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IV.

EPISTLE TO THE CHURCH OF THYATIRA.

Rev. ii. 18-29.

Ver. 18. “And unto the Angel of the Church in Thyatira write.”—The Roman road from Pergamum to Sardis left Thyatira, as we are told by Strabo (xiii. 4), a little to the left; St. John is led in the Spirit by the same route which he may often in time past have travelled in the course of his apostolic visitations. Thyatira, a city of no first-rate dignity, was a Macedonian colony (Strabo, xiii. 4); and it may be looked at as a slight and unintentional confirmation, in a minute particular, of the veracity of the Acts, that Lydia, a purple-seller of Thyatira, is met exactly in the Macedonian city of Philippi (Acts xvi. 14), being precisely that which was likely to happen from the close and frequent intercourse maintained between a mother city and its daughter colonies. From this Lydia, whose heart the Lord had opened to attend to the things spoken of Paul, 183the Church at Thyatira may have taken its beginnings; she who had gone forth for a while, to buy and sell and get gain, when she returned home may have brought home with her richer merchandise than any she had looked to obtain.

These things saith, the Son of God, who hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet are like fine brass.”—The attributes which the Lord claims are again drawn from the description of the first chapter, ver. 14, 15, which see. The title “Son of God” (cf. xix. 13) is not indeed expressly and in so many words there; but it is involved in, and is the sum total of the impression left by the whole description. The actual form of this title is here drawn from the second Psalm, ver. 9, as is plain from more than one reference to that Psalm before this Epistle is ended; thus, compare ver. 26 with Ps. ii. 8; and ver. 27 with ii. 9. He who will presently give dominion to his servants, first claims it for Himself. The heathen have been given to Him for an inheritance, else He could not give them to his servants. If they are to rule them with a rod of iron, and break them in pieces like a potter’s vessel, it is only as partakers in a power which He has Himself first received.

Ver. 19. “I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works; and the last to be more than the first.”—Omit “and 184thy works” on its second occurrence, which has no right to a place in the text, and which mars the symmetry of all. We shall then have two pairs,— first, “thy charity and thy service,” for the article prefixed to all these words shows that the concluding σοῦ belongs to them all,—the “charity,” or love, being the more inward thing, the “service” (διακονία) the outward ministrations, the helps of all kind shown first to the household of faith, and then to all others, in which this “charity” found its utterance (Acts xi. 29; 1 Cor. xvi. 15; 2 Cor. xii. 9; Heb. vi. 10). As the first pair have a very close inner connexion, so have also the next pair, “thy faith and thy patience.” It needs but to refer in proof to Heb. xi. 27: “He endured, as seeing Him that is invisible;” and indeed Scripture everywhere declares that faith is the root and source of all patient continuance in well-doing.—“And the last to be more than the first.” The faithful in Thyatira were growing and increasing in this service of love, this patience of faith; herein satisfying the desire of Him, who evermore desires for his people that they should abound more and more in all good things. How much better this τὰ ἔσχατα πλείονα τῶν πρώτων than that of which St. Peter elsewhere speaks as the state of some, τὰ ἔσχατα χείρονα τῶν πρώτων (2 Ep. ii. 20; cf. Matt. xii. 45), which, as regards the most excellent grace of all, the Lord 185has just declared to be the state of the Ephesian Church (ver. 4).

Ver. 20. “Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.”—Omit “a few things” (ὀλίγα), which has no business in the text, changing, as a consequence of this, “because” into “that”—but do not change “that woman” into “thy wife” (τῆν γυναῖκά σοῦ), the authority for the insertion of σοῦ being insufficient to justify this. The whole condition of things at Thyatira was exactly the reverse of what it was at Ephesus. There much zeal for orthodoxy, and for the maintenance of sound doctrine, but little love, and as a consequence, no doubt, few ministrations of love. Here the activity of faith and love; but insufficient zeal for the maintenance of godly discipline and doctrine, a patience of error even where there was not a participation in it. Each of these Churches was weak in that wherein the other was strong.

But whom shall we understand by “that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess,” whom the Lord proceeds presently to threaten with so terrible a doom? It will be expedient here to consider first the position which the literal and historic Jezebel occupies in the history of the Church of the Old 186Testament. As Balaam, in the earlier history of the children of Israel, was the author of the great attempt to introduce heathenism with all its train of attendant impurities into the heart of the Church of God (Rev. ii. 14; Num. xxv.), so Jezebel in the later period of that same history. She was a daughter of Ethbaal, king of Sidon (1 Kings xvi. 13). The identity of this Ethbaal and Εἰθώβαλος, mentioned in a fragment of the Tyrian Annals of Menander, preserved by Josephus (Con. Apion. i. 18), is sufficiently made out, and is not, I believe, called in question by any. Of him then we there learn that he was priest of Astarte, and, by the murder of his predecessor Pheles, made his own way to the throne and kingdom. Jezebel, so swift to shed blood (1 Kings xviii. 4; xix. 2; xxi. 10), is a worthy offshoot of this evil stock. Nor less does she attest herself the daughter of the priest of Astarte. Hitherto the worship of the Calves had been the extent of the departure of the Ten Tribes from the Levitical institutions,—the true God worshipped still, the law of Moses in the main allowed and kept, however there might be a certain amount of sinful will-worship mingling with and spoiling all. But from the time of Ahab’s marriage with the daughter of Ethbaal the apostasy of Israel assumes altogether a different character; the guilt of it is of quite another and an infinitely deadlier kind 187(1 Kings xvi. 31; xxi. 25, 26). A fanatical promoter of the Baal worship (1 Kings xviii. 19), overbearing with her stronger will the weak will of her despicable husband, animated with the fiercest hatred against the prophets of Jehovah, the last witnesses for Him in Israel, now that the Levitical priesthood had been abolished there (1 Kings xxi. 31), she seeks utterly to exterminate these (1 Kings xviii. 13). She was probably herself, like her moral namesake here, a false prophetess; a priestess of that foul enthusiasm. Many arguments might be adduced to make this probable at the least. As much seems implied in Jehu’s answer to Joram’s question, “Is it peace?” “What peace, so long as the whoredoms of thy mother Jezebel, and her witchcrafts are so many” (2 Kings ix. 22)? While, again, when we keep in mind the essentially impure character of the Phœnician idolatries which she introduced,—Ashtaroth or Astarte was the Phœ nician Aphrodite,—we have an explanation of the “whoredoms” which Jehu further lays to her charge, and which may thus have set an hideous contradiction between her and her name, if indeed that derivation which would make it etymologically to signify The Chaste (our Agnes) is the true one. Nor is this the only passage where these impurities are ascribed to her. There is at Jeremiah iv. 30 an allusion, often overlooked, but, so soon as attention is called to it, not 188to be gainsaid, to 2 Kings ix. 30; and there the lovers or paramours of Jezebel appear.

Such was the elder Jezebel. And the later, assuredly not a sect of evil-workers personified, but some single wicked woman in the Church of Thyatira, inheriting from her this name of infamy in the Church of God, would seem to have followed hard in the steps of her Jewish prototype (for a like transfer of an evil name see Isai. i. 10). She gave herself out for a prophetess, and in one sense probably was so,—no mere teacher of perverse things, employing her intellectual faculties in the service of Satan, and not of God; but claiming inspiration, and probably possessing it, wielding spiritual powers, only they were such as reached her from beneath, not such as descended on her from above; for as at this time miraculous gifts of grace and power were at work in the Church, so were also their counterparts. And thus, by aid of these, she seduced the servants of Christ “to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed to idols;” see ver. 14. The attempt to restrain “servants” here to those who hold office in the Church is certainly a mistake. Δοῦλος may very well have this narrower meaning at i. 1; but that δοῦλοι includes the whole body of the faithful at vii. 3; xxii. 3, is evident. A comparison of this verse with ver. 14-16 leaves no doubt that the Jezebelites, and Balaaminites, and Nicolaitans, with secondary 189differences no doubt, were yet substantially the same;—all libertine sects, disclaiming the obligations of the moral law; all starting with a denial that Jesus Christ was come in the flesh, and that in the flesh therefore men were to be holy; false spiritualists, whose high-pretensions did not hinder them from ending in the foulest fleshly sins.

Ver. 21. “And I gave her space to repent of her fornication, and she repented not.”—The fact that punishment does not at once overtake sinners is constantly perverted by them as an evidence that it never will overtake them (Eccl. viii. 11; Isai. xxvi. 10; Ps. xxvi. 11); that God does not see, or, seeing, does not care to avenge. Christ opens out here another aspect under which this delay in the divine revenges may be regarded. The very time during which ungodly men are heaping up for themselves greater wrath against tie day of wrath, was a time lent them for repentance (Rom. ii. 4; 2 Pet. iii. 9), if only they would have understood the object and the meaning of it.

Ver. 22. “Behold, I will cast her into a bed and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds.”—These last words imply that even now the day of grace was not expired for these transgressors, however near at hand the close of it might be. “I will 190cast her into a bed;”3434   A curious testimony to the entire disappearance of Greek, and of the power of appealing to Greek copies of Scripture, probably to the total absence of Greek copies in Western Europe to appeal to, and the consequent exclusive dependence on the Vulgate, occurs here in the Commentary of Richard of St. Victor, one of the most learned men of perhaps the most learned monastic foundation in France. He observes that some copies here read ‘lectum,’ some ‘luctum;’ discusses at length the relative advantages and probabilities of the two readings, without a word implying the possibility of settling the question at once by a glance at the original. there where she has sinned shall she also be punished (cf. 1 Kings xxi. 19); the bed of sin shall be the bed of languishing, of sickness, and of death. The allusion which Vitringa traces here to the bed on which Ahab cast himself down heavy and displeased (1 Kings xxi. 4) is ingenious, but exceedingly far-fetched.

Ver. 23. “And I will kill her children with death.”—If her lovers, those “that commit adultery with her” (ver. 22), can only mean the chief furtherers and abettors of those evil things (she may have seduced them to fleshly as well as spiritual wickedness), “her children” must be rather the less prominent, less forward members of the same wicked company, more the deceived, while the others were the deceivers (Isai. lvii. 3), who yet should be overtaken with those others in a common doom (Ezek. xxiii. 47). The words “with death” must plainly be accepted as emphatic; 191some understand, with pestilence and plague (see Jer. xxi. 7), relying mainly on Rev. vi. 8; which, however, is insufficient to bear out this view, seeing that θάνατος in that passage itself cannot be proved to mean this; a reference to 2 Sam. xxiv. 13, 15, LXX. would be more to the point. Hengstenberg detects an allusion to the death of the adulteress (Lev. xx. 10; cf. John viii. 5); but this call scarcely be; for it is the “children” of the adulteress, not the adulteress herself, who are here threatened with death. Others find a reference to tire two sweeping catastrophies which overtook the Baal priests and votaries at exactly that period of Jewish history to which the mention of Jezebel here points (1 Kings xviii. 40; 2 Kings x. 25). To me it seems no more than a threat that their doom should be a signal one, that they should not die the common death of all men, nor be visited after the visitation of all men (Num. xvi. 29), but leaving the precise manner of that doom undefined.

And all the Churches shall know that I am He, which searcheth the reins and hearts.”—The judgment on this brood of transgressors shall be so open and manifest, their sin shall so plainly find them out, that, not the wicked, for God’s judgments are far above out of their sight, whether those judgments overtake themselves or others, but “all the Churches,” all who ponder these things and lay 192them to heart, shall confess that He who moves up and down in the midst of his Church, beholding the evil and the good, is a God of knowledge (see ii. 2), who is not mocked; “which searcheth the reins and hearts” (ταῖς ἐννοίαις ἐμβατεύων, as Olympiodorus explains it),—“the reins” being regarded as the seat of the passions, “the heart” of the affections; cf. Jer. xvii. 10; xx. 12. But this searching of the hearts and reins being, as it is, a prerogative of Deity (Mark ii. 8), God only knowing the hearts of men (ὁ καρδιογνώστης Θεός, Acts xv. 8; i. 24; 1 Chron. xxix. 17), it is plain that Christ, claiming this to Himself, is implicitly claiming to be God.—Ἐρευνᾶν is used in this same sense of searching, Rom. viii. 27, and always expresses a careful investigation, a following up of tracks or indications as far as they will lead, as the dog the footprints of the chase, the miner the veins of the metal (Gen. xxxi. 35; 1 Kings xx. 6; Prov. xx. 27; 1 Cor. ii. 10; 1 Pet. i. 11). Expressing, as the word does, this laborious and even painful investigation, leading step by step to its result, it, in the same way as every other discursive act, can only ἀνθρωποπαθῶς be ascribed to God; to whom by absolute and immediate intuition all hearts at all times lie open and manifest; who needs not to search out, and in this way to find, that which He always knows. ἐρευνῶν the Septuagint Translators 193prefer ἐτάζων (Ps. vii. 10; 1 Chron. xxix. 17; Ps. cxxxviii. 22; Jer. xvii. 10), which does not occur in the New Testament.

And I will give unto every one of you according to your works.”—This promise, or this threat, for it may be either, is one which we commonly keep at this time too much in the background; but it is one which we should press on ourselves and on others with the same emphasis wherewith Christ and his Word presses it upon us all (Ps. lxii. 13; Matt. xvi. 27; Rom. ii. 6; Job xxxiv. 11; Prov. xxiv. 12; Jer. xxii. 19). It is indeed one of the gravest mischiefs which Rome has bequeathed to us, that in a reaction and protest, itself absolutely necessary, against the false emphasis which she put on works, unduly thrusting them in to share with Christ’s merits in our justification, we often fear to place upon them the true; being as they are, to speak with St. Bernard, the “via regni,” however little the “causa regnandi;” though here too it must of course never be forgotten that it is only the good tree which brings forth good fruit; and that no tree is good until Christ has made it so.

Ver. 24. “But unto you I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine, and which have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak; I will put upon you none other burden.”—Leave out the καὶ with which the second 194clause in this sentence begins, and read, “But unto you I say, the rest in Thyatira, &c.” The Gnostics, starting probably from 1 Cor. ii. 10, were ever boasting their acquaintance with mysteries, the deep things of God; could speak much about the βυθός, “vere cæcutientes, qui profunda Bythi adinvenisse se dicunt” (Irenæus; cf. Tertullian, Adv. Valentin. § 1). A question is often here raised, whether these evil-workers spoke of “depths of Satan;” or only of “depths,” while “of Satan” is a further characteristic of these “depths,” added by the Lord Himself; who thus intimates with a keen irony what was the real character of those “depths” into which they professed themselves to have entered, and into which they sought to guide others. In this last way the words are generally understood, the Lord declaring what, in his all-seeing eye, was the true nature of the μεγαλοῤῥημοσύναι (such Ignatius, Ep. ad Ephes. 10, calls them), the “great swelling words of vanity” which these Gnostics vented; promising liberty to others, being themselves servants of corruption. I should be disposed, however, to think with Hengstenberg, that it was they themselves who talked of “depths of Satan,”—the position of ὡς λέγουσι seems to imply as much,—that in that fearful sophistry wherein they were such adepts, and whereby they sought to make a religion of every corrupt 195inclination of the natural mind, they talked much of “depths of Satan,” which it was expedient for them to fathom. We know concerning them how they taught that it was a small tiling for a man to despise pleasure and to show himself superior to it, while at the same time he fled from it. The true, the glorious victory was, to remain superior to it, even while tasting it to the full; to give the body to all the lusts of the flesh, and yet with all this to maintain the spirit in a region of its own, uninjured by them; and thus, as it were, to fight against pleasure with the arms of pleasure itself; to mock and defy Satan even in his own kingdom and domain. We have an anticipation of this sophistry of sin, with its flatteries at once of the pride and corruption of the human heart, in the well-known mot of Aristippus, the Cyrenian philosopher, who being upbraided on the score of his relations with a Corinthian courtesan, defended himself with the reply, difficult adequately to render in English, Ἔχω Λαΐδα, οὐκ ἔχομαι ὑπ᾽ αὐτῆς (Clemens Alex. Strom. ii. 20). Here, however, were but the germs of that which in some of the Gnostics appears fully blown.

“For you,” says the Lord, “who have not gone to this Satanic school, who have been content with the simple knowledge of the good, and not thought it needful to know the evil as well, not good and 196evil, but only good, I will put upon you none other burden.” If it be asked, “none other burden” than what?—the answer no doubt is, none other than a continued abstinence from, and protest against, these abominations. It was the master-stroke of the antinomian Gnostics to exaggerate, to distort, to misapply, all which St. Paul had spoken about the freedom of the Christian man from the law. They were the ultra-Paulines, who caricatured his doctrine, till of God’s truth they had made a devil’s lie. St. Paul had said of the law that it was not the ground of the Christian man’s justification, nor yet the source of his holiness; they made him to say that it was not the rule of his life; as though he had rejected it altogether as a burden no longer to be borne by the redeemed. The Lord takes up this word “burden;”—“I do lay on you a burden, but it is a burden which it is your blessedness to bear, and over and above which I will impose no other.” Compare Matt. xi. 30, where, however, φορτίον, not βάρος, stands in the original, and Acts xv. 28, 29, where βάρος occurs in this very sense of abstinence from idol-meats and fornication; and where exactly in the same sense, and almost in the same words, the Apostles declare that they will lay on the faithful of the Gentiles “no greater burden than these necessary things.”

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Ver. 25. “But that which ye have already hold fast till I come.”—It is on this condition that He will impose on them no additional burden. What they have of sound doctrine, of holy living, this they must hold fast, must so grasp it that none shall wrest it from them, till the day when the Lord shall come, and bring this long and painful struggle for the maintenance of his truth to an end. Ever and ever in Scripture, not the day of death, but the day of the Lord Jesus, is put as the term of all conflict.

Ver. 26. “And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations.”—By “my works” we must understand, “works which I have commanded, in which I find pleasure, which are the fruit of my Spirit;” cf. John vi. 27, where “works of God” are to be understood in the same sense as “godly works.” Here again that which is praised, that which will be crowned, is the keeping of these his works to the end; for Christ, the great ἐπιστάτης in the games, of which the Father is the ἀγωνοθέτης, and, still to keep the language of Tertullian, the Holy Ghost the ξυστάρχης, eternal life the βραβεῖον, promises here this reward, not to him who enters the lists and endures for a time, but to him who, having begun well, continues striving lawfully to the last. “To him will I give power over 198the nations.” The royalties of Christ shall by reflection and communication be the royalties also of his Church. They shall reign; but only because Christ reigns, and because IHe is pleased to share his dignity with them (iii. 21; Rom. v. 17; 2 Tim. ii. 12). When we ask ourselves in what sense, at what time, and in what form this “power over the nations” shall be the prerogative of the Church, we must find our answer in such passages as Rev. xx. 4; xxii. 5; 1 Cor. vi. 2; Ps. cxlix. 9, 6; and above all Matt. xix. 28.; cf. also Wisd. iii. 8.

Ver. 27. “And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers.”—As this is a dignity which is originally Christ’s (Ps. ii. 9; Rev. xii. 5; xix. 15), and only by Him made over to his servants, it is needful first to inquire what it means in respect of Him; and we may then understand what it means in respect of them. The passage in the second Psalm is no doubt that on which the three in this Book repose. It is there, “Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron;” but this Book throughout is in agreement with the Septuagint, “Thou shalt rule [ποιμανεῖς] them with a rod of iron.” The Hebrew words for “Thou shalt break” and “Thou shalt rule” only differ in their vowels; their consonants are identical; at the same time the parallelism of the latter half of the verse, “Thou shalt 199dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel,” leaves no doubt that “Thou shalt break” was the intention of the Psalmist. Shall we therefore conclude not merely that the Septuagint Translators mistook, which happens too frequently to be a matter to us of any serious wonder, but that the Lord set his seal to their error? Not so; He indeed accepts the pregnant and significant variation which they, intentionally or unintentionally, drew out of the language before them; and which was justified by the root common to both words; and instead of the mere unmingled judgment which lay in the passage as it originally stood in that Psalm, He expresses by it now judgment mingled with mercy, judgment behind which purposes of grace are concealed, and only waiting their due time to appear. Such a παιδευτικὴ ἐνέργεια, as Theodoret terms it, must be recognized in the ποιμαίνειν; which our “Thou shalt rule,” and the Latin “reges,” only imperfectly give back; as, in regard of the Latin, Hilary (in Ps. ii.) urged long ago: “Reges eos in virgâ ferreâ; quanquam ipsum reges non tyrannicum neque injustum sit, sed ex æquitatis ac moderationis arbitrio regimen rationale demonstret, tamen molliorem adhuc regentis affectum proprietas, Græca significat. Quod enim nobiscum est, reges eos, cum illis est ποιμανεῖς αὐτούς, id est, pastoraliter reges, regendi scilicet eos curam affectu 200pastoris habiturus.” For a still tenderer use of ποιμαίνειν see John xxi. 16; Acts xx. 28. I do not in the least mean to affirm that the words do not contain a threat for the nations; but it is a threat of love. Christ shall rule them with a sceptre of iron to make them capable of being ruled with a sceptre of gold; severity first, that grace may come after; they are broken in pieces, that they may know themselves to be but men; that, their fierceness and pride being brought down, they may accept the yoke of Christ (Ps. lxxxiii. 16). And indeed how often the great tribulations of a people have been the προπαιδεία, through which the Son of God has broken their pride, and made them capable of receiving his gospel, which, but for this, they would in their presumption and self-confidence have rejected to the end.

Our Translators have only rendered ῥάβδος by ‘sceptre’ on a single occasion in the New Testament (Heb. i. 8). It were to be wished they had done so here, and at xii. 5; xix. 15. The word in the second Psalm שֶׁבֶט has this meaning; cf. Ps. xliv. 8, where in like manner it occurs; and every thing else speaking of royalty here, this should do the same. It may be urged, indeed, that royal sceptres are not usually of iron, but of wood overgilded, or of silver, or of gold. This may be quite 201true, but, if so, only makes more striking the exception in the present instance. “He shall rule them with a sceptre of iron,” which, harder and stronger than any other, shall dash them who oppose themselves to it in pieces like a potter’s vessel; this image implying the ease with which all resistance shall be overcome, the utter destruction which shall overtake all them who attempt it (Jer. xix. 11; Isai. xxx. 14). Ewald: “Imago regis hostes suos facillimâ operâ conterentis et dispergentis.

Even as I received of my Father.”—There was one who offered to inaugurate Him at once in the possession of all the kingdoms of the world and the glory of them; and the Lord had put back him and his offer with indignation (Luke iv. 5-8), not because these were not his just expectation and his due inheritance; but because He would receive them at no other hands than his Father’s. And now we find that He has received them at these hands, and they are his; his to impart to his servants; and that which was a lying boast on the lips of the usurper, that he could give them to whom he would, is a truth on the lips of the rightful Lord. Even while upon earth He could say to his own (and the words constitute a very remarkable parallel to these), “I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto Me” (Luke xxii. 29). Richard of St. Victor: “Magna promissio, magnum 202donum: hoc promittit, hoc tribuit, quod Ipse accepit.

Ver. 28. “And I will give him the zorning star.”—Compare xxii. 16, where the Lord Himself is “the bright and morning star” (ὁ ἀστὴρ ὁ λαμπρὸς ὁ πρωϊνός). Whether He is meant by “the day-star” (φωσφόρος) of 1 Pet. ii. 19, may be a question. This star, as light-bringer, herald and harbinger of day, goes by many names; it is ἀστὴρ ἐωθινός (Ecclus. 1. 6), ὁ ἑωσφόρος ὁ πρωὶ ἀνατέλλων (Isai. xiv. 12, “Lucifer, son of the morning,” E. V.), the beauty and transcendant brightness of it being continually celebrated by poets, as by Homer (Il. xxii. 317); by Virgil (Æn. viii. 389); by Ovid (Trist. i. 3. 71: “cœlo nitidissimus alto”), and by Milton (Par. Lost, iv. 605:

“Hesperus, that led
The starry host, rode brightest”).

So does the Lord claim all that is fairest and loveliest in creation as the faint shadow and image of his perfections. A comparison with that other passage in this Book referred to already (xxii. 16) conclusively proves that when Christ promises that He will give to his faithful ones the morning star, He promises that He will give to them Himself, that He will impart to them his own glory and a share in his own royal dominion (cf. iii. 21); for the star, 203as there has been already occasion to observe, is evermore the symbol of royalty (Matt. ii. 2), being therefore linked with the sceptre (Num. xxiv. 17). All the glory of the world shall end in being the glory of the Church, if only this abide faithful to its Lord.

Ver. 29. “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the Churches.” Compare ii. 7.


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