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“I create Jerusalem a rejoicing,a nd her people A “JOY. And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in “my people; and the voice of weeping shall be no “ more heard in her, nor the voice of crying, * Again, “ For as the new heavens and the new “ earth, which I will make, shall remain before " me, saith the Lord, so shall your seed and your name remaint." St. Peter is equally explicit on the same subject; “ Nevertheless, says he, we, “ according to his promise, look for new beavens, " and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteous"nesst." But St. John, in the two chapters before us, is much more copious in his description of the future happy state of the blessed, when speaking from the same great authority; “Behold “I make all things new. Write (i. e. prophecy, “ and tell mankind), for these words are true and « faithfuls.” And these new things, the prophet declares, were shewn him in his vision, that is, " That the first heaven, and the first earth, being “ passed away, and there being no more sea, he “saw a new heaven, and a new earth, and THE “ HOLY CITY, NEW JERUSALEM, coming down “ from heaven;" that “the tabernacle of God “ was with MEN;" that." He will dwell with them, w and they shall be his people; that God HIMSELF " shall be with them, and be THEIR Godl; and " that God shall wipe away all tears from their leyes, and there shall be no more DEATH, nei.
* Chap. Ixv. 17, 18, 19,
† Chap. lxvi. 22
Ver. 5, l Ver. li.
«s ther sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be "any more pain.”
From this state of the redeemed, through the immaculate righteousness of the eternal Son of “the ever LIVING GOD, the prophet passes to that of the unhappy and justly miserable state of the condemned. But let us first hear the prophet Isaiah upon the same subject. “Because when I “ (God) called, ye did not answer; when I spake, “ ye did not hear, but did evil before MINE EYES, " and did choose that in which I delighted not; « behold my servants shall eat, and ye shall be “ hungry; behold my servants shall drink and ye " shall be thirsty; behold my servants shall rejoice sand ye shall be ashamed; behold my, servants “ shall sing for joy of beart, and ye shall bowl for «6 vexation of spirit*.” So St. John, on the same subject: “ But the fearful, and unbelievers, and «s the abominable, and murderers, and whoremon“ gers, and idolalers, and all liars, shall have their 6 part in the lake which burneth with fire and "s brimstone; which is the second deatht.” .
Having given this idea of the superlative felicity of the blessed, in a future life; which cera tainly is, as sublime and extensive as human language can describe, or the human mind conceive, he next describes the holy city, the new Jerusalem, or the place in which they shall reside, and be separated forever from the wicked. And here, in order to conform his language to the limited comprehension of human nature, he represents
* Isai. Ixv. 12, 13, 14.
† Ver. 8.
the Holy Jerusalem, the place and kingdom of the blessed, as formed of " pure gold, like unto clear glass,” and adorned with all the most precious pearls and jewels known to man in his mortal state, and then tells us, that " he saw no tem“ple therein, for the LORD GOD ALMIGH“TY, and the LAMB, are the TEMPLE of it; “ and that the city had no need of the sun, neither " of the moon, to shine in it, for the GLORY “OF GOD did lighten it, and the LAMB was " the light thereof*. And there shall not enter “into any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever s worketh abomination, or maketh a lie; but they " which are written in the LAMB's Book of Lifet. “ | And a pure river of water of life, clear as crys“tal, proceedeth out of the THRONE OF “GOD and the LAMB. And there shall be no “ curse: but the THRONE OF GOD, and “ THE LAMB, shall be in it; and his servants “shall obey him. And they shall sed his face, “ and his name shall be written in their foreheads. “ 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.” Amen.
* Ver. 23.
+ Ver. 27. $ Chap. xxii. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.
ON THE MAN OF SIN.
THE SON OF PERDITION,
DT. Paul, in his first epistle to the Thessalonians, when treating of the second coming of Christ to judge the world, informs them, “ That the day of the Lord so cometh as a « thief in the night, and as travail on a wo66 man with child*;" meaning, that although no man shall know the time, the event shall come to pass. The Thessalonians, although no reference was made to the time, were led to believe that this awful day was near at hand. The apostle, conceiving that this error, should it be suffered to spread, might be productive of much mischief, wrote his second epistle to correct it. This was an error inconsistent with the rebuke given by Christ himself to the apostles, when their improper curiosity rendered them anxious to be informed on the same subject. “ It is not for you,” says he, “ to know the times and the seasons, which the father hath put in his own powerf." To explain himself more fully, the apostle treats of two great events which were to come to
† Acts i. 7.
* Chap. v. 1, 2, 3 VOL. ii.
pass before the day of our Lord; namely, the coming of the apostacy, and the revelation of “the Ålan of Sin ;” and earnestly entreats the Thessalonians to “ let no man deceive them “ by any means, for that day shall not come, “ except there come a FALLING AWAY first, “and that Man of Sin be revealed, the Son " of Perdition;" and thus he undeceives the church of Thessalonica, by declaring that, before the coming of our Lord, two great events shall come to pass in succession, viz. “a falling away,” or a great apostacy, first, and after that s the revelation of the Man of Sin in his time.”
Having reminded them of these truths, of which he had informed them before, he expostulates with them on their mistake and creduJity : “ Remember ye not, that when I was with you, I told you of these things?” and yet, fearing that they might not perfectly be. convinced, he repeats, and with great energy enforces the same truths : “ And now ye know what with-holdeth.” (evidently referring to the apostate power) that he, the “ Man of Sin might be revealed in his time,” in his proper season, or between the apostacy, and the coming of Christ. And that they might have no doubt of the appearance of the Man of Sin, notwithstanding the apostate Power, according to the decree of divine wisdom, was to come first, and " prevent for a time,” he assures them that the “ mystery of iniquity” (to be revealed in the Man of Sin) doth already work, only he (the apostacy) “ who now letteth, will let, until he