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of God. The votaries of a religion, in which Christ is the Alpha and Omega, must ever pay the highest respect to the name of Jesus. Those, therefore, who keep the word of God, and do not deny the name of Christ, have every reason to trust that their church shall not be overthrown. Şuch a church is a work of God, therefore, as Gamaliel faid, men cannot overthrow it. Such a church is built upon a rock, and the gates of hell Ihall not prevail against it. Though others may err concerning the truth, nevertheless, the foun. dation of God ftandeth sure. But when any particular church treats the word of God with contempt or neglect, when it denies the name of Jesus, when it substitutes human institutions in the place of Divine laws, when it teaches for doctrines the commandments of men, and makes void the law of God by human traditions, when it becomes ashamed of the name of Christ, and enlists under the party name of some church, fect, or leader; it hath then no reason to expect that the promises made to the church of Christ will be accomplished to it. For, certainly, that is not the church of Christ which does not keep his word, and which denies his name.
Verse 9th.—Behold I will make them of the synagogue of Satan (which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie); behold I will
make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.
Jews, in the symbolical language, fignify the true worshippers of God. When applied, as in this verse, to persons living under the Christian dispensation, they fignify true Chriftians. Those of the fynagogue of Satan, who say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie, are the followers of Mahomet, who pretended to be a true prophet of God, but was only an impostor. Christ promises that the followers of Mahomet should pay them very high respect, and be obliged to acknowledge that Philadelphia is beloved of God.
Verse 10th.—Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.
When this book was written the emperor Domitian was perfecuting the Christian churches. Suc-' ceeding emperors raised up many persecutions, and thereby deprived many churches of the ordinances of religious worship. But, in this verse, Christ promises that he would keep this church from being deprived of the ordinances of religion, by those trials and persecutions, which should come
upon the whole habitable world, to try those who dwell upon the earth. This promise he makes to them, because they had learned to conduct themselves amid all the trials to which they were expored, with the patience which his word inculcates.
Verse 11th.-Behold I come quickly : hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.
Christ assures them, that, in some of these persecutions, he would come upon them suddenly, in the course of his providence. And he exhorts them to hold fast the word of God, and their attachment to the name of Jesus; and then no man should take from them their crown. Most probably their crown is that high honour, which is promised them, that they alone, as a church, without interruption of the administration of the ordinances of religion, shall survive all those persecutions, by which so many churches were to be destroyed. It is also intimated, that they shall obtain and keep this crown, not by innovations in religion, but by holding fast that religion which they have already, and for which they are praised in verse 8th.
The promises made to this church in this and the three preceding verses, have been fulfilled to it, in a most striking manner, so as to discover the finger of God. Notwithstanding the small number of its
inhabitants, inhabitants, Philadelphia withstood, with great constancy and courage, the fury of the Turks, and was blessed with visible success. When all the rest of Asia had submitted to them, this town held out, · and had in it a Christian church, in uninterrup
ted succession till after the year 1676. It is called by the Turks Allab-Skeyr, that is the city of God. Thus an open door hath been set to this church, and none hath been able to shut it. Thus the synagogue of Satan, or Mahometans have been made to worship at her feet, and to know that God hath loved her. See Plin. Nat. Hift. 1. v. c. 29. Strabo Geogr. b. 12. Smith de Statu Sept. Ecc. Spon's Voyage. In the history of this church we may learn how it is that any Christian church shall best consult her own stability and honour, even by keeping the word of God, and not denying the name of Jesus.
Verses 12th, 13th.-Him that overcometh, will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit faith unto the churches.
He who overcomes all the temptations, to which he is exposed in this world, shall be made a pillar in the temple of God in heaven. Every individual Chriftian in this world is stiled a temple of the living God, because he is confecrated to God; God is worshipped in his heart, and the Spirit of God, by his gracious influences, dwelleth in him, 1 Cor. Üï. 16, 17. “ Know ye not that ye are the temple of “ God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you. " If any man defile the temple of God, him shall “ God destroy : for the temple of God is holy " which temple you are.”
In the heavenly state all the votaries shall be fo pure and holy, and considered collectively shall be, so much one, that the whole faints in heaven are stiled one great temple. This seems to be the meaning of Ephef. ii. 21. “In whom all the build“ ing fitly joined together, groweth into an holy “ temple in the Lord.” Hence, to be made a pil. lar in the temple of God, is to be a conspicuous and highly respectable member in the church of God in heaven. For, in temples and such public buildings, pillars are intended, at once to support and adorn the building. On pillars too, monu. mental inscriptions are written, to perpetuate the memory of illuftrious persons and events.
On this pillar three inscriptions shall be written, ist, The name of God. 2d, The name of the city of God. And 3d, Chrift's new name. By the