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The Well-Spring of Life opened in Chrift: Or, an
Invitation to thirsty Souls, to come and to take the
RE v. xxii. 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.
THIS book, called the revelation of St. John,
or the revelation of Christ, which was shewn to John in the Ife of Patmos, appears to many of God's people to be dark and obscure in many parts of it; and it requires more wisdom than we can acquire by any art or skill of our own, to understand its meaning
“The lion of the tribe of Judah, the root of David, he only hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the feals thereof,” chap. v. 5. So that when a learned man, that is deftitute of the grace of God, hath this book or any other part of sacred writ put into his hands, that he might read the same; the scriptures inform us he faith, “I cannot, for it is sealed.” Isa. xxix. 11. It is the fame Spirit of God B
that indited the word, that only can open and explain the spiritual meaning thereof to his people.
It is very remarkable that this beloved disciple should have such a glorious revelation of such things, as should shortly come to pass, even when he was in the greatest obscurity. He was banished (as we are informed) into the isle of Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ; deprived of the privileges of worshipping God amongst his saints, of preaching his word and attending upon his ordinances, yet he was not forgetful of the Lord's-day; and a blessed sabbath it was no doubt to his soul; for we are informed that he was in the Spirit on the Lord's-day, chap. i. 10. And I think we have reason to believe he had this book of the Revelation revealed to him upon that day.
It is not my design to takc any particular notice of those deep mysteries contained in this book, but as they stand related to our text. We have, chap. xxi. a de!cription given us of the New-Jerusalem churchstate, or personal reign of our Lord Jesus Christ of the new heaven and the new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away ; and there was no more sea. And John tells us that he “saw the holy city, New-Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband,” verle 1, 2.
We have in this chapter a full description given us of this city; of its walls, its gates, its foundations, the precious and beautiful stones by which it is said to be garnished and adorned with ; with the exact dimensions of it, its being of pure gold like unto clear glas ; its brightness, so that it need not the light of the fun or the moon to shine in it, Christ the Lanıb being the light thereof; with its inhabitants, the nations of them that are saved are to walk in the light of it. And lastly, we are inforined
who are to be excluded this city : any that defileth or worketh abomination, or maketh a lie, and that none are to enter into it, but such whose names are written in the Lamb's book of life.
The chapter, out of which I have taken my text, proceeds to give an account of this city. First, of that pure river of water of life clear as cryftal, which proceeds out of the throne of God and the Lamb, verfe 1. Secondly, of the tree of life, which is the Lord Jesus Christ, as it is from him all our fruit is found. His situation (under this metaphor) in the midst of the street; and on either side the river of life.
The continued variety of fruit from him as such : Twelve manner of fruits yielded every month. The healing virtue of this tree, the leaves of which are for the healing of the nations, verse 2. There can be no curse to the glorious inhabitants of this city, because the throne of God and the Lamb shall be in it. And they shall serve him with unspeakable delight and pleasure, verse 3. Yea they shall have a full view of Christ, they shall see his face, not through a glass darkly as they do now, but face to face, know as they are known, I Cor. xiii. 12. And his name shall be in their foreheads, plain to be seen ; neither will they be ashamed of their Lord and Master in this glorious state, verse 4.
Thirdly, we have a description given us, verse 5. of the light of this city. There shall be no night there, and they need no candle, neither the light of the fun, for the Lord giveth them light : Christ himself is the light of this city, chap. xxi. 23. in comparison of which the fun itself in its meredian is but darkness. Yea, there shall be such a glory on the bodies of the saints, in the morning of the resurrection; (for this glorious church-state will follow upon the first resurrection, as it is called, chap. xx. 5)
as that they hall shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father, Matt. xiii. 43. Their bodies will be like Christ's glorious body, that is, there will be no sort of darkness or any other infirmity in them, to hinder their bliss and glory, and they shall reign with Christ for ever and ever. Blessed state indeed!
The angel then proceeds to inform John of the truth of these things, and that they should soon be accomplished ; that the coming of Christ was near, even at that time of day, “ Behold I come quickly;” and Thews the blessedness of such who observe these things, that keep the sayings of the prophecy of this book, verse 6, 7. And the apostle John informs us, that he saw these things and heard them; and fo great was his reverence and esteem for the angel that shewed him these things, that he was about to pay him worship and divine adoration ; but the angel forbid him, by informing him he was but a creature, a fellow-servant of God with himself, and informs him whom he should worship, namely God; “ worship God,” verse 8, 9. and orders him not to seal the sayings of the prophecies of this book, on account of its speedy accomplishment, “ for the time is at hand.” verle 10. “ He that is unjust, let him be unjust still; and he which is filthy let him be filthy still.” Awful words ! Let the wicked remain in their car. nal unregenerate ltate to perish for ever; let them ever continue filthy, let there be ro change in them; the time is at hand, let no more gospel-sermons be preached to them ; let them remain under the indig. nation of the Almighty for ever. So let him that is righteous in the righteousness of Christ ever remain fo. And he that is holy in all manner of converfation, i Pet. i. 15. let him remain so, verse 11. “ Behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be, " verie 12, I am come with a reward of grace, to
reward all those who have made it manifest that they love me, by keeping my commandments; their good works have declared them to be no hypocrites, but the real children of God. “ I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last," ver. 13. There is none besides me; so that my word is to be taken for every thing which I have promised as to the salvation of my people, and the destruction of my enemies. “Blessed therefore are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life; and may enter in through the gates into the city,” ver. 14.
None have a right to live in this city, but such who are holy in all manner of converlation. For though our right and title to this city comes to us through the righteousness of Christ, yet if there is not a meetness wrought in our heart by the grace and Spirit of God, we make it appear we have no right to the tree of life, or to enter in at the gates of this city. “ For without are dogs," m
men in a state of nature, however they may speak of this city, yet they are but dogs who bite and tear the iheep of -Christ, But now they will not be suffered to come into the city ; they shall be without with their own company, such as forcerers, and whorernongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie, verle 15.
Now these things are to be declared and testified in the churches of Christ anongst his afïemblies. Christ has sent his angel to this intent and purpose, to testify these things to John, that they might be made known to his churches.
So his ministers, who are compared to angels, chap. i. 20. are to teftify that Christ will come quickly, to accomplish all that he has promised in this book. And if we would know more of this glorious personage the Lord Jesus Chrift, who is to accomplish all things