Revelation 22:7, 12-15
Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keeps the sayings of the prophecy of this book.
The holy book opens with a vision of paradisaical blessedness. Alas! soon the feet of men tread the sands of the wilderness. But the purposes of the Ever Blessed are to lead men back to a regained Paradise. This is the mission of the Redeemer. In his great sermon on the mount he opens his mouth and pronounces as a first word, "Blessed." It was his programme to restore men to blessedness. His last word corresponds with his first, and is in harmony with the spirit of his whole life work. For the comfort of his Church in all ages of her struggle with the powers of evil that from the first have brought only cursing upon men, he has pictured to the eye of faith and hope the visions of his own conquest over evil, and has appended the promise of the highest estate of blessedness. With these words cometh the end. In the keeping of the words of this book that blessedness is gained (ver. 7). And so the righteous one is urged to continue in his righteousness, and the holy to seek a perennial holiness, even though the filthy and the unrighteous remain in their filth and uncleanness (ver. 11). "The Alpha and the Omega" who spake the alpha of blessing now utters the omega. It is a final word - the last till "he cometh." This blessedness is to the pure - they who "wash their robes." He has opened the fountain where all sinful stains may be cleansed away. The blessedness consists -
I. IN THE ATTAINMENT OF TRUE LIFE. The tree of life is no longer unapproachable. Now they may "eat and live forever." The tree is "in the midst of the Paradise of God." It is the sacramental pledge of a life of eternal blessedness. "Neither can they die any more" is fulfilled in them. The pure only truly live. For the true life of man is only to be had in fellowship with God - the Pure. The unholy cannot see God; they cannot walk with God; they cannot share the blessedness of the holy communion. Separate from him, they die as a branch broken from a tree. Now the pure live, "I in them, and thou in me."
II. IN THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE HOLY COMMUNITY, AMIDST THE SANCTITIES AND SECURITY OF THE HOLY CITY. They are separated from the impure and the vile. These are "without." The love of God has issued in the eternal life with God; the love of man in the everlasting communion of the holy. Personal and individual life in its utmost blessedness, and the communal life restored - peace, truth, and love reigning. Blessed, blessed lot of them who are wise enough to hear and to keep the sayings of this book! Wherefore let us bend our heads lowlily over its sacred page, and read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest, that by patience and comfort of the Scriptures we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life which we have in our Saviour Jesus Christ. Now unto him who hath begotten us to this hope be paid the praise of eternity. Amen. - R.G.
Parallel VersesKJV: Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book.