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A Brief Commentary On The Apocalypse by Sylvester Bliss

The New Creation.

|And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, descending out of heaven, from God, prepared like a bride adorned for her husband.| Rev.21:1, 2.

The new heaven and new earth are symbols of the new order of things. The old heavens and earth having been dissolved, their elements melting with fervent heat (2 Pet.3:12), the |new heavens and the new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness,| for which Peter looked, succeed to their place. So much more resplendent are these than the former, that those |shall not be remembered, nor come into mind,| i.e., to be desired, Isa.65:17. This is the eternal state in which we are commanded to be |glad and rejoice forever,| when God shall |create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy.| Then |the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying.| There |the elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands;| for |as the days of a tree, are the days of my people,| saith the Lord; who has also declared that, |as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, so shall your seed and your name remain,| Isa.66:22.

The sea is now |no more,| in the same sense that the first heavens and earth are passed away -- all having disappeared in the conflagration, and given place to the |restitution of all things spoken of by the mouth of all the holy prophets,| Acts 3:21. Whether the new creation will comprise both sea and dry land, as was first created (Gen.1:10), is not here decided; but there is no reason to suppose that this characteristic of the original creation will be forever obliterated.

The new Jerusalem descends, adorned as a bride for her husband. She is shown in the 19th chapter to be |arrayed in fine linen, clean and white| -- a symbol of |the righteousness of the saints.| As the corrupt Roman hierarchy was symbolized by an adulterous woman (17:3), and also by the corrupt city of Babylon (18:2), so symbols of an opposite character -- a chaste bride, and the new Jerusalem -- are chosen representatives of the church triumphant, whose Maker is her husband.

Mr. Lord very justly remarks: |The descent of the city is to take place at the commencement of the millennium, manifestly from the representation that the marriage of the Lamb was come, and that his wife had prepared herself, immediately after the destruction of great Babylon, (19:7, 8); from the exhibition of the risen and glorified saints, as seated on thrones, and reigning with Christ during the thousand years; and from the representation of the beloved city as on earth at the revolt of Gog and Magog, after the close of the thousand years.| -- |Ex. Apoc.| p.529.

|Jerusalem, my happy home,
O how I long for thee;
When shall my sorrows have an end?
Thy joys when shall I see?

|When shall these eyes thy heaven-built walls
And pearly gates behold!
Thy bulwarks with salvation strong,
And streets of shining gold?

|O when, thou city of my God,
Shall I thy courts ascend,
Where congregations ne'er break up,
And Sabbaths have no end?|

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