Skip to comments.The Apocalypse Of Saint John (Revelation) Chapter 3
Posted on 07/30/2011 1:44:05 PM PDT by Cronos
Directions what to write to Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea.
 And to the angel of the church of Sardis, write: These things saith he, that hath the seven spirits of God, and the seven stars: I know thy works, that thou hast the name of being alive: and thou art dead.  Be watchful and strengthen the things that remain, which are ready to die. For I find not thy works full before my God.  Have in mind therefore in what manner thou hast received and heard: and observe, and do penance. If then thou shalt not watch, I will come to thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know at what hour I will come to thee.  But thou hast a few names in Sardis, which have not defiled their garments: and they shall walk with me in white, because they are worthy.  He that shall overcome, shall thus be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, and I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.
 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith to the churches.  And to the angel of the church of Philadelphia, write: These things saith the Holy One and the true one, he that hath the key of David; he that openeth, and no man shutteth; shutteth, and no man openeth:  I know thy works. Behold, I have given before thee a door opened, which no man can shut: because thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.  Behold, I will bring of the synagogue of Satan, who say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie. Behold, I will make them to come and adore before thy feet. And they shall know that I have loved thee.  Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I will also keep thee from the hour of the temptation, which shall come upon the whole world to try them that dwell upon the earth.
 Behold, I come quickly: hold fast that which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.  He that shall overcome, I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God; and he shall go out no more; and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God, and my new name.  He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith to the churches.  And to the angel of the church of Laodicea, write: These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, who is the beginning of the creation of God:  I know thy works, that thou art neither cold, nor hot. I would thou wert cold, or hot.
 "The Amen,"... that is, the true one, the Truth itself; the Word and Son of God. The beginning-- that is, the principle, the source, and the efficient cause of the whole creation.
 But because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold, not hot, I will begin to vomit thee out of my mouth.  Because thou sayest: I am rich, and made wealthy, and have need of nothing: and knowest not, that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.  I counsel thee to buy of me gold fire tried, that thou mayest be made rich; and mayest be clothed in white garments, and that the shame of thy nakedness may not appear; and anoint thy eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.  Such as I love, I rebuke and chastise. Be zealous therefore, and do penance.  Behold, I stand at the gate, and knock. If any man shall hear my voice, and open to me the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
 To him that shall overcome, I will give to sit with me in my throne: as I also have overcome, and am set down with my Father in his throne.  He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith to the churches.
Now! Does this not show you can lose the Grace given what else would be blotted out from the Book of Life. Eternal life. It means you have to act accordly in Christ.
Veneration without a doubt to the saints! Just right there.
Notes & Commentary:
Ver. 1-6. To the Angel of the church of Sardis. He begins with a severe reprehension, thou hast the name of being alive, and thou art dead, which we may understand of the greatest part of them, and of being dead by the worst of deaths, which is that of sin. (Witham) -— In the style of the sacred writers, to live, is to be in the state of grace, and to bring forth good works; as, to be dead, is to live in sin, and in the neglect of Christian duties. (Calmet) -— Here we see that the opinion of men is no advantage to us, when our internal dispositions are not correspondent to our external appearance. For what we are in thy sight, O Lord, so much we are, and no more, says St. Augustine. -— The bishop is charged with this fault, that he did not watch and take care of his flock. He is admonished to repent, and to strengthen those that were not dead, but ready to die. (Witham) -— God does not seek to surprise us and lay snares for us. But when he tells us that he will come like a thief, it is only to admonish us not to slumber. Had he wished to take us unawares, he never would have admonished us beforehand. (Calmet) -— But thou hast a few names, &c. That is, a few persons not yet defiled, neither as to their consciences, souls, nor bodies. -— They shall walk with me in white apparel, &c. It is a new way of expressing the happiness of heaven. (Witham) -— White is the color of joy, festivity, and triumph. The Angels always appeared clothed in white. (Calmet)
Ver. 7-13. To the Angel of the church of Philadelphia. There were several towns of this name; here is understood that which was near Sardis, in Lydia. Here is no more than an admonition to persevere, to hold that which thou hast. Christ takes the title of the Holy One, and True One, who hath the key of David; i.e. being the son of David, and the promised Messias, hath supreme power in the Church: who opens the gate of salvation, and no one shuts it against his elect. (Witham) -— By the key in this place may be understood either the key of the Church, or of the kingdom of heaven. Jesus Christ has both, he opens and shuts the heavens by his infinite power. But in the Church on earth he has entrusted this key (his power) to his apostles and ministers; whatever is bound or loosened by them is ratified by him in the kingdom of his glory. (Calmet) -— I have set before thee a door open, by giving thee graces to save thee, which no one shall be able to hinder, because thou hast of thyself little power or strength, and hast kept my word, and not denied the faith. (Witham) -— I have sent you to preach, and have given my blessing to your labours. You shall, notwithstanding all your adversaries, eventually succeed. St. Paul makes use of the same manner of expression, 1 Corinthians xvi., I see a great door is open to me, and at the same time many adversaries; and again, 2 Corinthians ii. and Colossians iv., On account of your little strength, your want of talents, eloquence, supernatural gifts, &c. I have not exposed you to great trials. Thus does the Almighty always proportion the trials he sends, and the temptations he permits in his servants, to the graces and strength he has given them. -— Those who were neither Jews nor Christians, shall come and abjure at your feet their former errors, and shall evidently perceive that you are strengthened by me. (Calmet) -— Christ also promises that he will make the false abandoned Jews subject to the bishop and his Church, and to own them to be the beloved and chosen people. God promises to preserve them in the hour or time of temptation and persecutions, which should happen to all the inhabitants of the earth. (Witham) -— He here advertises him of the persecution which was about to take place, and by which he would try the fidelity of his servants. In ver. 12., he relates the triumph and everlasting beatitude of the martyrs. -— He that overcomes, I will make him a pillar, &c. so as to stand firm against his enemies, and to be secure of his endless happiness. -— I will write upon him the name of my God, a subscribed citizen of the celestial Jerusalem, with the new name of Jesus, the Saviour and Redeemer of mankind. He alludes to the custom of writing names upon pillars, palaces, &c. -— From the words my God, the Socinians pretend that Christ is not the true God, as we may find in the disputes which Servetus had with Calvin. Calvin answered the Socinians, as all Catholics do, that Christ was both God and man: this and divers things were spoken of Christ as he was man, but that many things in the Scriptures could not apply to him, unless he was also truly God. And by such places is clearly confuted the blasphemy and error of the Arians and Socinians. The argument concludes in the principles of the Catholics, who allow the authority of the Church in expounding the sense of the Scriptures; but the Calvinists, and all other pretended reformers, having shaken off that authority, and having allowed that the holy Scriptures are to be interpreted according to every man’s private judgment or spirit, this set Calvin and Servetus, every Calvinist and Socinians, upon the same level. (Witham)
Ver. 14-22. The seventh and last letter is to the Angel of the Church of Laodicia. Christ here takes the title of the Amen, as if he said, I am the Truth. -— The beginning of the creation, or of the creatures of God, to which is added in the first chapter, the beginning and the end. -— Thou art neither cold nor hot, but lukewarm. A dreadful reprehension, whatever exposition we follow. According to the common interpretation, by the cold are meant those who are guilty of great sins; by the hot, such as are zealous and fervent in piety and the service of God; by the lukewarm or tepid, they who are slothful, negligent, indolent, as to what regards Christian perfection, the practice of virtue, and an exact observance of what regards the service of God. On this account they are many times guilty in the sight of God of great sins, they forfeit the favour and grace of God, fancying themselves good enough and safe, because they live as others commonly do, and are not guilty of many scandalous and shameful crimes, to which they see others addicted. -— I would thou wert either cold or hot. This is not an absolute wish, because the condition of the cold is certainly worse in itself; but it is to be taken with regard to the different consequences, which oftentimes attend these two states, and to signify to us that the lukewarm may be farther from a true conversion, inasmuch as they are less sensible of the dangers to which they remain exposed, than such as commit greater sins. Their careless indevotion becomes habitual to them, they live and die with a heart divided betwixt God and the world; whereas greater and more shameful sinners are not without an abhorrence of such vices which they commit; a fear of punishment, of hell and damnation, strikes them by the mercies of God offered even to sinners, and makes them enter into themselves like the prodigal son; they detest their past lives, and by the assistance of God’s graces become both fervent and constant in the duties of a Christian life. (Witham) -— Tepidity in a Christian life, and in the service of God, is oftentimes more dangerous than absolute wickedness. The open sinner is easily made sensible of his danger; he experiences the stings and reproaches of conscience, whilst the tepid Christian lives without remorse, fear, or apprehension, and listens not to those who wish to shew him the danger of his situation. I dare venture to affirm, says St. Augustine, that to fall into some public and manifest sin would be of advantage to the proud, that so those who by their self-complacency had so often fallen before, may now become displeased with themselves and humble. (Calmet) -— To the lukewarm it is said, I will begin to vomit thee out of my mouth; i.e. if thou continue in that state, I will permit thee to run on and be lost in thy sins. Thou blindly sayest within thyself, I am rich, &c. A false conscience generally attends a lukewarm soul and those who serve God by halves; they flatter themselves that all goes well enough with them, when they see they are not so vicious, as many others: but here the spirit of God, who penetrates the secret folds and windings of slothful souls, admonisheth them of their dangerous mistakes, that they are wretched, poor, blind, and naked, when God, by his grace, does not inhabit their souls, though they may have millions of gold and silver in this world. I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, the love of God purified by trials and troubles in this life, to recover thy lost innocence, to be clothed with the habit of grace, to anoint thy eyes with eye-salve, by a serious reflection on what regards thy eternal salvation. -— I chastise those whom I love. He concludes all the former admonitions by telling them: first, that to be under trials and troubles, is a mark of God’s favour and his paternal care; secondly, to hearken to the voice of God, when he knocks at the door of their heart; and thirdly, he promises them the reward of eternal happiness-—he that overcomes, shall sit with me on my throne: though this does not imply an equality of happiness, not even to all the saints, much less with God himself, but only that the elect shall be in the throne as it were of heaven, and partakers of heavenly happiness according to their past good works. -— I should not here mention the wild and ridiculous fancies of one Mr. Brightman, when he pretends to expound to all men these letters to the seven bishops of Asia[Asia Minor], were it not to shew how the obscure predictions of St. John’s revelation have been turned and abused by the loose interpretations of some of the late reformers, as may be seen more at large, when we mention their arbitrary fancies about the whore of Babylon and the popish antichrist. I shall here with Dr. Hammond, give the reader a taste of such licentious expositions of the divine oracles. The Calvinist, Mr. Brightman, pretended he had his expositions by divine inspirations, and so gave his commentary the title of Revelation of the Revelation. I shall quote his words out of Dr. Hammond. “Mr. Brightman assures his readers, that by the churches of Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicia, were meant Germany, France, and Britain. He says a most heavy trial was now suddenly to invade the Christian world....that the three said churches were most favourably admonished of this tempest by the epistles written to them by name, nomination....that he found and understood this to be so by divine inspiration, from the inscriptions of these letters, and so should be guilty of a sin against the Divine Majesty, if he concealed them.” Not to tire the reader with his fancies about Ephesus and Pergamus, which may be seen in Dr. Hammond, Rev. ii. 13., “on those words, in those days was Antipas, &c. Mr. Brightman has this wanton fancy on the name Antipas, that it doth denote that the martyrs of his time (which was after Luther) should be antipapæ, or antipopes;” i.e. adversaries to the popes and popery. Dr. Hammond (p. 928) gives us Mr. Brightman’s conceit on the name Thyatira, which must be taken for the same as Thygatheira, signifying a young daughter, and so denotes the growth of piety in the Church from the year 1300, from Wycliffe’s time to 1520, that is, till it came to perfection in Luther’s days. Page 932. note a, “Sardis, according to Mr. Brightman,” says Dr. Hammond, “is the first reformed church in the antitype, to wit, that of Germany, which began at Wittenburg, by Luther, in the year 1517. And the proof is, that Sardis is more to the south than Thyatira, and so must have more of truth in it; or, because there is no mention made of Balaam and Jezabel, which he resolved must signify the doctrines of Christian Rome, the absence of which must signify a breaking off from the Romish communion; or, that she (the German Church) had a name to be living, but was dead, by the doctrine of consubstantiation among the Lutherans, even after the reformation. This,” says Dr. Hammond, “were a strange way of interpreting dreams, which no oneirocritic would allow, but a much stranger of explaining prophecies.” Page 933, “Philadelphia, says Mr. Brightman, must needs be the Helvetian, Swedish, Genevan, French, Dutch, and Scotch reformed Churches. No reason again for it, but that the city of Philadelphia was yet farther south than Sardis, and so must needs signify more increase of reformation; 2. that the name of Jezabel was not in it; 3. that the word Philadelphia, signifying brotherly love, cannot be applied to any but this pattern of all piety (to which Mr. Brightman had so much kindness) the Church of Helvetia and Geneva. And the reformed Church of England must be that of Laodicia,....because episcopacy was here retained, and so a mixture of cold with that of heat, and consequently is the lukewarm Church that is found fault with.” O the profound interpretations and bright inventions of Mr. Brightman! (Witham)
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Home > Fathers of the Church > Commentary on the Apocalypse (Victorinus)
Commentary on the Apocalypse
From the First Chapter
1. The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave to Him, and showed unto His servants things which must shortly come to pass, and signified it. Blessed are they who read and hear the words of this prophecy, and keep the things which are written. The beginning of the book promises blessing to him that reads and hears and keeps, that he who takes pains about the reading may thence learn to do works, and may keep the precepts.
4. Grace unto you, and peace, from Him which is, and which was, and which is to come. He is, because He endures continually; He was, because with the Father He made all things, and has at this time taken a beginning from the Virgin; He is to come, because assuredly He will come to judgment.
And from the seven spirits which are before His throne. We read of a sevenfold spirit in Isaiah, namely, the spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, of knowledge and of piety, and the spirit of the fear of the Lord.
5. And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the first-begotten of the dead. In taking upon Him manhood, He gave a testimony in the world, wherein also having suffered, He freed us by His blood from sin; and having vanquished hell, He was the first who rose from the dead, and death shall have no more dominion over Him, Romans 6:9 but by His own reign the kingdom of the world is destroyed.
6. And He made us a kingdom and priests unto God and His Father. That is to say, a Church of all believers; as also the Apostle Peter says: A holy nation, a royal priesthood. 1 Peter 2:9
7. Behold, He shall come with clouds, and every eye shall see Him. For He who at first came hidden in the manhood that He had undertaken, shall after a little while come to judgment manifest in majesty and glory. And what says He?
12. And I turned, and saw seven golden candlesticks; and in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks one like the Son of man. He says that He was like Him after His victory over death, when He had ascended into the heavens, after the union in His body of the power which He received from the Father with the spirit of His glory.
13. As it were the Son of man walking in the midst of the golden candlesticks. He says, in the midst of the churches, as it is said in Solomon, I will walk in the midst of the paths of the just, Proverbs 8:20 whose antiquity is immortality, and the fountain of majesty.
Clothed with a garment down to the ankles. In the long, that is, the priestly garment, these words very plainly deliver the flesh which was not corrupted in death, and has the priesthood through suffering.
And He was girt about the paps with a golden girdle. His paps are the two testaments, and the golden girdle is the choir of saints, as gold tried in the fire. Otherwise the golden girdle bound around His breast indicates the enlightened conscience, and the pure and spiritual apprehension that is given to the churches.
14. And His head and His hairs were white as it were white wool, and as it were snow. On the head the whiteness is shown; but the head of Christ is God. 1 Corinthians 11:3 In the white hairs is the multitude of abbots like to wool, in respect of simple sheep; to snow, in respect of the innumerable crowd of candidates taught from heaven.
His eyes were as a flame of fire. God’s precepts are those which minister light to believers, but to unbelievers burning.
16. And in His face was brightness as the sun. That which He called brightness was the appearance of that in which He spoke to men face to face. But the glory of the sun is less than the glory of the Lord. Doubtless on account of its rising and setting, and rising again, that He was born and suffered and rose again, therefore the Scripture gave this similitude, likening His face to the glory of the sun.
15. His feet were like yellow brass, as if burned in a furnace. He calls the apostles His feet, who, being wrought by suffering, preached His word in the whole world; for He rightly named those by whose means the preaching went forth, feet. Whence also the prophet anticipated this, and said: We will worship in the place where His feet have stood. Because where they first of all stood and confirmed the Church, that is, in Judea, all the saints shall assemble together, and will worship their Lord.
16. And out of His mouth was issuing a sharp two-edged sword. By the twice-sharpened sword going forth out of His mouth is shown, that it is He Himself who has both now declared the word of the Gospel, and previously by Moses declared the knowledge of the law to the whole world. But because from the same word, as well of the New as of the Old Testament, He will assert Himself upon the whole human race, therefore He is spoken of as two-edged. For the sword arms the soldier, the sword slays the enemy, the sword punishes the deserter. And that He might show to the apostles that He was announcing judgment, He says: I came not to send peace, but a sword. Matthew 10:34 And after He had completed His parables, He says to them: Havey3ye understood all these things? And they said, We have. And He added, Therefore is every scribe instructed in the kingdom of God like a man that is a father of a family, bringing forth from his treasure things new and old, Matthew 13:51-52 the new, the evangelical words of the apostles; the old, the precepts of the law and the prophets: and He testified that these proceeded out of His mouth. Moreover, He also says to Peter: Go to the sea, and cast a hook, and take up the fish that shall first come up; and having opened its mouth, you shall find a stater (that is, two denarii), and you shall give it for me and for you. Matthew 17:27 And similarly David says by the Spirit: God spoke once, twice I have heard the same. Because God once decreed from the beginning what shall be even to the end. Finally, as He Himself is the Judge appointed by the Father, on account of His assumption of humanity, wishing to show that men shall be judged by the word that He had declared, He says: Do you think that I will judge you at the last day? Nay, but the word, says He, which I have spoken unto you, that shall judge you in the last day. John 12:48 And Paul, speaking of Antichrist to the Thessalonians, says: Whom the Lord Jesus will slay by the breath of His mouth. 2 Thessalonians 2:8 And Isaiah says: By the breath of His lips He shall slay the wicked. Isaiah 11:4 This, therefore, is the two-edged sword issuing out of His mouth.
15. And His voice as it were the voice of many waters. The many waters are understood to be many peoples, or the gift of baptism that He sent forth by the apostles, saying: Go, teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Matthew 28:19
16. And He had in His right hand seven stars. He said that in His right hand He had seven stars, because the Holy Spirit of sevenfold agency was given into His power by the Father. As Peter exclaimed to the Jews: Being at the right hand of God exalted, He has shed forth this Spirit received from the Father, which you both see and hear. Acts 2:33 Moreover, John the Baptist had also anticipated this, by saying to his disciples: For God gives not the Spirit by measure unto Him . The Father, says he, loves the Son, and has given all things into His hands. Those seven stars are the seven churches, which he names in his addresses by name, and calls them to whom he wrote epistles. Not that they are themselves the only, or even the principal churches; but what he says to one, he says to all. For they are in no respect different, that on that ground any one should prefer them to the larger number of similar small ones. In the whole world Paul taught that all the churches are arranged by sevens, that they are called seven, and that the Catholic Church is one. And first of all, indeed, that he himself also might maintain the type of seven churches, he did not exceed that number. But he wrote to the Romans, to the Corinthians, to the Galatians, to the Ephesians, to the Thessalonians, to the Philippians, to the Colossians; afterwards he wrote to individual persons, so as not to exceed the number of seven churches. And abridging in a short space his announcement, he thus says to Timothy: That you may know how you ought to behave yourself in the Church of the living God. 1 Timothy 3:15 We read also that this typical number is announced by the Holy Spirit by the month of Isaiah: Of seven women which took hold of one man. Isaiah 4:1 The one man is Christ, not born of seed; but the seven women are seven churches, receiving His bread, and clothed with his apparel, who ask that their reproach should be taken away, only that His name should be called upon them. The bread is the Holy Spirit, which nourishes to eternal life, promised to them, that is, by faith. And His garments wherewith they desire to be clothed are the glory of immortality, of which Paul the apostle says: For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 1 Corinthians 15:53 Moreover, they ask that their reproach may be taken away that is, that they may be cleansed from their sins: for the reproach is the original sin which is taken away in baptism, and they begin to be called Christian men, which is, Let your name be called upon us. Therefore in these seven churches, of one Catholic Church are believers, because it is one in seven by the quality of faith and election. Whether writing to them who labour in the world, and live of the frugality of their labours, and are patient, and when they see certain men in the Church wasters, and pernicious, they hear them, lest there should become dissension, he yet admonishes them by love, that in what respects their faith is deficient they should repent; or to those who dwell in cruel places among persecutors, that they should continue faithful; or to those who, under the pretext of mercy, do unlawful sins in the Church, and make them manifest to be done by others; or to those that are at ease in the Church; or to those who are negligent, and Christians only in name; or to those who are meekly instructed, that they may bravely persevere in faith; or to those who study the Scriptures, and labour to know the mysteries of their announcement, and are unwilling to do God’s work that is mercy and love: to all he urges penitence, to all he declares judgment.
From the Second Chapter
2. I know your works, and your labour, and your patience. In the first epistle He speaks thus: I know that you suffer and work, I see that you are patient; think not that I am staying long from you.
And that you can not bear them that are evil, and who say that they are Jews and are not, and you have found them liars, and you have patience for My name’s sake. All these things tend to praise, and that no small praise; and it behooves such men, and such a class, and such elected persons, by all means to be admonished, that they may not be defrauded of such privileges granted to them of God. These few things He said that He had against them.
4, 5. And you have left your first love: remember whence you have fallen. He who falls, falls from a height: therefore He said whence: because, even to the very last, works of love must be practised; and this is the principal commandment. Finally, unless this is done, He threatened to remove their candlestick out of its place, that is, to disperse the congregation.
6. This you have also, that you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitanes. But because you yourself hatest those who hold the doctrines of the Nicolaitanes, you expect praise. Moreover, to hate the works of the Nicolaitanes, which He Himself also hated, this tends to praise. But the works of the Nicolaitanes were in that time false and troublesome men, who, as ministers under the name of Nicolaus, had made for themselves a heresy, to the effect that what had been offered to idols might be exorcised and eaten, and that whoever should have committed fornication might receive peace on the eighth day. Therefore He extols those to whom He is writing; and to these men, being such and so great, He promised the tree of life, which is in the paradise of His God.
The following epistle unfolds the mode of life and habit of another order which follows. He proceeds to say:
9. I know your tribulation and your poverty, but you are rich. For He knows that with such men there are riches hidden with Him, and that they deny the blasphemy of the Jews, who say that they are Jews and are not; but they are the synagogue of Satan, since they are gathered together by Antichrist; and to them He says:
10. Be faithful unto death. That they should continue to be faithful even unto death.
11. He that shall overcome, shall not be hurt by the second death. That is, he shall not be chastised in hell.
The third order of the saints shows that they are men who are strong in faith, and who are not afraid of persecution; but because even among them there are some who are inclined to unlawful associations, He says:
14-16. You have there some who hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught in the case of Balak that he should put a stumbling-block before the children of Israel, to eat and to commit fornication. So also have you them who hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes; but I will fight with them with the sword of my mouth. That is, I will say what I shall command, and I will tell you what you shall do. For Balaam, with his doctrine, taught Balak to cast a stumbling-block before the eyes of the children of Israel, to eat what was sacrificed to idols, and to commit fornicationa thing which is known to have happened of old. For he gave this advice to the king of the Moabites, and they caused stumbling to the people. Thus, says He, you have among you those who hold such doctrine; and under the pretext of mercy, you would corrupt others.
17. To him that overcomes I will give the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone. The hidden manna is immortality; the white gem is adoption to be the son of God; the new name written on the stone is Christian.
The fourth class intimates the nobility of the faithful, who labour daily, and do greater works. But even among them also He shows that there are men of an easy disposition to grant unlawful peace, and to listen to new forms of prophesying; and He reproves and warns the others to whom this is not pleasing, who know the wickedness opposed to them: for which evils He purposes to bring upon the head of the faithful both sorrows and dangers; and therefore He says:
24. I will not put upon you any other burden. That is, I have not given you laws, observances, and duties, which is another burden.
25, 26. But that which you have, hold fast until I come; and he that overcomes, to him will I give power over all peoples. That is, him I will appoint as judge among the rest of the saints.
28. And I will give him the morning star. To wit, the first resurrection. He promised the morning star, which drives away the night, and announces the light, that is, the beginning of day.
From the Third Chapter
The fifth class, company, or association of saints, sets forth men who are careless, and who are carrying on in the world other transactions than those which they ought Christians only in name. And therefore He exhorts them that by any means they should be turned away from negligence, and be saved; and to this effect He says:
2. Be watchful, and strengthen the other things which were ready to die; for I have not found your works perfect before God. For it is not enough for a tree to live and to have no fruit, even as it is not enough to be called a Christian and to confess Christ, but not to have Himself in our work, that is, not to do His precepts.
The sixth class is the mode of life of the best election. The habit of saints is set forth; of those, to wit, who are lowly in the world, and unskilled in the Scriptures, and who hold the faith immoveably, and are not at all broken down by any chance, or withdrawn from the faith by any fear. Therefore He says to them:
8. I have set before you an open door, because you have kept the word of my patience. In such little strength.
10. And I will keep you from the hour of temptation. That they may know His glory to be of this kind, that they are not indeed permitted to be given over to temptation.
12. He that overcomes shall be made a pillar in the temple of God. For even as a pillar is an ornament of the building, so he who perseveres shall obtain a nobility in the Church.
Moreover, the seventh association of the Church declares that they are rich men placed in positions of dignity, but believing that they are rich, among whom indeed the Scriptures are discussed in their bedchamber, while the faithful are outside; and they are understood by none, although they boast themselves, and say that they know all thingsendowed with the confidence of learning, but ceasing from its labour. And thus He says:
15. That they are neither cold nor hot. That is, neither unbelieving nor believing, for they are all things to all men. And because he who is neither cold nor hot, but lukewarm, gives nausea, He says:
16. I will vomit you out of My mouth. Although nausea is hateful, still it hurts no one; so also is it with men of this kind when they have been cast forth. But because there is time of repentance, He says:
18. I persuade you to buy of Me gold tried in the fire. That is, that in whatever manner you can, you should suffer for the Lord’s name tribulations and passions.
And anoint your eyes with eye-salve. That what you gladly know by the Scripture, you should strive also to do the work of the same. And because, if in these ways men return out of great destruction to great repentance, they are not only useful to themselves, but they are able also to be of advantage to many, He promised them no small rewardto sit, namely, on the throne of judgment.
I thought you might like the read on Post 10.