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we wish to convey our most exalted beginning with the 9th verse, is conception of the pure spirituality unconnected with the series of ocof heavenly worship, how can we curences which that vision has defind more fitting description than tailed, although, indeed, reproducing the words, “I saw no temple therein: some of its particulars. We have, for the Lord God Almighty and the in fact, a picture rather than a proLamb are the temple of it ?” .phecy; and we may find it worth
Now we would not deny the deep while to observe that it is a comand exquisite appropriateness of panion picture to one that had been these symbols. But, even while before given of the great antagonist employing them, it is right to ask power to truth and righteousness. whether such was intended to be In ch. xvii. 1, we read, “There their immediate application. Does came one of the seven angels who “the great city" of the vision, “the had the seven vials, and talked with holy Jerusalem descending out of me, saying, Come hither; I will heaven from God,” picture to us, in shew unto thee the judgment of the the first instance, the final abode of great Harlot that sitteth upon many the blessed?
waters.” It will at once be answered that Here (xxii. 9) we read, “ There it must be so, as the final judgment came unto me one of the seven is represented as having taken angels which had the seven vials place (xx. 12–15), the first heaven full of the seven last plagues, and and the first earth as “ passed talked with me, saying, Come away” (xxi. 1), while a Voice from hither; I will shew thee the Bride, the Throne bas proclaimed, “Behold the Lamb's wife.” I make all things new," adding, It is plain, from the identity of “IT IS DONE.” After this, what re- phrase, that a direct contrast is mains to be described but the final intended. On the one side is the heaven?
Harlot, on the other the Bride : on Now we fully admit that this the one side Babylon, on the other heavenly state is described in the Jerusalem. Again, to behold the words (xxi. 3, 4), which, often as former, the prophet is “carried away repeated, must fall like music on in the spirit into the wilderness” every Christian's ear :
(xvii. 3) ; to contemplate the latter, “Behold, the dwelling of God is with men, he is “ carried away in the spirit to And he will dwell among them,
a great and high mountain" (xxi. And they will be bis people,
10). These parallels betoken close And God himself will be with them, their
God, And God will wipe every tear from their the emblem, not of a city, or a eyes,
place, but of some great form of And there will be no more death,
spiritual evil exemplified in the And grief, and woe, and pain will be no union of false belief with unprin
more; For the first state has passed away."*
cipled secular power, and essentially
antagonistic to the church of Christ. But it must be carefully noted Is it not, then, at least probable that the account of the vision to that the Jerusalem of the contrasted which this passage belongs is con- delineation was intended, in genecluded with the 8th verse. The ral, as the type of that church. description of the New Jerusalem, Further there are particulars in
* We have ventured to adopt Professor the vision which shew that the New Godwin's version, as metrically arranged.
Jerusalem is still closely related to a terrestrial state. “ The kings of bearing an unconscious part. May the earth do bring their glory and not this great vision of the Apohonour into it.” Through the ever- calypse in like manner arouse us to open gates, it is receiving constant a perception of the sublime realities accessions. In the words (xxi. 24), which enclose us in the spiritual “the nations of them which are world, where we have found our saved shall walk in the light of it,” true heritage? The “gates of the phrase we have marked with pearl” and the “street of gold,” italics should, according to all the “the wall great and high” and “the best critics, be omitted. “The na- foundations garnished with all mantions” (and this word ever denotes ner of precious stones,” the “river those who are without the pale of of water of life clear as crystal” the church, as the Gentiles in dis- and “the tree of life, which bears tinction from the Jews) “shall walk twelve manner of fruits," belong in its light.” And, more strikingly not to a fair dream, sentimental and still, we are expressly told (xxii. 2) almost sensuous, of a Paradise far of the tree of life which grows in away beyond the resurrection, but the midst of the street of the city, to the realities of our present connot only that its fruit is for the dition as part of the great invisible refreshment of the saved, but that Church of God. Babylon, no doubt, its “ leaves” are for the healing of is here on earth with its malice and the nations. This language plainly meretricious craft. As surely, is the requires us to apply the vision, in New Jerusalem here, with its inpart at least, to the present state, dwelling God and Saviour. The as it shows that even round about names of the old foes in Old the New Jerusalem there are nations Testament story, do but set forth to that require to be healed, and, us the deeper spiritual antagonisms therefore, of the sinful and the of the New. False worship, moral miserable.
darkness, inevitable doom, belong to · We conclude, then, that in the the powers opposed to the city of delineation of the heavenly Jeru- the faithful; while of this latter it salem, we have the IDEAL OF THE is already true that there is “no CHRISTIAN CHURCH. To this “city temple therein, for the Lord God of the living God," as the Epistle Almighty and the Lamb are the to the Hebrews (xii. 22) assures us, temple of it,” that “there shall be the faithful have already “come.” no night there," and that “there The spiritual Sion is here among us shall be no more curse.” now; and as notwithstanding gric of the vision thus interpreted, it vous failure and sin, Jehovah de- will be easy to appropriate the lighted of old in the chosen city, so special particulars to the correnow, notwithstanding all earthly sponding spiritual realities. Thus, imperfection and defilement, do the the names of the Twelve Tribes Lord God and the Lamb condescend are upon the gates; the names of to dwell in the community of saints. the Twelve Apostles on the founda
Sometimes, in the natural world, tions, shewing to us the accord of we awake to a new sense of wonder, Old Testament and New; while, mystery, and even awe, as some without being fanciful, we may add scientific discovery brings to light that through the gates of the former the marvels amid which we have dispensation the city is entered ; been heedlessly living, and in the while the more spiritual forms of evolution of which we have been truth, as taught by the Apostles, constitute the everlasting basis of one part of the enclosing wall higher the whole. Twelve angels are at the than any other. The city is a pergates—the sentinels of heaven- fect square, but not a perfect cube, reminding us that the Church, amid which would seem, even in a vision, all its foes, has its invisible guar- incongruous and impossible. The dians, protecting it from sudden “twelve thousand furlongs,” or invasion and destruction evermore, stadia by which the length and the The “wall great and high” speaks breadth are admeasured, bear an to us of rigid and inflexible separa evident relation to the numerical tion from an ungodly world, as well symbolism of the rest of the bookas of inviolable security and de. where twelve is always a note of the fence. But still that wall is pierced Church, and thousand expressive of by “open gates," not in one direc- vast number. Compare the twelve tion merely, but in all“ on the times twelve thousand of the elect east three gates, on the north three in the seventh chapter. gates, on the south three gates, and A meaning equally expressive, on the west three gates.” To all may be gained from the garniture quarters of the world those gates of precious stones, by which the look forth. Not a wanderer from foundations are enriched. Rememany part of earth's wilderness shall bering that the foundation-stones turn a wistful glance to those represent the apostolic band, the portals and see even one, barred jewels which in their far-flashing against him. “Whosoever will, let radiance adorn them, plainly reprehim come.” May there not also sent the various gifts with which the be an implied rebuke to the spirit intellects and hearts of Christ's serof sectarian bigotry ? Men are vants have been stored. In one, there ever prone to cry, “My gate is the is the clear light of knowledge, and only entrance: no admission to the in another the burning lustre of New Jerusalem but this." While genius. Every character has its still every gate is open, and there own endowment-patient thought, is God's angel equally at all.
or soaring imagination, a capacity “The city lieth foursquare, and for energetic labour, or a habit of the length is as large as the breadth.” calm submission. The eloquent "The length, and the breadth, and orator, and the thoughtful enquirer, the height of it are equal." Sym- have each an assigned place. Every metry is a characteristic of the spi- precious stone shines with its own ritual Church of Christ. As some glory, which itself is but a partial of the Fathers have it, there is here reflection of the one Light which is "the length of Faith, the breadth over all, and in all. of Charity, and the height of Hope, For “the glory of God doth so as not to be moved by any winds of lighten the city, and the Lamb is doctrine; and where anyone of these the light thereof." Fellowship with dimensions is lacking, the perfect sta- God, and the reflection of Christ's ture of the Church does not exist." It character, are the crowning glory should, however, be noted, that the of the Church. “There is no night word equal in the last part of verse there.” The presence of Him who 16, does not necessarily mean mu- is the true and only Light is pertually equal. Probably the inten- petual. At all times, and by every tion of the clause is to depict the member of the family of the reheight, like the breadth and length, deemed, the privilege of commuas everywhere the same; i. c., no nion with God may be enjoyed. “I saw,” says the Apostle, “no its gultry heats, and the weary Temple therein.” There is no labourer droops beneath the burden centre of worship--no special ho. of the day. On this Tree, however, nour assigned to outward form or there is fruit of cooling refreshment appointed place. Nor can any sec- for him; he eats, and renews tion of the faithful, arrogate the his strength for nobler toils. In claim-“The Temple of the Lord autumn, when the leaves around are we.” Co-extensive with the are falling and other fruits are Church is the Sanctuary; and the gone, there is here unwithering merit and power of the Great Sacri. beauty and full supply-changed, fice are ever present to the devout indeed, but only as the need of heart; for not only “the Lord God life is changed. And when the Alinighty,” but “the Lamb, is the chill winter of age has descended temple of it."
on the landscape, and the frost has Rich and full also are the sup withered other joys, and the flowers plies of Divine grace afforded to the of life are in their graves, this Church. “From the throne of God Tree still rears its undecaying form and the Lamb," i. e., from the heart more conspicuously beautiful for of the everlasting purpose of God the surrounding desolation, while in Christ, strong and stedfast as the pilgrim, spent and weary, conthe Temple mountain, from whose fesses that the most exquisite fruit bosom gushed the waters of Siloam, has been reserved till last “My proceeds the water of life, clear as flesh and my heart faileth : but God crystal. We are at once reminded is the strength of my heart and my of the words—“There is a river, portion for ever." the streams .whereof shall make Nor do such gifts and privileges glad the city of God, the holy place terminate with those who receive of the tabernacles of the most High," them in their fulness. The tree of and of that wonderful vision con- life “overshadows with its leaves tained in the forty-seventh of Eze. those to whom the taste of its fruit kiel.' As in Ezekiel, too, the is unknown.” In other words, the banks of the river on both sides indirect benefits of Christianity are are lined by trees of life, unfading productive of incalculable good to in their foliage, unfailing in their those who have not yet experienced fruit. The sustenance and refresh- its saving power. “The nations” ment are perpetual. For the tree are “healed :” by the improvement “ beareth twelve manner of fruits and of public opinion, by the recogniyieldeth her fruit every month.” tion of a higher standard of morals, Our lives are ever changeful in their by the abolition of oppressive laws, need: but in the stores of the by the cessation of barbarous and Divine mercy there is satisfaction cruel customs. The Hindoo widow for every passing hour. In the is rescued from the burning pile, spring time of promise and glad even though she knows not the anticipation, before the flowers of widow's God. The Polynesian babe life have had time to expand, and “leaps up in its mother's arm" when all other fruitage is but in its though parent and child have never blossom, the fruit of the Tree of heard how Jesus said, “Suffer the Life is already ripe : and the little little children to come unto me." child may prove the satisfaction and Thus is the Church in one imthe joy of Jesus' love. But the portant respect the light of the “months” roll on : summer brings world. In that light " the nation's
Blessednesd, and the As in theory and
walk," while unconscious of the dominion over the heart and consource of their new freedom and science of the world. By Christ blessedness. But soon this also is they have been made already “kings discovered, and the world itself be- and priests ;” and “they reign over comes tributary. As in the sixtieth the earth.”* chapter of Isaiah, the glory and It is well sometimes to fix our honour of the kings of the earth- thoughts upon our ideals. The per“the forces of the Gentiles”-are fect reality may indeed never be seen gathering to the city of God. attained on earth by the Church First, the benefits conferred through collectively, any more than by the the Church of Christ are uncon- individual Christian. But it cheers sciously acknowledged. Then, the and strengthens us to contemplate moral supremacy of the Church is the perfect will of God concerning confessed. Then, converting power us. In so far as Christ's true preis manifested. In increasing num. sence is acknowledged, and His will bers do the world's population seek obeyed, there is already a realization the gates of Zion. On all sides, of the wondrous vision. The lowliest those gates, as we have seen, are of true believers may claim the open: and so do men come “from blessedness : and, in the humblest the east, and from the west, and circle of Christian fellowship, there from the north, and from the south, is some image of the symmetry and and sit down in the kingdom of glory of the New Jerusalem. God." This is truly the reign of “Glorious things are spoken of the saints.” “ The Lord God giveth thee, O City of God.” “Blessed them light, and they shall reign for are they that HAVE WASHED THEIR ever and ever.” In proportion as ROBES,t that they may have access the church is spiritual, it is mighty. to the Tree of Life, and may enThe Light is Power. By Truth and ter in through the gate into the Love combined, the faithful attain city."
BY THE REV. R. G. MOSES, LYMINGTON.
In a letter to his friend, Joseph Hughes, dated July, 1809, John Foster says, “I have lately been led into a fancy for possessing my self of the most noted divines of the Established Church, and have bought the principal works of Hooker Cudworth foremy Taylor Hooker, Oudworth, Jeremy Taylor, and Barrow. I have read enough of each to be able to talk about them, and to praise them in the customary lingo of criticism without talking altogether without
book. I want a few more of them.
* Observe, over, not on the earth, as in the English translation of ch. v. 10. The best critics in this verse, it may also be remarked, read the verb in the present tense-not shall reign, but are reigning. So Lachmann, Tis. chendorf, Tregelles, Alford, Wordsworth.
+ Such, as all critical students of Scripture know, is the reading approved by all, or almost all, modern biblical scholars; the slight doubt which still remained being. changed into moral certainty by the testimony of the recently-discovered Sinaitic MS. Access, too, in the following clause, is a more accurate rendering than right, as in the English version.