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15 To execute judgment upon all, and to convince 10 all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.

16 These are P murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth I speaketh great swelling words, having men's "persons in admiration because of advantage.

17 But, beloved, s remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ

; 18 How that they told you there should be * mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts. 10 to convict. We.

" extravagant things. Dod. and rose up from Seir unto them : he shined forth from mount Paran, and he came with ten thousands of saints : from his right hand went a fiery law for them. See on Acts, i. 11.

• 1 Sam. ii. 3: Talk no more so exceeding proudly ; let not arrogancy come out of your mouth: for the Lord is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed. Ps. xxxi. 18: Let the lying lips be put to silence; which speak grievous things proudly and contemptuously against the righteous. do. Ixxiii. 8, 9: They are corrupt, and speak wickedly concerning oppression: they speak loftily. They set their mouth against the heavens, and their tongue walketh through the earth. do. xciv. 4: How long shall they utter and speak hard things ? and all the workers of iniquity boast themselves ? Mal. iii. 13 : Your words have been stout against me, saith the LORD. Yet ye say, What have we spoken so much against thee?

p See on 1 Cor. x. 10.
9 2 Pet. ii. 18: They speak great swelling words of vanity.
r See on James, ii. 1, 9.

s 2 Pet. iii. 2 : That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets,

and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour.

Acts,xx. 29: I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. 2 Tim. iv. 3 : For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears. 2 Pet. ii. 1: But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall

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19 These be they who "separate theinselves, sensual,12 having not the Spirit. 20 But ye, beloved, "building up yourselves

your most holy faith, * praying in 14 the Holy Ghost,

21 Keep yourselves in the love of God, y looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.

22 And of some have compassion, making a difference :

23 And others 'save with fear, “pulling them

12 fleshly. Ma. Cr. Bi. Gen, animal. Ham. 13 in. Pu. "by. Pu.

be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damn. able heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. See on 2 Thes. ii.3.

PRO. xviii. 1: Through desire a man, having separated himself, seeketh and intermeddleth with all wisdom. Ezek. xiv. 7: Every one of the house of Israel, or of the stranger that sojourneth in Israel, which separateth himself from me I the Lord will answer him by myself. Hos. iv. 14: Themselves are separated with whores, and they sacrifice with harlots. do. ix. 10: They went to Baal-peor, and separated themselves unto that shame. HEB. X. 25: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another, and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

v See on I Cor. ii. 14.

w Col. ii. 7: Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. 1 Tim. i. 4: Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying.

* See on Rom. viii. 26.

y Tır. ij. 13: Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ. 2 Pet. iii. 12: Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat.

z See on Rom. xi. 14.

Amos, iv. 11: I have overthrown some of you, as God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah, and ye were as a firebrand plucked out of the burning: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the Lord. Zec. iii. 2: And the LORD said unto Satan,

a

out of the fire ; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.

24 Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,

25 e To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion' and power, both now and ever.

Amen.15

15 To the only God our Saviour, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, power, and authority, before all the ages, and now, and to all ages. Amen. Ham.

The LORD rebuke thee, O Satan ; even the LORD that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee : is not this a brand plucked out of the fire ? 1 Cor. iii. 15: If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss : but he himself shall be saved : yet so as by fire.

• Zec. iii. 4, 5: Take away the filthy garments from himI will clothe thee with change of raiment.-So they set a fair mitre upon his head, and clothed him with garments. Rev. iii. 4: Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments. See on Rom. xvi. 25, 27.

Col. i. 22 : In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight.

e 1 Tim. ii. 3: For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour. See on Rom. xvi. 27.

THE

Kevelation
OF SAINT JOHN THE DIVINE.

part

The Book of the Revelation had an early and general reception among Christians, as the writing of the apostle St. John; but (which is a very extraordinary circumstance, and what has not happened to any other book of the New Testament, after its reception,) about the beginning of the third century, and afterwards, it become controverted on both sides among many, who the author of it was ; whether John the apostle, or some other John. Jerome speaks of it as a book which the greater

of the Greek churches did not adunit into the number of the canonical scriptures; which is confirmed by the testimonies of Basil, Gregory Nyssen, Gregory Nazianzen, and the council of Laodicea. On the other hand, Justin, who within thirty years after the apostle John's death became a Christian; and Melito of Sardis, and Irenæus, about thirty years later, and Theophilus of Antioch, and Clement of Alexandria, and Origen, all writers of early date in Christianity, did unani. mously ascribe this book to the apostle St. John: and the Christian church Dearest the times of writing it, received it with so full consent, that in a very few years it was acknowledged, and placed in the number of apostolical writings, not only by the churches of Asia, but by the neighbouring churches of Syria and Samaria, by the more distant churches of Africa and Egypt, by Rome and the other churches of Europe. What made it to be doubted of afterwards by many, seems to have been the difficulty of the book, the reign of a thousand years with Christ, mentioned in it, being misunderstood, and interpreted in a too lateral sense ; and sects of enthusiasts arising, who pretended without any foundation to be in the Spirit, and to foretel wars and commotions ; wbich it is bighly probable they did in the style of the Revelation. These prejudices raised against it, rather than any certain reasons, as far as appears now, made many of the Greeks to doubt of it, and some of them even to absolutely reject it: for Dionysius, Bishop of Alexandria, says, “ Some of our ancestors disowned, and wholly rejected, this book; confuting every chapter, &c. and they say it is not John's.” But as these writers do not appear to have given any proofs that it was not John's, their merely saying that it was not makes nothing against its authority

and upon the whole it appears that it has been generally received in all ages, though some have doubted of it, or rejected it.

As to the time in which the Book of the Revelation was written, that too is a matter of doubt and dispute. Some of the ancients say, that was written in the reign of the Emperor Claudius, or Nero ; while others suppose it was not written till the times of the Emperor Domitian. The most ancient writer we now have, who mentions the time in which it was written, is Irenæus, who says it was written in the latter end of Domitian's reign, about the year of Christ 95, or 96. He seems to have first introduced this opinion ; but it is to be observed, that Irenæus appears to have but a small acquaintance with chronological facts; for he says, that our Saviour 'was not crucified till he was fifty, or between forty and fifty years old; and he makeş Matthew's Gospel (which he says was the first written of the Gospels) not to have been written till almost thirty years after Christ's ascension. But it can scarcely be thought, that the Christians were so long without any authentic history of Christ. Therefore Irenæus's testimony, in regard to the time of the writing of the Revelation, is not to be absolutely depended upon. And there seems to be some reasons to conclude, that it was written in the time of Claudius, or Nero ; Epiphanius expressly affirms, that John. prophesied in the time of Claudius Cæsar. The title of the Syriac version of the Revelation (which shows the tradition and opinion of the churches of Syria) is this, “ The Revelation which was made to John the Evangelist by God in the island of Patmos, into which he was banished by Nero the Cæsar.” This opinion is farther supported by allusions, in the Revelation, to the altar, and the holy city, or Jerusalem, as then standing. It is confirmed also by the style of the Revelation itself, which is fuller of Hebraisms than John's Gospel. From whence it may be gathered, that it was written when John was newly come out of Judea, where he had been used to the Syriac tongue ; whereas, bis Gospel being written after he had lived a considerable time among the Asiatic Greeks, is less full of Hebraisms. There is a further argument of the Revelation being written early, from the governors of the Christian churches being called therein angels ; for we find, in the Epistle to Timothy, they are styled bishops, or overseers, which has ever since been the title of the superintendents of Christian churches : so that we may conjecture the Revelation, was written before the title of bishops was in use; that is, at least before the year of Christ 65. Sir Isaac Newton, with great truth, says, he does not find any other book of the New Testament so strongly attested, or commented upon, so early as this. Indeed, it is impossible for any intelligent and candid

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