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Churches of Asia Minor, and is delivered from God the Father, who is announced here as Him who was, and is, and is to come, from the Holy Spirit, who is described in his sevenfold energies, as the seven spirits before the throne, and from Jesus Christ, who hath redeemed us by his blood. He marks his coming in clouds, and the effect of that coming, or the gradual development of his religion on all the tribes of the earth, and on those who pierced him. He then makes a solemn declaration of his divinity, which I will reserve for the next portion of the chapter.

From Verse 9 to the end.

This portion begins with an account of the situation and circumstances of St. John when he saw this vision in the Isle of Patmos.

The first thing I shall observe here is, that he calls the day on which he saw it ημέρα κυριακή, , “the Lord's Day," which leads us to infer that the observation of the first day of the week was observed by Christians in St. John's time, and that it was a substitution for the Jewish sabbath. The doubts which have been recently entertained and expressed by some of the members of the Church of England, with respect to the abolition of the first ordinance of God to man by the introduction of Christianity, seem to have no sufficient foundation in Scripture.

He hears a voice behind him, as of a trumpet, proclaiming, as had been done before, “ I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last," and he turns and beholds our blessed Saviour in his glorified state, which is beautifully and awfully described; in that state, in which we also shall see him as he is, if “ we purify ourselves as he is pure.” The words which are used are similar to those applied to God the Father, with the slight variation of the first and the last, instead of the beginning and the ending, and he likewise adds, “I am he that liveth, and was dead, and am alive for evermore." These words manifest the divinity of our Lord as co-extensive with that of the Father. The mystery of the seven candlesticks, which are again an allusion to the powers of the Holy Spirit, and of the seven stars, are explained by our Saviour himself to his beloved apostle.


From Verse 1 to the end of Chapter 3.

And here I enter on a task with some degree of trepidation, not having Mede for my guide, for though he has thrown out an observation in his writings that the address to the seven Churches of Asia probably contains a mystical description of the seven different stages of the Christian Church to the end of time; yet he has not embodied that hint in his great work. It appears to me, however, sufficiently manifest, that the notices of the conduct of the different Churches allude either to the state of the Church in general, or of particular Churches at different periods of time, and fully justify Mede in the supposition to which I have adverted, and which I lament he did not see fit to prosecute any farther. The subject has been subsequently touched upon by a modern author', whose elucidation of much of the matter comprised in the address to the seven Churches, appears to me to be just, and though I differ from him in several particulars, and in many parts of the interpretation of the prophecy at large, yet I think he has thrown a light on this portion of the subject, which may enable us to investigate it more minutely.

Following therefore in general the clew which he has discovered, or of which he has availed himself, though occasionally deviating from the use of it, I will proceed in the examination of the paternal addresses of our Saviour to the different Churches.

In this mystical view then, the address to the

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Church of Ephesus will point out the first state of the Church of Christ after his departure from the world. "Epeoiç signifies zeal, and affection, and is properly applicable to the first stage of ecclesiastical discipline and doctrine. He praises her works, and labour, and patience, and her dislike of those who are evil. He commends the Church for having tried pretended apostles, and rejected them, a proof that this address refers to the apostolic age. He likewise commends her for other particulars, but rebukes her for having left her first love. He therefore cautions her to remember and repent. He praises too her hatred of the doctrine and deeds of the Nicolaitans, which he also hated, and who were some of the earliest heretics. It has been conjectured that this name implies the superiority of the people or laity over their teachers. He then proceeds in these remarkable words—“ He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the Churches.” On which words I cannot help remarking, that after God the Father has introduced the revelation, and God the Son has delivered his admonitions, he concludes with a caution to attend to what the Spirit says to the Churches; so that here, as well as every where else, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are combined and united in their communications with mankind.

The promise annexed to the precept is the following : “ To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.” It is a subject for gratitude and praise, that the first promise to redeemed man, if obedient, is, that he shall re-attain that state which he forfeited by the fall, and shall be admitted at last to taste of the tree of life in the Paradise of God. The goodness of the Almighty is thus displayed to his fallen and restored creatures, His beneficence begins, and ends with Paradise. He prepared the food of life for us from the first, and when we had forfeited it by disobedience, he restores it to us through his Son with additional blessings.

Perhaps, therefore, we shall be justified in considering the promise in this address, though made more particularly to the first state of the Church, as extending likewise through the whole period of her existence, to its consummation in heaven. Paradise was the first delightful abode of man in his state of innocence, and Paradise, after this earth and heaven have fled away from the face of “ Him that sitteth on the throne,” and a new heaven and a new earth have been called into existence, shall be the final abode of

the just.

The next Church addressed through its angel,

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