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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. ii. 5.
F« 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 bis Son 3.” ' 1 John, ii. 25.
3 1 John, v. 11. John, x. 27, 28.
: Rev. xxii. 14.
where the Lord God giveth his servants light, and they shall reign for ever and everf. 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 lifeb.
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."
Rev. xxii. 5.
& 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 his 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 he 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 life?," “ the life 8;” “ he that hath the Son hath life, and he that hath not the Son hath not life." ? Malachi, iv. 2.
6 John, vi. 35. ? Acts, iii. 15.
9 1 John, i. 1. 3 i Peter, ii. 24.
John, xiv. 6. 4 Rev. vii. 17.
91 John, v. 12. 3 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';" “ he that hath the Son hath life, and he that hath not the Son hath not life.” The “ ' life” which the “ tree of life” had the power of communicating, was, then, that salvation which we obtain through Christ; the “ tree of
i Acts, iv. 12.
k 1 John, v. 12.
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",” “ 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,” “ 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
| Rev. xxji. 2.
p Rev. xxi. 22; xxii. 1.
registered in heavens; of that eternal life which is prepared in heaven for those who cling to that covenantt.
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";” [ή κιβωτός της διαθηκης αντα.]
i 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.” fruit of the righteous is a tree of life3.” “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." 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. xüi. 12.
, Ezek. xxxi. 9. s Prov. xv. 4.
10 Ezek. xxxi. 18. 6 Isaiah, lui. 3.
11 Ezek. xvii. 24.