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taries in as striking' and exemplary a manner as he had punished Jezebel.
As the manner of Jezebel's punishments fully proved that God knew the secrets of her heart, and punished her according to her works; so the punishment of this false prophetess should be inflicted in such a manner as to afford a striking proof to all the churches, that Christ searches the reins and heart, and gives to every one according to his works.
It is very probable, that this false prophetess did not repent. For, now, not so much as the trace or name of that town is left; but only fome slender remains of inscriptions, not easily to be found; like the skull, feet, hands, and blood of Jezebel, as mentioned in 2 Kings ix. 35. A long time ago it was only a small village, called Ak-bilar, confisting of houses built of earth upon the ruins of the ancient Thyatira ; and there is not one Chriftian church in it. See Sir George Wheeler, Dr Smith, and Dr Spon.
Verje 24th, 25th.But unto you I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine, and which have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak, I will put upon you none other burthen, but that which ye have already, hold fast till I come.
This church, and every individualin it, who are not misled by the doctrines of Jezebel, and who have not known the depths of Satan are assured that Christ will lay no other burthen upon them, than that which they have already. Some are of opi. nion, that by the depths of Satan are meant certain secret books, in which were contained the myrteries of the erroneous fects mentioned in this and fome others of these epistles. It is true, that many of the early erroneous sects had certain secret mylteries which they concealed from all,excepting their confirmed members : Such secret mysteries are a fure proof of the falsehood of the secret doctrines, for truth is not afraid of the light, and is never hurt by it. Men love darkness rather than light only when their tenets and their deeds are evil. · I am of opinion, that men are said to know the depths of Satan, when by his temptation they are brought to commit fins and crimes under the mask of religion and law : It was thus that Jezebel and the elders and nobles of Israel unjustly took away the life and vineyard of Naboth, under the mask of religion and the form of law, 1 Kings xxi. 7-14.; to which, in my opinion, reference is made here. To make men impious under the mask of religion, and unjust under the shelter of law, is the very depth of Satan's art of deceiving, a depth too from which he draws out temptations in every age and country, in this way he leads men to the greatest length
in fin, and keeps them for a long time in the practice of it, because he deceives both them and the generality of the men of the world around them. However bad their actions are, neither they nor the world see their impiety and malignity when they stand connected with religion : Thus for instance, all the shocking barbarities and injustice of the Croisades, instead of shocking the perpetrators or fpectators, were considered by both as the most glorious actions, because connected with and viewed as a part of religion : Thus too, all perfecutions for conscience fake, and all pious frauds, as they are called, are for the same reason, not offenfive to superstitious and enthusiastic men : Thus in despotic governments, civil and criminal laws are often made inconsistent with the natural and unalienable rights of men, and with the laws of God; and men go on finning against the laws of God and violating the rights of man, without ever thinking that they are doing wrong, merely because they are acting according to the laws of their country. Even in the frecít countries, there may be fome laws and customs by which men are led heedlessly to practise cruelty and injustice. Suppose a merchant in the African Trade should employ failors to pick up and fell før llaves all the poor men they could meet with in the streets of London or Liverpool, would not his conduct Shock himself, shock mankind aivund him, and
make make him be hissed out of society, even though the laws of the land were not to call him to account? How happens it then, that, without shocking himself or his countrymen, he can employ sailors to pick up and fell for slaves hundreds of poor men on the coast of Guinea ? it is because in the last place, he violates the natural rights of man under the shelter of law.-Probably both may be compre- ' hended under the depths of Satan. Christ assures all the members of this church who are not infected by these errors, that nothing shall ever be binding upon them in matters of religion, except these things which are already binding upon them by the sacred scriptures, these things by which they have hitherto regulated their faith, charity, service, patience, and works; and he exhorts them to hold these fast till he come, that is, till he shall come to put an end to their state of discipline by their death.
Verses 26th,—29th. And he that overcometh and keepeth my worksunto the end, to him will I give power over the nations, (and he shall rule them with a rod of iron, as the veffels of a porter shall they be broken to fhivers), even as I received of iny Father; and I will give him the morning star. He that
hath an ear let him hear what the Spirit faith unto the churches.
These verses seem to contain a promise not to the members of the church of Thyatira in particular, but to these Christians in general who shall overcome the temptations to which they are expofed from the depths of Satan, and shall keep the works of Christ unto the end of that period in which the world is to be milled by the depths of Satan, From the address in the beginning of verse 24th, “ Unto you I say, and to the rest in Thyatira," it appears that the 24th and 25th verses are addressed particularly to the members of that church, and then what follows in the four last verses of this chapter seems to be addressed in general to those who shall overcome the depths of Satan, and keep the works of Christ to the end of that period to which the depths of Satan relate.
In chap. xx, 1,-3.–The particular time is predicted when Satan shall be restrained from deceiving the nations for a thousand years. When that time shall come, the time meant by the end of the depths of Satan shall arrive. In what year of the Christian æra this time shall happen, will be shewn in the commentary on that passage.
The persons to whom the promise is made are those who overcome the depths of Satan and keep the works of Christ to the end. They overcome