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of the book of lifee :" “ He that overcometh shall inherit all things.” To eat of the tree of life ; to be a pillar in the temple of God; to sit with Christ on his throne ; to be clothed in white raiment; to have his name recorded in the book of life; to inherit all things; each of these is held out as the reward of him that overcometh ; and, as eternal life is promised as the recompense which Christ bestows upon his faithful followersf; as, to sit with him on his throne, and to inherit all things, is to be a partaker of eternal life ; and “ to eat of the tree of life,” is classed with sitting with Christ on his throne, and with inheriting all things; it appears, that “ to eat of the tree of life,” is equivalent to the inheritance of eternal life; and, that it is so, is clear from what is afterwards said of it : “Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.” Here, to “ have right to the tree of life,” is coupled with admission into that “ city”
e Rev. iii. 5.
r“ And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life!.” “ My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me, and I give unto them eternal life?” “God hath given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son 3.” ' 1 John, ii. 25.
3 1 John, v. 11. 2 John, x. 27, 28.
where the Lord God giveth his servants light, and they shall reign for ever and everf. “ The leaves of the tree” of life “ were for the healing of the nations." To “ eat of the tree of life" spoken of by St. John, is, then, to inherit eternal life b. If we turn to the “ tree of life” spoken of by Moses, we shall see, that to eat of it was to partake of eternal life: “ Lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat and live for everi."
1 Rev. xxii. 2. h The “ tree of life” which St. John saw by the side of the river of the water of life, in the midst of the holy city, new Jerusalem (and which was “ in the midst of the paradise of God”), whose fruit was to be the reward of “ him that overcometh,” and “whose leaves were for the healing of the nations ;” represents that salvation which is imparted by Christ, “the Sun of Righteousness," who beareth “ healing in bis wings ";" the “ Prince of life?,” by whose stripes we are healed 3 ; the Lamb which shall lead mankind “ unto living fountains of waters 4, " “ so that they shall never thirst, for the water that be shall give them, shall be in them a well of water springing up into everlasting lifes;" for Christ is “ the bread of life,” “the word of life7," “ the life 8; ” “ he that hath the Son hath life, and he that hath not the Son hath not life.” · Malachi, iv. 2.
| Rev. xxii. 5.
o John, vi. 35. Acts, iii. 15.
7 1 John, i. 1. 3 i Peter, ii. 24.
& John, xiv. 6. * Rev. vii. 17.
9 1 John, v. 12. s John, iv. 14.
i Gen. iii. 22.
Thus we find, that the “ tree of life" mentioned by Moses, possessed the same property as that which was possessed by the “ tree of life” spoken of by St. John. Each was to communicate eternal life to him that ate thereof; each was situated “ in the midst” of a “garden" or “ paradise.” We may, therefore, conclude, that “ the tree of life” spoken of by St. John, is the same “ tree of life" as that mentioned by Moses. And, if this conclusion be admitted, then we may also conclude, that the “ paradise” or “ garden;" in the midst of which St. John places “ the tree of life,” is the same “ garden” or paradise as that " in the midst” of which Moses has described “ the tree of life" as being situated.
The “ life” which was connected with, and imparted by," the tree of life” spoken of both by Moses and St. John, was “ eternal life.” Now “ eternal life” is given to man through Christ only : “ neither is there salvation in any other : for there is none other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved';" 6 he' that hath the Son hath life, and he that hath not the Son hath not life k”. The "life" which the “ tree of life” had the power of communicating, was, then, that salvation which we obtain through Christ; the “ tree of life" communicated that salvation ; therefore, the “ tree of life” represented Christ's covenant of salvation, through which we are made inheritors of eternal life.
The “ paradise” or garden in the midst of which St. John describes “ the tree of life” as being situated, was not a real garden ; for that place which he calls “ paradise,” he also calls “the street!” of “ the holy city new Jerusalem m." which “ city” is the “ Jerusalem which is above 9," “ the city of the living God, heavenly Jerusalem.” The word “ paradise," or garden, is, then, employed by St. John in a figurative sense (as the words “ holy city new Jerusalem" also are), to denote that place, in which is the throne of the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb P, and which is the dwelling of “ the nations of them which are saved q,” 6 of the spirits of just men made perfect"."
The “tree of life” spoken of by St. John, was not a real tree, but the words “ tree of life" are used by him, in a figurative sense, to denote Christ's covenant of salvation. So that, when he speaks of “ the tree of life which is in the midst of the paradise (or garden) of God,” he speaks of Christ's covenant of mercy which is
registered in heavens; of that eternal life which is prepared in heaven for those who cling to that covenant
The “ pure river of water of life” of which St. John speaks, and on the side of which he
• " And the temple of God was opened in heaven; and there was seen in His temple the ark of His covenant";" [η κιβωτός της διαθηκης αυτο.]
Rev. xi. 19. The words “ tree of life" are also used figuratively by the writer of the book of Proverbs. Of Wisdom he says, “ She is a tree of life to them that lay hold on her ?.” “ The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life 3.” “ When the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.” “A wholesome tongue is a tree of lifes.”
The word tree occurs in many parts of Scripture in a figurative sense. Isaiah, proclaiming the glad tidings of salvation, announces to “ them that mourn in Zion,” that they shall be called “ trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord 6." “The Assyrian” is called “a cedar in Lebanon ?;" “ the cedars in the garden of God could not hide him,” “nor any tree in the garden of God was like to him in his beauty 8; " “ so that all the trees of Eden that (were) in the garden of God envied him 9;" yet he was to be “ brought down with the trees of Eden unto the’nether parts of the earth 10.” “ All the trees of the field shall know that I the Lord have brought down the high tree, have exalted the low tree, have dried up the green tree, and have made the dry tree to flourish"." “ Open thy doors, O Lebanon ! that the fire may devour thy cedars ; howl, fir tree, for the cedar is fallen; because the · Prov. iii. 18.
9 Ezek. xxxi. 3. 3 Prov. xi. 30.
8 Ezek. xxxi. 8. * Prov. xiii. 12.
· Ezek. xxxi. 9. s Prov. xv. 4.
10 Ezek. xxxi. 18.
the trees of the field shall wealted the to