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5. Having mentioned the foundation, we proceed to men. tion the gates which are twelve..
Vtrse 21, " And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; every several gate was of one pearl ; and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparant glass.” The gates of the new Jerusalem, are said to be twelve in num. ber, three upon each side ; and each one is faid to be one pearl. How glorious ! and how rich! The pearl which we are acquainted with, is a hard, white, shining body, usually roundish, found in a teltaceous fish, resembling an oyster. The finest pearl is pure white, and not dead and lifeless ; but clear and brilliant, and is perfectly free from any spot or stain, and their surface is smooth and glasly, and they bring their natural polish with them, which art is not able to improve.
« Pliny says, that pearl are the most valuable and ex. cellent of all precious stones; and from our Saviour's comparing the kingdom of heaven to a Pearl, it would seem that they really were held in such high estimation at that time. We are told that Servila, the mother of Brutus, presented one to Ceasar, of the value of 50,000l. fterling. Cleopatra, had one valued at 250,oool, ster. ling.
The foundations are said to be garnished with all man. ner of precious stones; but the gates are composed of the most precious of all. · These gates are designed as an ornament to the city, for they are never to be fhut against any, so that the kings of this new earth will ever be at liberty to bring their glory and honor to it, and to acknowledge the king of kings-verse 25, “ And the gates shall not be shut at all by day; for there shall be no night there.
The city which shall be built in the thousand years will have gates, that the riches of the Gentiles may be brought into it, at that time there will be day and night ; but in the new earth, there will be no night, but one eternal day.
As the twelve foundations of the wall had in them the names of the twelve apostles of the lamb, fo the gates bad in them the names of the twelve tribes of Israel. It is likely the names of the twelve tribes were placed in the gate directly over the names of the apostles, in the foundations.
On the east three ;
On the north three ;
On the fouth three i
On the west three ; --NAPHTALI.-JOSĚPH-- BENJAMIN.
• This is mentioned in verfe 12, “ And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel.” In addia tion to all this glory of the gates of pearl, it is said that there were twelve angels placed at the gates of the city, that each one who enters the gates, may by them be wel. comed into the city, wherever they come from the differ. ' ent parts of the new earth to bring the glory and honor. of the faved nations to it, and for the kings of the new carth to bring their glory and honor there.
We have now given a short sketch of the outward glory of the new Jerusalem, as seen by the beloved John on the Isle of Patmos; which consists in the name, the extent of the city--the measure of the Jasper wall-the garnishing of the twelve foundations ; the names of the twelve a. postles -and the gates of pearl, with the names of the twelve tribes of Israel, and the twelve angels at the gates. This is the outward glory of the city, we will now “CA
ter in through the gates," and view the city within, and fee the greater glory there. : When we count over the glorious things within the city, we find twelve mentioned in the two last chapters of Revelation
1. The pavement of the City, and the Atreet.
This is said to be pure gold like transparant glass,Chap. xxi. 18, 21, “ And the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass_And the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparant glass." There is but one ftreet mentioned in the whole city, for there are no pub. lic or private buildings, but the whole city is one public walk. What a glorious city is this, that even the street, or ground of the whole is of gold, which is in appearance, like clear glass! Pure gold indeed! as though it was designed for the pure in heart.
2. Another part of the glory in this city is the river of water of life running from the throne of God& the lamb. Chap. xxii. 1, 14, “ And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and the Lamb." There is no doubt in my mind that this will be a real river as well as a real city, if we explain away one, we may the other. In the thousand years of Christ's reign on the earth, waters are to issue out from the fanctuary, from the house, and to run down into the dead sea,& there is to be trees on each side of the river, for food and medicine; in this city, as there is no tcmple, the river is to proceed from the throne. It is certain that creatures will always need support from the creator, and this living water will be one part of it ; It will benefit all the inhabitants of the new earth, as well as those of the new Jerusalem forever..
3. Besides the glory of the city on account of the riv. er, we are told of a tree of life in the midst of the street and on either side of the river. Chap. xxii. 2, 14, “In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month ; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they
may have right to the tree of life,&t enter in through the gates into the city. Chap. ii. 9, “He that bath an ear let him hear what the fpirit faith unto the churches ; to him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God."
This tree of life is defcribed as very large, extending it's branches across the river and into the street on either fide of the river, the whole ground of the city is street. This tree is said to bear twelve manner of fruits, and to yield her fruit every month, and it is designed for food and constant health to the nations that are saved, who walk there.
Many are Surprised at bearing that those who are im. mortal will eat and drink, in the new earth. Did not Christ who was raised immortal, eat and drink with his disciples after his resurrection ? Did he not promise his disciples that he would not drink of the fruit of the vine till he drank it new in his Father's kingdom? Did he not promise the apostles that they should eat and drink with him in his kingdom? He certainly did. This will be done when in the thousand years the apostles shall set on twelve thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel; in the new Jerusalem how much more will they enjoy ! We are told here why he promised them that they should eat and drink with him, because the tree of life and river of life, is prepared for that very purpofe, “ For the lamb, which is in the midst of the throne, shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters, and God Ihall wipe away all tears from their eyes."
4. In addition to all this glory we are told that the throne of God and the Lamb are in the city. Chap. XX. 1, 3,-“ Proceeding from the throne of God and the Lamb. But the throne of God and the Lamb shall be in it."
In the temple Solomon built, the glory of God was seen when Solomon prayed. There was the presence of God, and Solomon whom he had appointed to reign over Ifrael ; but in this city behold a greater than Solomon ! John saw the city, “having the glory of God.” His presence was seen by John in a more wonderful manner
than it was in the days of Solomon. On this throne where the glory of God is seen, Christ the Lamb is to reign world without end. This throne he is on now in heaven, and when the new Jerusalem comes down from God out of heaven, this throne will be on the new earth in the new Jerusalem, then will the shout be heard, out of heaven,which John mentions, Rev. xxi. 3," And I heard a great voice out of heaven, saying, behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he shall dwell with them, and. they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.” O the glory of that city.
5. The light of the city is next mentioned. Chap. xxi. 11, 23, “ And her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like jasper stone, clear as crystal. And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon to shine in it; for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light of it.”
In the thousand years of Christ's reign I think from what Isaiah says, the light will be greater than it is now. * Isaiah xxx. 26, “ Moreover, the light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun shall be sev. en fold, as the light of seven days, in the day that the Lord bindeth up the breach of his people, and healeth the stroke of their wound.” This evidently refers to the time when the Jews are restored, but the city in the new earth will have a light superior to the sun, moon, starsor candles; the glory of God and the Lamb will be the light. When the angel came to the shepherds,his light turned night into day. When Paul was on his way to Damascus he saw a light above the brightness of the sun. When Christ was on the mount the apostles' saw something of that light which he will make in the new Jerusalem. John saw Chrift on the isle of Patmos,he says, “ His eyes were as a flame of fire, and his countenance was as the sun shining in his strength.” Rev. i. 14, 16,—This light will not be like the sun, seen only part of the time, but the glory of God and the Lamb will be a constant light, causing the inhabi. tants to be ftrangers to night and darkness.