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CHAPTER XXII.

1. And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the Throne of God and of the Lamb.

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Or as the Revised Version arranges the text: the Throne of God and of the Lamb, in the midst of the street thereof "—thus adding to the end of ver. I a clause which the Authorized Version places at the beginning of ver. 2. This latter reading favours a collation of the verse we have now to consider with a Divine utterance recorded by St. John :

"Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto Me, and drink. He that believeth on Me, as the Scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this He spake of the Spirit, which they that believe on Him should receive . . .)" The two passages taken together suggest how ineffably real and close is regenerate man's union with his dearest Lord and Head: so that every thing communicable which is Christ's He shares verily and indeed with His brethren; yea, even with each of the least of those His brethren.

That the "Pure River of Water of Life" proceeded “out of the Throne of God and of the Lamb" confirms that clause of the Nicene Creed: "The Holy Ghost, The Lord and Giver of Life, Who proceedeth from the Father and the Son, Who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified."

That It flows forth through the golden street of New Jerusalem (see Revised Version as quoted above) certifies us that the Divine All Gracious Spirit will abide for ever in the human temple He has deigned to edify and hallow. No more than will our Lord Himself, will God the Holy Spirit, the "Other Comforter," ever leave His own comfortless.

Pure It is and purifying, Living and quickening.

The

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Waters of Baptism in a mystery have already conveyed it to us by grace of the Most Holy Trinity. 'He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved."

"Clear as crystal"-not concealing, but revealing. According to Christ's promise to St. Peter: "What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter." For in the day of eternity all faithful children shall be as that Father of the Faithful of whom the Lord once said: "Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do?"

If I may without presumption, I connect symbolically the reflecting power of "a pure river" with another saying of Christ's when on the eve of His most sacred Passion He poured Himself forth in love to His disciples: "Howbeit when He, the Spirit of Truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth for He shall not speak of Himself; but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak and He will show you things to come. He shall glorify Me: for He shall receive of Mine, and shall show it unto you. All things that the Father hath are Mine : therefore said I, that He shall take of Mine, and shall show it unto you." This promise, relating to time, seems not necessarily limited to time.

I suppose that the river of Eden, which from being one became parted into four heads, may correspond figuratively with the Apocalyptic "Pure River of Water of Life." From the Paradise which could be lost and which it watered, the single fountainhead poured forth in fourfold stream Pison and Gihon, Hiddekel and Euphrates, to fertilize the world and sprinkle many nations in the regained Paradise That which it typified appears as One, having accomplished the Divine Pleasure.

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O Most Holy, Almighty, Eternal, Divine Spirit, Who art of one Authority and Dominion with the Father and the Son; set up Thy throne in our hearts, indwell us, gather us into Thine obedience, reign over us.

Thou Who art Lord and Giver of Life, grant us life, a long life, even for ever and ever.

Thou Who art a Loving Spirit, ever willing to give Thyself to whoso will receive Thee, give Thyself to us, give Thyself to us more and more, and never withdraw Thyself from us.

Thou Who art Purity, purify us: Who art Light, enlighten us: Who art Fullness and Refreshment, make us Thine, keep us Thine, fill us, refresh us.

Thou Who lovest us, grant us grace to love Thee.

O Lord God Almighty, Most Holy Trinity, Jesus Christ is our sole plea for any gift, for any grace. Amen.

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2. 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.

According to one or other Version "In the midst of the street of it" either closes the first verse or opens the second.

If now I may treat it as opening ver. 2, it appears to belong to the revelation of where and how stood the Tree of Life; that figure of Christ Crucified for our salvation, and constituting Himself our Meat indeed and Drink indeed in the Sacrament of His most Blessed Body and Blood: which how should we name without words of love, yet how shall words of our love worthily name it?

It is the greatness of Thy Love, dear Lord, that we would celebrate
With sevenfold powers.

Our love at best is cold and poor, at best unseemly for Thy state,

This best of ours.

Creatures that die, we yet are such as Thine own hands deigned to create: We frail as flowers,

We bitter bondslaves ransomed at a price incomparably great

To deck heaven's bowers.

Thou callest: "Come at once"-and still Thou callest us:

tho' late"

(The moments fly)

"Come late,

"Come, every one that thirsteth, come "-"Come prove Me, knocking at

My gate"

(Soine souls draw nigh!)—

"Come thou who waiting seekest Me"-" Come thou for whom I seek

and wait".

(Why will we die?)—

"Come and repent: come and amend : come joy the joys unsatiate ❞— -Christ passeth by .

Lord, pass not by-I come-and I-and I. Amen.

Perhaps the banyan tree (of which I have read) was created with its exceptional habit of self-multiplication in unbroken. unity, to show us one natural tree capable of standing "in the midst . . . and on either side," for the more confirmation of our faith.

If, on the other hand, ver. 2 should be considered as not commencing until the words, "And on either side of the river," then the double (and no more than double) presence of the Tree of Life recalls to adoring love those Two Natures of our Redeemer, distinct whilst inseparable, which the Two Candlesticks upon Christian Altars are designed to express.

In the Revised Version a marginal reading substitutes "twelve crops" for "twelve manner of fruits." This alternative word bears witness to the inadequacy of eternity itself to empty into the creature's apprehension a full knowledge of the Creator: because the crops are yielded and the nations fed (see ch. ii. 7 : and ver. 14 of the present ch.), satisfied, fed again, for ever and ever. For the twelve crops corresponding with the twelve months appear to provide for them, that is, for the entire year; but twelve months when heaven is in question seem perforce a figure not of the years of time but of some aspect of eternity. In accordance with which surmise I remark, that these mystical months being twelve are not paralleled by the thirteen moons of a temporal year, moons which wax and wane in an ever renewed incompleteness. That moon which was ordained to rule over the night, rules not the perpetual day.

The other reading, "twelve manner of fruits," reminds us that the flavour of the wilderness Manna is said to have been mysteriously adapted to the palate of each eater. And if the type, much more will the True Bread from Heaven satisfy and still excite and still appease every taste and craving of the many thousands of the perfected Israel; those tribes and families whose thousands of thousands dwell at last in the Lord's Tabernacle and rest upon His holy hill.

"And the leaves of the Tree were for the healing of the nations."-To this revelation, so mysterious by reason of its context, I attempt not to assign conjectual time or place. I rest in Christ's declaration even to His assembled Apostles:

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"It is not for you to know the times or the seasons. Still, something it does teach me if I learn from it that whatever the multitudes of the redeemed need, that our tender Saviour Himself becomes to them.

Lord Jesus, so long as seemeth Thee good, give us faith rather than knowledge, and hope than assurance. Feed us when we need feeding, heal us when we need healing. Grant us to find peace by conforming ourselves lovingly to Thy good Will and pleasure, peace here and peace hereafter. Amen.

3. And there shall be no more curse: but the Throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and His servants shall serve Him:

4. And they shall see His face; and His Name shall be in their foreheads.

Where the Throne of God and of the Lamb is established in uncontested dominion; where His servants serve Him with no more fightings without or fears within; where in Beatific Vision they see His Face; where His Name is in their foreheads there is and can be "no more curse."

What may I understand by "His Name shall be in their foreheads?" (If I may) I will not think of it as a Name then newly impressed there; but rather as the consummated, ineffaceable, fully-developed glory of that Name into which the elect were once baptized in weakness who finally must bear it in power. To participate in the Name is (by adoption) to participate in the Nature (consider 1 St. Peter i. 2-4): to bear the Name in full view, "in their foreheads," is to show forth the restored Divine Image and Likeness before the face of all people. The forehead expresses thought, reason, intellect; and these supernaturalized by grace become wisdom in union with the Uncreated Wisdom. One Name, one Wisdom, one Love, with God: this is what we hope for-we dare not hope for less than this-when unto the God of gods we appear every one of us.

If the Name in the forehead do indeed (amongst whatever else) express the consummation of a gift conferred in Baptism, then surely day by day, hour by hour, moment by moment, the Divine Likeness should be developing, augmenting, deepening in each of us. The progressive work may be hidden,

"Who ever saw the earliest rose first open her sweet breast?"— and well is it that from our too self-conscious eyes it is hidden but none the less line upon line, here a little and

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