Revelation 13
Pulpit Commentary Homiletics
I stood upon the sand of the sea. (See homily on Jeremiah 49:23: vol. 2. 'Pulpit Commentary,' p. 261.) - S. C.

There are few chapters in the Bible which have been entirely passed over by. Christian preachers as containing nothing that would edify and instruct men living m circumstances like our own. But this chapter seems to have been so dealt with. We have searched the lists of thousands of printed sermons, and not one, or rather but one, have we found which seeks to show that this portion of God's Word has anything to do with us today. The vast majority of Protestant commentators have rolled it up, as they have the Apocalypse generally, into as hard a missile as they could manufacture, and then have hurled it with all their might against unhappy Romanists and the Church to which they belong. And no doubt there has been reciprocity. But this chapter has a meaning, and a momentous one, for the men of today, although, as we think, for the men of St. John's day it pointed to that awful persecuting power, summed up in the monster Nero, then Emperor of Rome, and who, like the foul, fierce beast that he was, had been making dire havoc in the Church of Christ. This man, or monster rather, was the dragon's, that is the devil's, chief agent, and had to aid and abet him the second beast, lamb like in look, but fierce in heart, of which we read in ver. 11. By this second beast was meant, we think, that whole system of heathen imposture and manifold superstition which ever played into the hands of the mere brute force wielded by the state. Simon Magus, and vast numbers more such as he, were its ministers. (For detailed proof, see Farrar, in loc.) And this entire chapter was to the persecuted Church of that day a solemn announcement of suffering appointed for them which they could not hope to escape (vers. 9, 10),. which demanded patience and faith, but which, however (Revelation 17:14), should issue in glorious victory through the might of their Lord, whose "called and chosen and faithful" they were. Such then were the preparations for martyrdom with which the Church was supplied in those awful days of testing and of trial. How do the poor petty persecutions - scarce worthy of the name - which now and again some of us have to put up with, dwindle into insignificance by side of the fiery trials appointed for them for whom St. John wrote! And how should we be ashamed to shrink from ours when we know they never shrank from theirs, but endured and overcame, and wore the martyr's crown! But Rome and pagan persecutions have passed away. They answered to these symbols of the beasts then: what answer to them now? And we reply -

I. THE ANTICHRISTIAN WORLD answers to the first of the wild beasts of which we here read. See the resemblance. Rome and Nero's were not more exact.

1. It has assumed successive forms. "Seven heads" we read of, and they denote the multiplication and succession of hostile powers arrayed against the Church of God. Egypt and Assyria, Babylon and Persia, Greece and Rome, and by and by the final antichrist, - these may be the seven heads. But they are all but successive forms of the same God-defying world.

2. And it has ever had immense strength. "Ten horns," and these encircled with diadems, telling how the world spirit has ever made use of the princes and potentates of earth to work its will.

3. And it has ever raged against the Church as a wild beast. Under all its forms it has hated the people of God. From Pharaoh even to the last of the persecutors it has been the same. And in modern days, though in different ways, it has continued unchanged in spirit and aim. Voltaire's wild cry, "Ecrasez l'infame!" and the hatred with which he and his fellow atheists toiled to overthrow the Christian Church, were but modern manifestations of the same mind. And if it be difficult, as it is - and we are thankful that it is - to point in out-day to any one party or person in whom this God-defying antichristian spirit is specially embodied, none the less does it exist. "The prince of this world" - he who inspired the whole succession of these monsters - he still "worketh in the children of disobedience." Experience and observation alike attest this. What relentless opposition to God we often see and feel! How good is crushed and trampled on, and every attempt to assert Christ's wilt is ruthlessly put down!

4. And its deadly wounds heal. (Ver. 3.) Whether the death and supposed return of Nero, or the overthrow of paganism by the conversion of Constantine, and the revival of its worst features afterwards, be St. John's meaning, there can be no doubt that the world's seemingly deadly wounds do heal. If its dominion be overthrown in a given locality, or in your heart and mine, do we not know how the evil spirit, who has left for a while, comes back; and unless he be driven forth again, he will come back stronger than before, and the last state of that place, that heart, that character, be worse than the first?

5. It is popular. It has the vox populi "All the world wondered after" and "worshipped." Openly and avowedly in St. John's day, but as really, though more reverently, now.

6. And it blasphemes still. It claims Divine power. "All these things will I give thee, if," etc. - this still it says, and the most of men believe it.

7. And it wages war and wins. (Ver. 7.) Let families, Churches, congregations, tell how this war has been waged in their midst, and how some, often many, of their most hopeful members have fallen. What decimating of the ranks of the Church goes on continually through the might of this great adversary!

8. And none but those who are really Christ's withstand. (Ver. 6.) Yes, we are sent forth as sheep amid wolves. It seems as strange as it is sad. But so it is. For our comfort remember that it is the sheep who have ever made short work with the wolves. We should surely have thought it would have been the other way. See, literally, in lands where wolves once ran wild, as in our own, the pastures are covered over with flocks; but the wolves, where are they? As the anvil, though smitten hard, and year in and year out, yet it wears out many a hammer (Spurgeon); so the smitten Church wears out the persecutor's hammer. But let us not go ransacking ancient history for the lessons of this chapter; our own times, our own circumstances, and very likely our own hearts' experience, will supply them in plentiful way.

II. THE WISDOM OF THIS WORLD answers to the second "beast." St. James tells us that "this wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish." This monster (ver. 11) is seen to ascend from "the earth," as St. James tells. In Revelation 19:20 it is called "the false prophet."

1. It is said to have "deceived." True type of the wisdom of this world, that godless, antichristian wisdom which encounters us today just as it did them of old. It deceives:

(1) By its innocent appearance, its lamb like look. True, it had ten horns, but they meant nothing, so small, so slight, so incapable of injury. So this wisdom. No one would ever suspect it of being a fierce beast. It is known as modern thought, science, philosophy, liberal culture - lamb like words whom none would suspect to harbour ill.

(2) By its words, so subtle and serpentine. "He spake as a dragon," that is, as a serpent, as did the "old serpent," the devil, who over persuaded and beguiled our first mother. So this wisdom of the world is plausible, popular, prevalent. It seems so untrammelled in its researches, so broad in its conclusions, so courageous, so unprejudiced, so candid, so fair. But it further deceives

(3) by its "lying wonders" (ver. 14). The juggleries and tricks of heathenism, its magic and sorcery, explain St. John's words. But for us they point to the glamour and witchery which the wisdom of this world casts over us when it points to the marvellous results it has achieved. Have not most eminent names, most wonderful discoveries, most famous reputations, been amongst the rewards it has given? And thus speculation and scepticism, doubt and denial, the rejection of old faith and the discontinuance of old habit, have been permitted and invited, and we come to believe in nothing but ourselves and this wonderful century in which we live. But:

2. Its falsity may be detected. There is an Ithuriel spear which shall compel it to self-revelation. By its fruits it shall be known. See, then:

(1) It is in alliance with the God-defying world. (Cf. vers. 12-15.) Mere brute force could not get on without the tricks and frauds which this lamb like, lying thing concocts and displays. The first beast would be powerless without the cunning of the second. And here is a test for us. Do we find that any set of opinions, any new beliefs and maxims we may have adopted, are such as the godless and the antichristian world choose and cherish as of great advantage to them? Can they claim them as on their side? If so, that is a very suspicious fact.

(2) It transforms you into the world's likeness. (See ver. 16.) On the forehead or on the right hand the mark of this beast was to be. That is to say, the stamp of the world was to be visibly and confessedly on us. All the transactions of life would reveal this. We could do nothing that did not betray it. The wisdom of this world will thus claim for the world those whom it has first beguiled. Thus by the effect of it may we know its real character. Does the stamp of the God-despising world become visible in our daily conduct, bearing, and words? Do these things show the "mark of the beast '? If so, what loud call comes to us to have done with all such so called wisdom, and to give heed to our Saviour's words, "Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly," etc.! - S.C.

The twelfth chapter, with which the thirteenth is to be connected, closes with an assertion of the wrath of "the dragon" towards "the woman." The Church of God is ever the object of Satanic wrath. In these two chapters the enmity that the Church has to contend with is represented by three beasts. Much ingenuity has been expended already on the exposition of these dark words, and much more will be until in the light of history we see clearly what, in the words of prophecy, is but imperfectly seen. The first beast was distinctly declared to be "the old serpent, he that is called the Devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world." The beast now spoken of, the second, receives "his power, and his throne, and great authority" from the dragon. It is a power animated by the one spirit of evil - the adversary, the devil. It is the many powers so animated. It is an active brute force, and may specially refer to the antichristian pagan power (certainly to this as one of many). It arises from "the sea," the invariable symbol of the many peoples of earth - the restless world, the agitated state of human affairs. We cannot limit the application to any one power, or any seven, or any ten. We are dealing with symbol, not realism.

I. HEREIN WE SEE THE BELIEVING CHURCH OPPOSED AND OPPRESSED BY GREAT EXTERNAL POWERS. We must not interpret these of mere kings of the earth, but of those many forms of worldly power which dominate over the life of man. Special prominence is given in this figure to the speaking of blasphemies against God, his Name, his tabernacle, and them that dwell therein. The utmost blasphemy of the Divine Name is in repudiating and opposing it. Every name by which the creature assumes the place of God is a name of blasphemy... Alas! how many such are around the humble believer! And he who stands in opposition to Christ and his faithful ones, usurping power over them by savage, beast-like persecution, surely he is branded with the name "blasphemy."


(1) very great: "over every tribe, and people, and tongue, and nation;" but

(2) it is limited in time: "forty and two months." It is not "forever."

III. SAFETY IS ASSURED TO HIM ONLY WHOSE NAME IS WRITTEN IN THE BOOK OF LIFE OF THE LAMB. The Lord defends his own even here. "What shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or anguish, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?... Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us." Thus is the Church to gather comfort in all times of exposure, temptation, persecution, or suffering from mighty worldly powers. Here is - here must be - the call for "the patience and the faith of the saints." - R. G.

And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy, etc. Fanciful interpretations of this chapter, as well as other portions of this book, are abundant. The last (see 'The Early Days of Christianity,' p. 452, by Archdeacon Farrar) seems to us not less unfounded and absurd than those that have gone before. Most of such interpretations assume that the comparatively few people who lived in Rome centuries ago were of such immense importance as to absorb the mind of the Infinite; that "papal Rome," as it is called, was the one great moral fee of creation, unmatched and matchless. But our method of treating this Book of Revelation, whether right or wrong, philosophic or foolish, ignores all fanciful interpretations, and seeks to turn even the dreams of old dreamers, like the prisoner on Patmos, and the prisoner in Bedford Gaol, to such a practical account as to serve the ethical interests of the men that are, and the men that are yet to be. Hence we use this chapter to throw light upon the domain of antichrist. But what do we mean by "antichrist"? Not an institution, ecclesiastical, political, or social, connected with any geographical spot or chronological period, but a moral state of mind pervading all places, and running through all times. Whatever state of mind is opposed to that moral state of mind which Christ incarnated, exemplified, and inculcated, I call antichrist. His state of mind was one of truth, reality; hence all falsehoods, shams, hypocrisies, are antichrist. His state of mind was one of supreme worship. He realized and reverenced the Eternal Father in all; hence all irreverence and idolatries are antichrist. His state of mind was a state of self-sacrificing philanthropy. He loved men, and gave himself for their benefit. He did not please himself. Hence all selfishness, worldliness, self seeking, is antichrist. St. John says, "Even now are there many antichrists." There are antichrists in Protestant churches and chapels, and in thousands of those who call themselves Christians. Some of the fiercest denouncers of popery as antichrist are those who have the most of popery and antichrist in their hearts. This chapter serves to illustrate some facts in connection with the domain of antichrist on this earth.

I. IT HAS A MANIFOLD DEVELOPMENT. The huge and monstrous forms that seem to pass before the imagination of the lonely prisoner on Patmos, as here recorded, are full of forms, grotesque, huge, and hideous. Here is a huge beast rising out of the sea, the scene of tumults. His power is great - he has "ten horns;" his intelligence is great - he has "seven heads;" his influence is great - he has "ten crowns [diadems]." In form "he was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion" (ver. 2). Then there is another beast "coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon" (ver. 11). He, like the former, is endowed with tremendous power, invested with extraordinary attributes, and is one in spirit and aim with the former, the beast that rises out of the realm of tumult, the sea. So that from the sea and from the land, the whole terraqueous globe, monstrous forms of evil appear in the domain of antichrist. What imagination can depict and what arithmetic could compute the hideous and monstrous forms in which antichrist appears in the world today? In the commerce of the world, in the governments of the world, in the campaigns of the world, in the literature of the world, in the religions of the world, in fact, in the social, industrial, and professional life of the world, antichrist appears in aspects as hideous and in a spirit as savage and blasphemous as the monsters depicted in this vision. Where in any part of the world do we not find antichrist in some form or another? Whatever the form it assumes, it is hideous and monstrous. What can be more monstrous than to find a human being rising and acting in opposition to him who is the all loving and all blessed, the Christ of God and the Saviour of the world? Concerning this domain of antichrist it is suggested that -

II. IT HAS ONE MASTER SPIRIT. The dragon is here represented as the presiding genius over all. "The dragon gave him his power, and his seat [throne], and great authority" (ver. 2). The presiding genius in this chapter and in the preceding one is called the dragon. Reason and analogy concur with the Bible in teaching that there is on this earth a great master spirit of evil, one that leads the world "captive at his will." He is, in spirit, character, and aim, against Christ. He is, in a pre-eminent sense, antichrist. There is nothing Christly about him, but otherwise. Satan is the enemy of Christ, the old serpent, the "prince of the power of the air," that "worketh in the children of disobedience." The record of this vision serves to illustrate several things concerning this master spirit of evil.

1. He is endowed with tremendous power. It is said of this dragon that "he doeth great wonders [signs], so that he maketh [should even make] fire come down from [out of] heaven;" that he works "by the means of miracles [signs]" (vers. 13, 14). The Jewish Scriptures speak of him as a being of tremendous energy, leading the world captive at his will, and even Christ who knew him seems to speak with deference concerning his extraordinary power.

2. His grand pursuit is moral mischief.

(1) He promotes blasphemy. "He opened his mouth in [for] blasphemy [blasphemies] against God, to blaspheme his Name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwelt in heaven" (ver. 6). His grand aim seems to be to bring the Infinite himself into contempt.

(2) He promotes deception. "And deceived them that dwell on the earth" (ver. 14). He is a liar and the father of lies. The first stone of his empire in the world was a lie, and by lies he has built it up and supports it. A life of wickedness is a life of delusion. All his followers walk in "a vain show."

(3) He promotes destruction. "It was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them" (ver. 7). Malignity is his inspiration. His battle is with the saints. He works to destroy goodness, and to destroy goodness is to destroy souls. He has no fight with fiends, but with saints.

3. His sphere is coextensive with the world. "He causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor," etc. (vers. 15-17). One of his prime ministers, or rather chief generals, came out of "the sea," and the other came up from "the earth." The whole terraqueous globe is the arena of this arch enemy of souls. He is the god of this world. Wherever falsehood, dishonesty, impurity, revenge are, there he is. And where are they not?

4. However great his influence, he is under a restraining law. An old writer has said, "He is limited in point of time; his reign is to continue forty and two months. He is also limited as to the persons and people that he shall entirely subject to his will and power; it will be only those whose 'names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.' Though the devil and antichrist might overcome their bodily strength and take away their natural life, they could never conquer their souls, nor prevail with them to forsake their Saviour and revolt to his enemies."

5. His mission will ultimately prove self ruinous. "He that leadeth into [if any man is for] captivity shall go into captivity [into captivity he goeth]" (ver. 10). Here is the principle of retribution attested by all human experience and philosophy, and felt to be just. "He that killeth [if any man shall kill] with the sword must be killed" (ver. 10). This applies to Satan; he brings men into captivity, and into captivity shall he one day go. Sin is suicide, wrong is self destructive. In every act the devil performs, he is forming a link in that adamantine chain that shall bind him, not merely for a thousand years, but forever. - D.T.

The Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. From this wonderful declaration we conclude -

I. THAT THE THINGS THAT ARE TO HAPPEN IN THE UNIVERSE IN THE MOST DISTANT FUTURE ARE TO GOD AS FACTS ALREADY ACCOMPLISHED. As a fact in this world's history the crucifixion of Christ was enacted about eighteen centuries ago, and yet here it is declared to have occurred before all time, before any creature existed, when he lived alone in the solitudes of eternity. Two things are here disclosed:

1. That God's intelligence is infinite. He knows not only all that has been, and all that is, but all that ever will be. All the generations that are yet to appear on this earth, with their commerce, politics, literature, religions, are facts to him. All the worlds and systems which are yet to be launched into immensity are to him realities. The slaying of Christ on Calvary was a fact to him ages before his purpose became realized to men.

"Eternity, with all its years,
Stands open to thy view:
To thee, great God, there's nothing old appears;
To thee there's nothing new."

2. That God's purposes are unfrustratable. Christ's death was according to God's eternal decree. It was his "determinate counsel," and after millions of ages it was accomplished. What God has purposed must come to pass - the conversion of the world, the resurrection of the dead, the transactions of the judgment day, etc., all are inevitable things. "Heaven and earth shall pass away."

II. THAT SELF-SACRIFICING LOVE IS AN ETERNAL PRINCIPLE IN THE CREATION. Here it is in the mind of God before all worlds. Christ was slain before the "foundation of the world." Self-sacrificing love is a new and a rare thing to us, the men of this little planet, because we have fallen from the eternal order of things; but it is an old and common principle in God's creation.

1. It is the root of the universe. What is the creation but love going forth in infinite gifts? Every life that breathes, every plant that blooms, every star that shines, is a gift of love.

2. It is typified in all material existences. Where is there a thing to be found throughout the vast domain of nature that is made for itself? All existences work, live, and die for the good of others. "The several kingdoms of nature depend on and, therefore, help each other. The mineral is the solid basis on which is spread out the vegetable - the body that its vesture clothes. The vegetable directly nourishes the animal. The tree does not grow for itself; it cradles the birds, and feeds animated races, and shades the traveller until he blesses it. Of all the thousand and ninety species of plants that botany has classified, not one, from the vast oak to the weed that springs out of its mould, and the moss that clings to its bark, but takes its appointed place in a related family. The atmosphere would lose its salubrity but for the salt and bitter sea. The ground would catch no fertilizing streams if the clouds did not kindly drop them from the sky. The flowers wait for the falling light before they unveil their beauty. All growing things are buttressed up by the vast ribs of everlasting granite that sleep in sunless caverns. Heat, electricity, magnetism, attraction, send their subtle powers through nature, and play through all its works, as unseen and silent as the Eternal Spirit they bear witness of. Everything helps, and everything is helped."

3. It agrees with the moral constitution of the soul. The soul is so formed:

(1) That it can recognize nothing morally praiseworthy that does not spring from it. Disinterestedness must be the soul of any conduct it can heartily commend.

(2) Its conscience can approve of no act of its own that is not inspired by it. Our consciences have not a single smile for the avaricious and self seeking.

(3) Its happiness can only be realized as it is controlled by it. "He that seeketh his life shall lose it, and he that loseth it shall find it." Self-oblivious benevolence is the fountain of human joy. This eternal principle of self-sacrificing love we must have in us before we can be saved; it is, in fact, salvation. "Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of God and drink his blood, ye have no life in you." The flesh and the blood here stand for the vitality of Christ. And what was this moral life, the moral essence of Christ, the soul of his soul, the moral blood? Self-sacrificing love. And this we must get into us or die.

III. THAT REDEMPTION IS NO AFTER THOUGHT IN THE ARRANGEMENTS OF THE UNIVERSE. It is true that the slain Lamb of Calvary came to meet and master an evil - the world's depravity. He came to "put away sin by the sacrifice of himself." But it was all according to the eternal order of things. Miserably narrow and God-degrading ideas of Christ's work are popular in the pulpits of some of the sects. Sometimes it is spoken of as an expedient which the Almighty took a long time to contrive in order to overcome a state of things that had sprung up in his kingdom. Like some human king, he had a great deal to do in order to hit upon the best plan to harmonize his attributes, to reconcile mercy to justice, to maintain the order of his government, and, at the same time, save and forgive repentant rebels. And sometimes it is so spoken of as if the original system which God established with humanity was defective, did not work well, broke down, and thus not only disappointed the Creator, but taxed his wisdom greatly in order to invent an expedient that should meet the difficulty. Away with such notions! They are repugnant to reason, they are an insult to Omniscience, they are a libel on the gospel, they are obstructive to Christianity.

1. God foresaw the fall from eternity. This is an undeniable fact. Why did he not prevent it? Ah! why?

2. God ordained the remedy from eternity. Redemption was no after thought; it is an essential part, and, perhaps, a primary part of the original scheme of the universe. All that are redeemed to moral order, rectitude, and peace by Christ, are so redeemed "according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began."

IV. THAT OUR PLANET WAS PROBABLY FORMED FOR THE SPECIAL PURPOSE OF BECOMING THE THEATRE OF GOD'S REDEMPTIVE LOVE TO MAN, This is saying more than that Christ came into the world. There are men who argue from the littleness of this planet the absurdity of this. But material magnitude is nothing to God; spiritual existences and moral facts are vitally interesting to him. But the text leads us beyond - leads us to believe that this world was made for the express purpose. As God had the idea of redemption before the "foundation of the world," and as the idea is being worked out here, is it not probable that this idea guided him in its formation? Small in bulk as our planet is when compared with that of other orbs that roll in splendour under the eye of God, it has a grand moral distinction. Its dust formed the fruits that fed the body of the Son of God. Here he lived, laboured, suffered, and was buried, and here his grand work is being carried on. If it be moral facts that give importance to places, is there a more important spot than this earth? - D.T.

The Book of Revelation presents us with a view of the conflict between the varied kingdoms of this world and the undivided kingdom of our God and of his Christ, and it uniformly declares to us this one consolatory truth, that these kingdoms shall become submissive to his kingdom. These kingdoms present themselves in the great world drama as various powers standing more or less in active opposition to the dominion of Christ over the life of men - in opposition to truth, to righteousness, and to God. "Another beast" arises, not from the sea, but "coming up out of the earth;" not from the world, in its heaving, disordered, tumultuous state, but from the solid earth - from the world in its settled order. It is not the power of rude violence, but as it were of meekness. "He had two horns like unto a lamb" - a smaller measure of power than pertains to the true Lamb, and smaller than is found on the seven-headed beast. But the character is complex. The speech is "as a dragon." It is foul, hellish, Satanic. He doeth great signs. "He deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by reason of the signs." The beast is distinguished by speech. This may indicate a connection with the intellectual and moral, not the physical or even the political, world. Is it a representation of the vast intellectual powers of the world if, and when, inspired by the evil spirit? Is it "wisdom" - the wisdom of this world in its opposition to the wisdom that cometh down from above? It has elements of the world, for it is of the beast; it has elements of the fiend, for it partakes of the quality of the dragon; it is a spirit of error, for it is a false prophet. But it is not merely error, for it is animated by an evil spirit. It is worldly wisdom, the tongue set on fire of hell - the human mind in its opposition to God. "Intellectual weapons which have united with external violence to attack the new principle which had begun to manifest itself in the life of mankind" (Neander). "He doeth great wonders" (see Matthew 24:24). Here are all "signs and Dying wonders," by which men are deceived who cleave not to the truth. Perhaps visible signs, prestiges, prodigies, wonders, soothsayers, witchcraft, and fraud of a barbarous age; and then, as times change, the pretended wonders of the intellect. "It would seem like a new heathendom sinking down again to the deification of nature and humanity." It maketh an image. Often in heathen Roman times was the image of the beast set up, and the alternative lay between martyrdom and apostasy. But not only in imperial Roman times, or papal or Protestant persecuting times, but in times of proud philosophical, materialistic, atheistic, earthly wisdom that stands in opposition to God; and that is none the less exclusive towards men that accept it not. Proud, anti-Godlike, anti-Christlike wisdom persecutes to the death. The profession of the simple Christian faith is a sign for exclusion and proscription. Intellectual pride laughs in its sleeve at the simplicity of Christ. Here the Church is to learn -

I. THE EXCEEDINGLY VARIED CHARACTER OF THE ENEMIES OF THE TRUTH. Every spirit not of God will oppose the true.




(1) of doctrine, and

(2) of life.


(1) to the Word, and

(2) to convictions, and

(3) to the indications of Divine providence.


(1) in maintaining the reproach and profession of Christ, and

(2) in enduring the severities of rude persecution or the proud rejection of a self-wise world. - R.G.

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