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The sayings of this book
24. The nations of them which are saved] This is an allusion to the promise that the Gentiles should bring their riches, glory, and excellence, to the temple at Jerusalem, after it should be rebuilt.-See ver. 26.
25. The gates of it shall not be shut at all) The Christian church shall ever stand open to receive sinners of all sorts, degrees, and nations.
There shall be no night there] No more idolatry, no intellectual darkness: the Scriptures shall be every where read; the pure word every where preached; and the Spirit of God shall shine and work in every heart.
26. The glory and honour of the nations into it] Still alluding to the declarations of the prophets, (see the passages in the margin, ver. 24, &c.) that the Gentiles would be led to contribute to the riches and glory, of the temple by their gifts, &c. 27. There shall in nowise enter into it any thing that defileth] See Isa. xxxv. 8. lii. 1. Neither an impure person, he
The river of the water of life, 1. The tree of life, 2. There is no curse nor darkness in the city of God, 3-5. The angel assures John of the truth of what he has heard and states that the time of the fulfilment is at hand, 6, 7. He forbids John to worship him, 8, 9. Again he states that the time of the fulfilment of the prophecies, of this book is at hand, 10-12 Christ is Alpha and Omega, 13. The blessedness of those who keep His commandments; they enter through the gates into the city, 14. All the unholy are excluded, 15. Christ sent his angel to testify of those things in the churches, 16. The invitation of the Spirit and the bride, 17. A curse denounced against those who shall either add to or take away from the prophecies of this book, 18, 19. Christ cometh quickly, 20. The apostolical benediction, 21. [A. M. cir. 4100. A. D. cir. 96. Impp. Flavio Domitiano Cæs. Aug. et Nervâ.]
AND he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear
as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of
2 In the mids, of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were d for the healing of the nations.
3 And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it: and his servants shall serve him.
4 And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads.
5 i And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light and they shall reign for ever and ever.
6 And he said unto me, m These sayings are faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to show unto his servants the things which must shortly be done. 7 Behold, I come quickly: P blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book.
a Ezek. 47. 1. Rech. 14 S.-b Ezek. 47.12. Ch.21.21.- Gen.2.9 Ch. 2.7.-d Ch.21. 24-e Zech 14.11.- Ezek 49, 35-g Matt. 5.8. 1 Cor. 13, 12. 1 John 3 2-h Ch.3. 12. & 14. 1.-1 Ch.21.23, 5.-k Psn 35 9.& 84. 11.-1 Dan 7.27. Rom, 5.17. 2 Tim,2. 12. Chap 3 21-m Chap. 19 9. & 21.5.-n Chap. 1.1.-o Chap. 3. 11. Verse 10, 12, Ch.1.3-q Ch. 19.10.
NOTES. Verse 1. Pure river of water of life] This is evidently a reference to the garden of Paradise, and the river by which it was watered; and there is also a reference to the account, Ezek. xlvii. 7-12. Water of life, as we have seen before, generally signifies spring, or running water; here, it may signify incessant communications of happiness proceeding from God.
are faithful and true who turns the grace of God into lasciviousness; nor a liar, he that holds and propagates false doctrines.
But they which are written] The acknowledged persevering members of the true church of Christ, shall enter inte heaven: and only those who are saved from their sins, shall have a place in the church militant.
All Christians are bound by their baptism to renounce the devil and all his works, the pomps and vanities of this wicked world, and all the sinful lusts of the flesh; to keep God's holy word and commandments, and to walk in the same all the days of their life. This is the generation of them that seek thy face, O God of Jacob. Reader, art thou of this number! Or, art thou expecting an eternal glory, while living in sin! If so, thou wilt be fearfully disappointed. Presuming on the mercy of God, is as ruinous as despairing of His grace. Where God gives power both to will and to do, the individual should work out his salvation with fear and trembling.
2. In the midst of the street of it] That is, of the city which was described in the preceding chapter.
The tree of life] An allusion to Gen. ii. 9. As this tree of life is stated to be in the streets of the city, and on each side of the river; tree must here be an enallage of the singular for the plural number, trees of life, or trees which yielded fruit, by which life was preserved. The account in Ezekiel is this: And by the river, upon the banks thereof, on this side and on that side, shall grow all trees for meat, whose leaf shall not fade--it shall bring forth new fruit according to his months -and the fruit thereof shall be for meat, and the leaf there of for medicine. Ch. xlvii. 12.
Twelve manner of fruits] Kaprovs dodeka, twelve fruits; that is, fruit twelve times in the year, as is immediately explained, yielded her fruit every month. As this was a great and spacious city, one fountain was not sufficient to provide water for it, therefore a river is mentioned, a great river, by which it was sufficiently watered. Some think that by this tree of life the Gospel is indicated: the twelve fruits are the twelve apostles; and the leaves are Gospel doctrines by which the nations, the Gentiles, are healed of the disease of sin. But this seems to be a fanciful interpretation.
3. No more curse] Instead of karavadeua, curse, the best MSS., Versions, &c. read κaralepa, cursed person. As there shall be no more sinning against God, so there shall be no more curse of God upon the people; for they shall be all His servants, and serve Him. Our first parents came under the curse by sinning against their Maker in Paradise: these shall never apostatize; therefore, neither they, nor the earth shall be cursed.
Ch. 19.10-s Dan. 8. 95. & 12.4, 9. Ch. 10.4.- Ch.1.3.- Ezek. 3.27. Dan. 12. 10. 2 Tim.3. 13.- Ver. 7-w Isa. 40, 10 & 62.11.-x Rom. 2.6 & 14.12. Ch 20. 12. —y Isa. 41.4.& 44.6.& 48 12 Ch.18, 11 & 21.6,-z Dan. 12. 12. John.3.24 - Ver. 2. Ch. 20.-2.7-b Chap. 21.27-1 Cor.6. 9, 10. Gal.5.19, 20, 21. Col.3 6. Chap. 9.2), A. & A.
8.-d Phil 3.2.
4. See his face] Enjoy what is called the beatific vision: and they shall exhibit the fullest evidence, that they belong entirely to Him; for His name shall be written on their foreheads.
5. There shall be no night there] See the 23d and 25th verses of the preceding chapter.
8 And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when
9 Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not; for I am thy
11 He that is unjust, let him be unjust still and he which
12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with
14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they inay have right to the tree of life, band may enter in through the gates into the city.
15 For without are d dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremon
6. These sayings are faithful and true] See the preceding chapter, ver. 5. From this verse to the end of the chapter, is reckoned the epilogue of this book. 1. The angel affirms the truth of all that had been spoken, ver. 6-11. 2 Jesus Christ confirms what has been affirmed, and pledges Himself for the fulfilment of all the prophecies contained in it, ver. 12-17. 3. John cautions his readers against adding or diminishing, and concludes with the apostolical blessing, ver. 18-21.
The things which must shortly be done] There are many sayings in this book, which, if taken literally, would intimate that the prophecies delivered in the whole of the Apocalypse, were to be fulfilled in a short time after their delivery to John: and this is a strong support of the scheme of Wetstein, and those that maintain that the prophecies of this book all referred to those times in which the apostle lived; and to the disturbances which then took place not only among the Jews, but in the Roman empire. What they all mean, and when and how they are to be fulfilled, God in heaven alone knows!
8. I fell down to worship] I prostrated myself before him as before a superior being, to express my gratitude, and give him thanks for the communications he had made.--See on ch. xix. 10.
10. Seal not the sayings] Do not lay them up for future generations; they concern the present times; they must shortly come to pass-for the time is at hand.—See above, ver. 6. What concerned the Jews, was certainly at hand.
11. He that is unjust, let him be unjust still] The time of fulfilment will come so suddenly, that there will be but little space for repentance and amendment. What is done, must be done instantly; and let him that is holy persevere, and hold fast what he has received.
12. Behold, I come quickly] I come to establish My cause, comfort and support My followers, and punish the wicked. 13. I am Alpha and Omega] See on ch. i. 8, 18, 14. Blessed are they that do his commandments] They are happy who are obedient.
That they may have right to the tree of life] The original is much more expressive, va esat i ekovoia avтwv enI TO ŽVÀOV rns (wns, that they may have authority over the tree of life; an authority founded on right; this right founded on obedi ence to the commandments of God; and that obedience produced by the grace of God working in them. Without grace, no obedience; without obedience, no authority to the tree of
gers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.
161 Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star. 17 And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth, say, Come. And let him that is athirst, come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely. 18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, k If any man shall add unto these
• Cbl-f Ch.5.5. Nom 24.17. Zenh.6.12. 2 Pet. 1.19 Ch.2.28-h Ch.21.2, 9-i las 53. 1. John 7 37. Ch.21.6.-k Deu. 4.2.& 12.32. Prov, 30.6.
life; without authority, no right; without right, no enjoy. ment: God's grace, through Christ, produces the good; and then rewards it as if all had been our own.
15. Without are dogs] All those who are uncircumcised in heart. The Jews call all the uncircumised, dogs. "Who is a dog?-Ans. He who is not circumcised."-Pirkey Elieser, ch. 29.
And sorcerers] See the note on ch. xxi. 8. 16. I Jesus] The Maker, the Redeemer, and Judge, of all
Have sent mine angel] An especial messenger from heaven. I am the root and offspring of David] Christ is the root of David, as to his Divine nature; for, from that, all the human race sprang for He is the Creator of all things, and without him was nothing made which is made. And He is the off spring of David, as to His human nature; for that He took of the stock of David, becoming thereby Heir to the Jewish throne; and the only Heir which then existed; and it is remarkable, that the whole regal family terminated in Christ; and as He liveth for ever, He is the alone true David and everlastina King.
The bright and morning star.] I am splendour and glory to My kingdom; as the morning star ushers in the sun, so shall I usher in the unclouded and eternal glories of the everlasting kingdom.
17. The Spirit and the bride] All the prophets, and all the apostles; the church of God under the Old Testament, and the church of Christ under the New.
Say, Come. Invite men to Jesus, that by Him they may be saved, and prepared for this kingdom.
Let him that heareth] Let all who are privileged with reading and hearing the word of God, join in the general invita. tion to sinners.
Him that is athirst] He who feels his need of salvation, and is longing to drink of the living Fountain.
And whosoever will] No soul is excluded: Jesus died for very man; every man may be saved; therefore, he who wills, who wishes for salvation, let him come and take the water of life freely, without money or price!
18. If any man shall add] Shall give any other meaning to these prophecies, or any other application of them than God intends; he, though not originally intended, shall have the plagues threatened in this book for his portion.
19. If any man shall take away] If any man shall lessen this meaning, curtail the sense, explain away the spirit and design of these prophecies, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, &c. Thus Jesus Christ warns all those who consider this book, to beware of indulging their own conjectures concerning it. I confess that this warning has its own powerful influence upon my mind, and has prevented me from indulging my own conjectures concerning its meaning, or of adopting the conjectures of others. These visions and threatenings are too delicate and awful a subject to trifle with; or even to treat in the most solemn manner, where the meaning is obscure. I must leave these things to time and event, the surest interpreters. No jot or tittle of Christ's word shall fall to the ground; all shall have its fulfilment in due time.
This is termed a revelation, but it is a revelation of symbols: an exhibition of enigmas, to which no particular solution is given; and to which God alone can give the solution. 20. Surely 1 come quickly] This may be truly said to every person, in every age: Jesus, the Judge, is at the door!
Even so, come, Lord Jesus.] The wish and desire of the suffering church, and of all the followers of God, who are longing for the coming of His kingdom.
things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book.
19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, 1 God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of " the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.
20 He which testifieth these things saith, Surely, I come quickly; P Amen. 4 Even so, come, Lord Jesus. 21 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.
1 Exod.32.33. Psa. 69.28. Ch 3.5. & 13.8-m Or, from the tree of life.-n Ch.21.2.o Ver. 12.-p John 21 -q 2 Tim. 4.8-r Rom. 16.90,24. 2 Thess. 3. 18.
21. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ] May the favour and powerful influence of Jesus Christ be with you all, you, of the seven churches, and the whole church of Christ, in every part of the earth, and through all the periods of time. Instead of ravтwv vpwv, you all, the most excellent MSS. and Versions have avtov Tov ayiwv, with all the saints. This reading Griesbach has received into the text as indisputably genuine.
Amen.] So be it! and so it shall be for ever and ever.-The opinion of Dr. Priestley concerning the authenticity of this book, and the manner in which it is written, should not be withheld from either the learned or pious reader. “Ithink it impossible for any intelligent and candid person to peruse this book without being struck, in the most forcible manner, with the peculiar dignity and sublimity of its composition, superior to that of any other writing whatever, so as to be convinced that, considering the age in which it appeared, none but a person divinely inspired could have written it. These prophecies are also written in such a manner as to satisfy us, that the events announced to us were really foreseen; being described in such a manner as no person writing without that knowledge, could have done. This requires such a mixture of clearness and obscurity, as has never yet been imitated by any forgers of prophecy whatever. Forgeries, written of course after the events, have always been too plain. It is only in the Scriptures, and especially in the book of Daniel, and this of the Revelation, that we find this happy mixture of clearness and obscurity in the accounts of future events."-Notes on Revelation.
The subscriptions to this book are both few and unimpor tant:
The CODEX ALEXANDRINUS has simply-the Revelation of John. The SYRIAC-doubles the Amen.
The ETHIOPIC-Here is ended the vision of John; the Apocalypse, Amen: this is, as one might say, the vision which he saw in his life; and it was written by the blessed John, the evangelist of God.
VULGATE and COPTIC-nothing.
ANCIENT ARABIC-By the assistance of our Lord Jesus Christ, the vision of John the apostle and evangelist, the beloved of the Lord, is finished: this is the apocalypse which the Lord revealed to him for the service of men. To Him be glory for ever and ever!
Having now brought my short notes on this very obscure book to a conclusion, it may be expected that, although I do not adopt any of the theories which have been delivered concerning it, yet I should give the most plausible scheme of the ancients or moderns which has come to my knowledge.This I would gladly do, if I had any scheme to which I could give a decided preference. However, as I have given, in the preface, the scheme of Professor Wetstein, it is right that I should, at the conclusion, give the scheme of Mr. Lowman, which is nearly the same with that of Bishop Newton, and which, as far as I can learn, is considered by the most rational divines as being the most consistent and probable.
The scheme of the learned and pious Bengel may be found in the late Rev. John Wesley's notes on this book: that of Mr. Lowman, which now follows, may be found at the end of Dr. Dodd's notes.
Among other objections to this, and all such schemes, I have this which to me appears of vital consequence: its dates are too late. I think the book was written before the destruction of Jerusalem, and not in 95 or 96, the date which I follow in the margin: which date I give, not as my own opinion, but the opinion of others.
Scheme of the Apocalypse.
SCHEME AND ORDER OF THE PROPHECIES IN THE APOCALYPSE.
FIRST PART of the Apocalypse, relating to the "things that are,' or to the then state of the church.
represents a monstrous wild beast rising
Chap. ii. Seven epistles to the seven churches of Asia Minor; describing their present state.
Chap. iv. SECOND PART of the Apoca lypse relating to the things which "shall be hereafter;" or to the state of the church in the ages to come after the time of the vision: with cautions and exhortations suitable to it.
Scene of the visions; the throne of God; the consistory above and heavenly church, representing God's power, majesty, authority, providence, and sure event of all His purposes.
A seared book, containing a revelation of the state of the church in after ages, given to the Lamb to open, or to Jesus Christ to reveal for the good of the church
by St. John.
Ver. 8. Chorus of angels and saints,
95-323 First Period showing the state of the church under the heathen Roman emperors, from about the year 95 to about the year 323; the seals of the book opened in order.
the rider with a crown, going forth to conquer, signifying the kingdom of
against the opposition of Jews and heathens.
or the whole heavenly church, sings a
830-988 First vial poured on the earth;
1. First seal represents a white horse custs coming out of it; signifying the rise pal and imperial factions, when the
100-138 2. Second seal represents a red
337-370 Chap. viii. Second Period reveals
gress of the Mohammedan imposture,
ing the invasion of Italy by the northern
lerian. 270-304 5. Fifth seal represents the souls of the martyrs under the altar; their reward and deliverance in a short time: signifying the severe persecution in the reign of Dioclesian; with an encouragement to constancy, suitable to such times of difficulty. 304-323 6. Sixth seal represents earthquakes, sun darkened, stars falling from heaven, signifying great commotions a the empire, from Maximin to Constantine the Great, who put a period to the persecution of Rome heathen.
Chap. vii. Interval between the first and second periods; representing an angel sealing 144,000 with the seal of the living God, signifying great numbers forsaking the idolatrous worship of the heathen Roznan empire, and embracing the profession of Christianity. Ver. 9 Chorus of the heavenly church
Scheme of the Apocalypse.
was put to them by a contention for the
675-750 6. Sixth trumpet represents four
756-2016 Chap. x. Third Period of the
A nuncius, or angel, comes down from heaven to declare the certain and severe punishment of the enemies of truth and pure religion, in this period.
Chap. xv. Seven angels receive seven cups, full of the wrath of God; signify. ing that the enemies of truth and pure religion in this period shall be severely punished in the course of it; and that they shall be utterly destroyed in the end. Chap. xvi. The oracle gives orders to the seven angels to pour out their vials, or cups.
sun, which has power given it to scorch
Chap. xviii. Another angel sent from heaven to confirm the utter and lasting destruction of this mystical Babylon, as a punishment for her idolatrous corrup tions and persecutions.
Chap. xix. Chorus of the heavenly church sings the praise of God, for His righteous judgments.
A vision of Christ leading an army out
Of the Trinity, &c.
of heaven, strongly represents the certain accomplishment of this prophecy. PERIOD IV.
Chap. xx. An angel sent from heaven to shut up Satan in the bottomless pit, as in a secure prison, for one thousand years, during which time there will be a very happy state of the church, in purity, peace, and prosperity.
Ver. 7. After the thousand years of the church's prosperity shall be expired, Satan will be loosed again for a little season; a new attempt will be made to revive the corruptions of the church and a spirit of persecution, which shall end
in the final destruction of Satan's power,
Ver. 11. The general resurrection and final judgment; the everlasting destruction of the wicked.
Chap. xxi. The seventh period concludes the whole prophecy, in the vision of a new heaven and a new earth, representing, in strong images, the extent, security, riches, and grandeur, of the heavenly Jerusalem; signifying the consummate happiness of the heavenly state.
1. That there is but one uncreated, unoriginated, infinite, and eternal Being; the Creator, Preserver, and Governor of all things.
2. That there is in this Infinite Essence a plurality of what are commonly called Persons, not separately subsisting, but essentially belonging to the Godhead; which Persons are commonly termed FATHER, SON, and HOLY GHOST; or GOD, the Locos, and the HOLY SPIRIT: and these are generally named the TRINITY; which term, though not found in the New Testament, seems properly enough applied, as we never read of more than three Persons in the Godhead.
3. That the Sacred Scriptures, or Holy Books which form the Old and New Testaments, contain a full revelation of the will of God in reference to man; and are alone sufficient for every thing relative to the faith and practice of a Christian; and were given by the inspiration of God.
4. That man was created in righteousness and true holiness, without any moral imperfection, or any kind of propensity to sin; but free to stand or fall.
5. That he fell from this state, became morally corrupt in his nature, and transmitted his moral defilement to all his terity.
6. That, to counteract the evil principle, and bring man into a salvable state, God, from His infinite love, formed the purpose of redeeming man from his lost estate by Christ Jesus, and, in the interim, sent His Holy Spirit to enlighten, strive with, and convince men of sin, righteousness, and judgment. 7. That, in due time, the Divine Logos, called afterwards Jesus the Christ, the Son of God, the Saviour, &c. became incarnated, and sojourned among men, teaching the purest truth, and working the most stupendous and beneficent miracles.
WHICH, ON CAREFULLY READING AND STUDYING THE SACRED WRITINGS, I THINK I FIND
8. That this Divine Person, foretold by the prophets, and described by evangelists and apostles, is really and properly GOD; having, by the inspired writers, assigned to Him every attribute essential to the Deity; being one with Him who is called God, Jehovah, &c.
9. That He is also perfect man, in consequence of His incarnation; and in that Man, or manhood, dwelt all the fulness of the Godhead bodily; so that His nature is twofold, Divine and human; or God manifested in the flesh.
10. That his human nature is derived from the blessed Virgin Mary, through the creative energy of the Holy Ghost; but His Divine Nature, because God, infinite and eternal, is uncreated, underived, and unbegotten; which, were it otherwize, He could not be God in any proper sense of the word; but as He is God, the doctrine of the eternal Sonship must be false.
Man a free agent, &c
Chap. xxii. Thus the prophecies of this Revelation issue in an eternal Sab bath, the future reward of all who remain faithful and constant in the true religion of Jesus Christ.
11. That as He took upon Him the nature of man, He died for the whole human race, without respect of persons; equally for all, and for every man.
12. That, on the third day after His crucifixion and burial, He rose from the dead; and, after showing Himself many days to His disciples and others, He ascended to heaven, where, as God manifest in the flesh, He continues, and shall continue, to be the Mediator of the human race, till the consummation of all things.
14. That no human being, since the fall, either has or can have merit or worthiness of or by himself; and therefore has nothing to claim from God, but in the way of His mercy through Christ: therefore, pardon, and every other blessing promised in the Gospel, liave been purchased by His sacrificial death; and are given to men not on account of any thing hey have done or suffered, or can do or suffer, but for His sake, or through His merit alone
15. That these blessings are received by faith, because not of works, nor of sufferings.
16. That the power to believe, or grace of faith, is the free gift of God; without which none can believe: but that the act of faith, or actually believing, is the act of the soul, under the influence of that power. But, this power to believe, like all other gifts of God, may be slighted, not used, or misused; in consequence of which is that declaration, "He that believeth shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned."
19. That unless a believer live and walk in the spirit of obe. pos-dience, he will fall from the grace of God, and forfeit all his Christian privileges and rights: in which state of backsliding he may persevere; and, if so, perish everlastingly.
20. That the whole period of human life is a state of probation; in every part of which a sinner may repent and turn to God; and in every part of it a believer may give way to sin and fall from grace: and that this possibility of rising, and liability to falling, are essential to a state of trial or probation 21. That all the promises and threatenings of the word of God are conditional, as they regard man in reference to his being here and hereafter: and that on this ground alone the Sacred Writings can be consistently interpreted, or rightly understood.
17. That justification, or the pardon of sin, is an instantane ous act of God's infinite mercy, in behalf of a penitent soul, trusting only in the merits of Jesus Christ: that this act is absolute in respect of all past sin; all being forgiven, where any is forgiven.
18. That the souls of all believers may be purified from all sin in this life and that a man may live under the continual influence of the grace of Christ, without sinning against his God: all evil tempers and sinful propensities being destroyed, and his heart filled with pure love both to God and man.
22. That man is a free agent, never being impeHed by any necessitating influence either to do evil or good; but has it continually in his power to choose the life or death that is set before him: on which ground he is an accountable being, and answerable for his own actions: and on this ground also, he is alone capable of being rewarded or punished.
23. That his free will is a necessary constituent of his ra tional soul; without which man must be a mere machine, either the sport of blind chance, or the mere patient of an irresistible necessity; and, consequently, not accountable for any acts to which he was irresistibly impelled.
24. That every human being has this freedom of will, with a sufficiency of light and power to direct its operations: and that this powerful light is not inherent in any man's nature; but is graciously bestowed by Him who is the true Light that lighteneth every man that cometh into the world.
25. That as Christ has made, by His once offering Himself upon the cross, a sufficient sacrifice, oblation, and satisfaction for the sins of the whole world; and that, as His gracious Spirit strives with and enlightens all men, thus putting them in a salvable state; therefore every human soul may be saved, if it be not his own fault.
26. That Jesus Christ has instituted, and commanded to be 13. That there is no salvation but through him; and that, perpetuated in His church, two sacraments: baptism, (sprinkthroughout the Scriptures, his passion and death are consiling, washing with, or immersion in, water,) in the name of dered as sacrificial; pardon and salvation being obtained by the Holy and ever-blessed Trinity, as a sign of the cleansing the shedding of his blood. and regenerating influences of the Holy Ghost, producing a death unto sin, and a new birth unto righteousness; and the Eucharist, or Lord's supper, as commemorating the sacrificia death of Christ. That by the first once administered, every person may be initiated into the visible church; and by the second, frequently administered, all believers may be kept in mind of the foundation on which their salvation is built; and receive grace to enable them to adorn the doctrines of God their Saviour in all things.
Of the Sacred Writings, &c.
28. That there will be a general resurrection of the dead; both of the just and unjust that the souls of both shall be reunited to their respective bodies; and that both will be immortal, and live eternally.
Concluding remarks 27. That the soul is immaterial and immortal, and can sub- | Nature, and their sovereign suitableness to the nature and sist independently of the body. state of man: thus reason approves and applauds Some men, it is true, cannot reason: and, therefore, they declaim against reason, and proscribe it in the examination of religious truth. Were all the nation of this mind, Mother Church might soon reassume her ascendancy, and "feed us with Latin masses and a wafer god."
29. That there will be a day of judgment, after which all shall be punished or rewarded, according to the deeds done in the body: the wicked being sent to hell, and the righteous taken into heaven.
30. That these states of rewards and punishments shall have no end; forasmuch as the time of probation or trial is for ever terminated; and the succeeding state must necessarily be fixed and unalterable.
Men may incorporate their doctrines in creeds or articles of faith, and sing them in hymns; and this may be all both useful and edifying, if the doctrine be true: but in every ques tion which involves the eternal interests of man, the Holy Scriptures must be appealed to, in union with reason, their great commentator. He who forms his creed or confession of faith without these, may believe any thing or nothing, as the cunning of others, or his own caprices, may dictate. Human
31. That the origin of human salvation is found in the infi. nite philanthropy of God: and that, on this principle, the un-creeds and confessions of faith have been often put in the conditional reprobation of any soul is absolutely impossible. place of the Bible, to the disgrace both of revelation and rea32. The SACRED WRITINGS are a system of pure unsophisti.son. Let those go away: let these be retained, whatever be cated reason, proceeding from the immaculate mind of God: the consequence. Fiat justitia: ruat cœlum. in many places, it is true, vastly elevated beyond what the No man either can or should believe a doctrine that contrareason of man could have devised or found out; but in no dicts reason but he may safely credit (in any thing that concase contrary to human reason. They are addressed not to cerns the nature of God) what is above his reason: and even the passions, but to the reason, of man; every command is this may be a reason why he should believe it. I cannot comurged with reasons of obedience; and every promise and prehend the divine nature, therefore I adore it: if I could threatening founded on the most evident reason and proprie. comprehend, I could not adore; forasmuch as the nature or ty. The whole, therefore, are to be rationally understood, and being which can be comprehended by my mind, must be less rationally interpreted. He who would discharge reason from than that by which it is comprehended, and therefore unwor this, its noblest province, is a friend in his heart to the anti-thy of its homage. The more knowledge increases, the more christian maxim, "Ignorance is the mother of devotion." we shall see that reason and learning, sanctified by piety toRevelation and reason go hand in hand: faith is the servant ward God, are the best interpreters of the Sacred Oracles. of the former, and the friend of the latter: while the Spirit of God, which gave the revelation, improves and exalts reason, and gives energy and effect to faith."
O thou who dwellest between the cherubim, shine forth and in thy light we shall see light.
I have but two words more to add at the conclusion of this long and severe work: one concerning myself,
To conclude, the doctrines or principles which I have stated above, and defended in this work, I believe to be the truths of God. Those against which I have argued, I believe to be either false or unproved. The doctrine which cannot stand the test of rational investigation, cannot be true. The doctrines or principles already enumerated, have stood this test: and those which shrink from such a test, are not doctrines of Divine Revelation. We have gone too far when we have said, "such and such doctrines should not be subjected to rational investigation, being doctrines of pure revelation." I know no such doctrine in the Bible. The doctrines of this Book are doctrines of eternal reason: and they are revealed, because they are such. Human reason could not have found them out; but, when revealed, reason can both apprehend and com. prehend them. It sees their perfect harmony among themselves, their agreement with the perfections of the Divine 546
Ωσπερ ξενοι χαιροντες ιδειν πατρίδα γαιαν,
one to my readers,
Hic labor extremus, longarum hæc meta viarum:
MILLBROOK, July 26, 1817.
END OF THE NEW TESTAMENT.