« הקודםהמשך »
atonement for those sins which would otherwise preclude their entrance. 2dly, By granting to them spiritual assistance. 3dly, By supplying them with rules and directions, which he has illustrated by his own perfect example. Hence he has called himself the Way, the Door, no one entereth but through him. And against those who faithfully and diligently attempt an entrance through him, the powers of Hell shall not prevail. In Acts xiv, 27, it is called, the “ door of “ farth,” and is described as open to the Gentiles, through the mercies of God.
Ver. 9. Jews.] See note, ch. ii. 9. A complete trie umph over these pretended saints is promised to this humble Church; and probably it took place in those early times, of which so little history remains. But as this meek and faithful Church is a type and resema blance of the pure Church of Christ; so, to that uni. versal Church, when it shall appear in its purity, after this type, the conversion of the whole body of the Jews seems promised; which has been vaịnly, though often attempted by violence and persecution.
Ver. 10. I will keep thee from the hour of trial.] This promise, in favour of the Church of Philadelphia, was probably fulfilled in some subsequent persecution, of which we have no special account.
Ver. 11. I am coming soon.] See notes, ch. i. 3, iii. 16.
Ib. Crown.] See note, ch. ii. 15,
Ver. 12. Column.] The ancient nations were accustomed to erect columns in honourable memorial of heroes. Such, in idea at least, were the columns of Hercules. Absalom, “having no son to keep his f! name in remembrance,” built a column to be called
by his name*. The Christian conqueror is here promised such an honourable memorial in God's temple, in his everlasting temple in heaven. Agreeably to this figurative language, the Apostles James and Peter are accounted coluinns of the Church (otuoi, Gal. ii. 9.) And the Alexandrian martyrs of the third century are called otuli T8 ©£8, and also Attalus of Pergamos, in the account of the martyrs at Lyons and Vienne in the second century t..
Ib. New Jerusalem.] The numerous prophecies, foretelling great and everlasting glory to Jerusalem, have not been fulfilled in the literal Jerusalem : non can be so fulfilled, without contradicting other predictions, especially those of our Lord, which have denounced its ruin. They remain therefore to be fulfilled in a spiritual sense ; in that sense which Saint Paul points out to us, when, in opposition to “ Jeru“ salem that now is, and is in bondage with her chil“ dren," he presents to our view “ Jerusalem which is " above, which is free, which is the mother of us all.” This is the city which “Abraham looked to; a building "not made with hands, whose builder and maker is “God I;" even the heavenly Jerusalem, whose splendour will be displayed in the concluding chapters of this book.
* 2 Sam. xviii. 18.
Gal, iv, 24–27. Heb. xi, 10-16. xii. 22-24. xiii. 14.
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 t. 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. 11. 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 Witness.] 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 t. There is a new commandment, a new worship, a new temple, a new city, 8 TAUTYS TUS ATITEWS, of which Christ is the corner stone and foundation I. And he is not only the apxm, but the endexy 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;