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(see Mat. v. 15; Mark iv.21, etc.; Heb. ix. 2; Rev. i. 12, 13, 20; ii. 1, 5; xi. 4); Auxvos (candle-flame) occurs about fourteen times, and is always rendered candle" or " light (see Mat. v. 15; Rev. xviii. 23; xxi. 23; xxii. 5); lautas, lamp (Mat. xxv. 1, 3, 4, 7, 8; Rev. iv. 5; viii. 10). Again, that which in Rev. xxi. and xxii. would correspond to the candlestick as the means of upholding the light, would be the New Jerusalemn herself. But the “ candle-flame” is the Lamb; the ows, light diffusable (see, also, Rev. xvii. 23) is the glory of God (xxi. 23 and xxii. 5).
As connected with this subject, the word pwotno, light-giver (Phil. ii. 15; Rev. xxi. 11), may be compared with 2 Cor. iv. 4, 6. There is, at this present time, a fountain of full-bodied light (2 Cor.) which it diffuses; it has reflectors now down here (Phil. ii.), and will have them in perfection hereafter (Rev. xxi. 11).*
Again, the connections of the word aomnp, star, are of much interest.
Leaders in evil(Jude, ver. 13) are compared to wandering starz. See, also, Rev. viii. 10, “ There fell a great star from heaven, burning, as it were, a lamp .... and the name of the star is called Wormwood,” etc.
And “ I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth; and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit. And he opened the bottomless pit; and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace," etc. (Rev.ix. 1).
So far as to what was evil. A star might be an evil ruler. And mark, here, the connection of the star with
On the other hand, as to the seven churches, among which the Lord walked—the candlesticks rested on the
. Thus we get, not only the lamp, but the candlestick, its light or flame, and the light diffused by it, etc., together with a very blessed thought of the connection between the enlightening given to us in Him, and our being light-givers to others, here and in eternity. The doctrine of a candlestick, or of the candlesticks, includes, of course, not only the formation and inauguration of the light-stand ; but, also, the doctrine of their treatment when established, viz., the lighting, feeding, trimming, and caring for them when made and set in their places. VOL. XII. PT.II.
earth. But the seven stars were His (iii. 1), and held in His right hand (ii. 1).
Himself, in one of His sweetest names, is “a star" (Rev. ii. 8, and xxii. 16). “ The bright and morning star."
We read that God made the sun to rule the day; the moon to rule the night, the stars also. A created star (Mat. ii. 2, 7, 9, 10) ushered Himself into the world, and so waited on His grace, that it guided the Magi to the spot where He was.
Himself, ere day dawn, will appear to us that watch for him-harbinger of and guide to the place of full blessing.
The stars would seem to be almost (if not quite) always emblems of government (Rev. xii. 1), and that, too, during the night.
Surely, it is the grace of Him who has provided the New Jerusalem to be the light-bearing body (for the heavens, during the thousand years, while Jehovah-Shammah (Ez. xlviii.) shall be on earth; and then for heaven and earth), which alone has kept a record of the light between both man and Himself, throughout the history of man’s eventful pilgrimage upon earth. But, secondly, another question might rise theoretically here, viz.,“What is light ?"It is, however, in fact, raised a few verses lower down, in our chapter, viz., in the promise," To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God” (ver. 7).
This passage leads us to two others, the contrasting of which together elicits, as is oft the case in Scripture, much new light.
"The tree of life, also, in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil” (Gen. ii. 9)—a part of Eden's fair scene, is one of these passages, and is obviously connected with the hope held out in the promise (ver. 7), a sort of counterpart, in God's paradise, to something which was in the paradise made for man. On the other hand, by way of contrast, that which was altogether prohibited in Eden, is conceded in this promise to the overcomer. But (1 John v. 4,5), there
is no means of overcoming but faith; no overcomer but be that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God.
This leads us, at once, to another verse (John i. 4) "In Him was life; and the life was the light of men," part of the glory of the Son of God. There are two ideas common to both these two passages (Gen. ii
. 9, and John i. 4), which are pretty nearly these, "continuity of being," and "intelligence"; in other respects the difference between the two verses is infinite. God, who is a source that giveth unto all, is the Author of order, not of confusion, as saith Paul. He formed a scene, and placed a creature in it, in blessing, with a high measure of intelligence in that which was good; and continuance in that state hung (for his breath was in his nostrils, his life like a vapour, that passeth away, and he is gone) by the fiat of the Maker of all, upon ignorance of evil. This was man as a inere creature.
It gave occasion, however, alas! to one who had broken all order before, and was become a destroyer and a liar, to shew himself. And after he had done his worst, the Son of God, in whom is that life which has not only continuity in it, but the eternity and moral characteristics of God, came in with His light, which has the intelligence of discerning and judging the evil of all that is out of God's order, and is the revelation of a new and a divine system of light and life. The Lamb is commissioned to take away the sin of the world, and is the Son of God; He that baptizeth with the Holy Ghost.
This leads one naturally to the principles of Rev. ii. 7, “Eating of the tree of life in the midst of the paradise of God."
As to Eden itself, I notice that "the tree of life, in the midst of the garden,” is named (Gen. ii. 9) before " the tree of knowledge of good and evil.” Afterwards (ver.17) the prohibition is merely as to the tree of the knowledge of good and evil; and it is not until after man, neglecting the light which he had as a creature (viz. that obedience was his duty) had disordered his whole being, that he is judicially shut out from the tree of life, lest he should eat of it and live for ever (iii. 22, 24), in his then state of sinfulness.
The connection of these two principles “Life” and “ Light," runs right through Scripture, and on the correct application of them all blessing hangs.
With the fall (Gen. iii.) man lost all his intelligence as a creature of God, and forfeited, too, the life he had. His life was a forfeit, and the intelligence of good changed for the knowledge of good and evil
. The expression (John i.) “ in Him was life" is to be noted. There was, in Him the Logos, life. As the Logos, or Word, He was the intelligence of God, as well as the one through whom any partial expression of any. thing in God which He was pleased to make was made, as in creation, providence, economies, etc. But these were not the light, though they gave light to a certain extent, but they were not in Him. « IN Him was life." In Him was not what could and would pass away, as the first creation, providence to a wicked world, economies, but what could not pass—life: eternal life. The entity and very being of Him was light. Wherever He was
, the who and the what He was gave light. Creation speaks of eternal power and goodness; providence speaks of patient goodness amid rebellion throughout time. But neither of them express and present that which displays the divine character and being itself, or which throws out into full light the enormity of rebellion against him. Rebellion against infinite power and wisdom is madness, although He that has the power be ever so patient and good towards the rebel as a rebel; but rebellion against One that is merciful, compassionate, and full of pity, base and shameful to the rebel. In His days of humiliation; when upon the cross; in the days between His resurrection and ascension; and, now ascended; wherever He, of whom we speak, is found personally present, there there is the Life which is the light of men.
The shortcoming of the light in creation and in providence is plainly seen ; the former is enough to condemn a man in nature; and is constantly so spoken of, as in Rom. i., a man worships his own conceits, surrounded by a circle of testimony to the truth, that there is but one true God. Providence, on the other hand, is the patient goodness of God to a world of sinners, and has for its
basis, the very fact that caused the destruction of the former heaven and earth, viz., man's incorrigible badness (comp. Gen. viii. 21, 22, and vi. 5, 6, 7).
In Eden, the seat of the life and of the light of intelligence was in man; so, also, the responsibility was in a fallible one, who was only a creature. The blessing was human, and the keeping of it trusted to man.
But now, the seat of life is in the Son of God, and so, also, the light shines down from Him; He who is infallible; Who is the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever; the Creator of all, is now the Creator anew, Head and Source of a new creation (Rev. iii. 14), life-giving Spirit (1 Cor. xv. 45), Giver of the divine nature (2 Pet. i. 4), Planter, through the word of His grace, in poor sinners who believe, of an incorruptible seed (1 Peter ii. 23), for He is Redeemer as well as Creator (Eph. i. 10; Col. i. 20, 21). Opener He of wells of living water in the hearts of poor Samaritan women, of water that springs up into everlasting life (John iv.), giving forth, out of the belly, rivers of living water (John vii.)
What can be more exquisite than the Lord Jesus's conduct with the poor woman taken in the very act of adultery (John viii. 1–12)? What more precious to the soul of a poor sinner, of a saved saint, and of Him the Saviour, than that that scene should be the
proper scene to introduce the announcement, “ I am the light of the world” (ver. 13) Ah! what is light to a world which is in darkness, save Himself, in whom is eternal life, and who can give it freely to the poor sinner; who alone could say (John xi. 25, 26) “ I am the resurrection and the life; hé that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.” “For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom He will.” “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on Him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life" (v.21, 2. See, also, xvii. 3; 1 John i. 5; iv. 15, 16; v. 20).
Note that, in the letter to the church at Ephesus, we have that which corresponds to the two trees in the