Gentile converts that which is here mentioned : 1. Ilogveid, fornication, under which word are comprehended all those carnal impurities, which were common among the heathens, and even made a part of their sacred rites. 2. EidW&DUTA, Alcoy MATA TWY Esdwwy, meats offered unto idols; to partake of which, when declared to be such, was to partake of the