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Saturday, June 22nd, 2024
the Week of Proper 6 / Ordinary 11
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Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary

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We meet with this name Isaiah 14:12. Various have been the opinions of commentators, who is meant by it. Some have supposed it refered to the morning star, because to the name Lucifer is added "son of the morning;" and in confirmation they refer to that passage, (Job 38:7) where at the creation, the morning stars are said "to have sung together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy." But it should seem, that this is a total perversion of the passage, for Lucifer is said to be fallen; and moreover, Jesus is, in a special and personal manner, called "the morning star." (Revelation 22:16)

Other commentators, with much greater probability of truth, have supposed, that by Lucifer is meant the Devil, who once was among the bright ornaments of heaven, but by apostacy is fallen; and this agrees with the whole context. Hell from beneath is said to have moved; at his coming. (Isaiah 14:9) And agreeably to this opinion we find that the general name of Lucifer hath been assigned to the devil in all the christian church,

But there are others, who in their comments on this part of Isaiah's prophecy, accept the whole passage as referring literally to the king of Babylon, with which the subject opens at the fourth verse. If read in this light, the whole passage is solemn, magnificent; and striking. The greatness and power of the king of Babylon is described in very lofty characters: his city is called the golden city. He is said to have made the earth to tremble, and to have shaken kingdoms. The prophet next describes his tyranny, despotism, and cruelty. He smote the people in wrath, and that not occasionally, but continually; and so irresistible was his power, that none could hinder. At length he falls. The earth gains instant rest, and by a beautiful figure of rhetoric, is said to break forth into singing. Then comes in the awful account of the succeeding state to the present life. "Hell from beneath is moved at his coming." The territories of the damned are represented as opening to receive a more than ordinary guest, now come to take up his eternal dwelling there; and the dead, and the chief ones of the earth, who when alive trembled at his power, now all brought together into one common level of horror and misery, are represented as insulting over his calamity. "Art thou also become weak as we? art thou become like unto us? Thy pomp is brought down to the grave, and the noise of thy viols: the worm is spread under thee, and the worms cover thee. How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning!"

Perhaps there never was a finer piece of imagery in any description ever given. The movement of hell to meet this stranger, this great one, is beyond all conception sublime, as if those infernal regions of horror felt convulsed at his approach, and thus testified their welcome. And the taunting compliments from the kings and great men of the earth, whom the monarch of Babylon had hastened and sent there before their time, is wonderfully conceived, to shew what deep and bitter malignity the conversation of hell is made up of, to aggravate the torments of the damned, and to fill up the full-heaped measure of corrosive and everlasting misery. But when the reader hath done with his observation on this awful prospect, I beg yet more earnestly to call his attention to another, by way of finishing the subject, which comes home to every breast, or ought at least so to do, and which is not confined to person or character, but universally concerns all mankind.

Whether this Lucifer, son of the morning, be or be not either of the characters before mentioned, yet for every character and for every person, the entrance into the world of spirits is opened at death. Whether, hell from beneath is moved at the unawakened sinner's coming, or heaven from above opens her golden gates to receive the redeemed regenerated saint in Jesus, this Scripture, with others to the same amount, plainly testify that that thinking faculty, that immortal incorporeal part, which at death separates from the body, hastens into the world of spirits like its own, and exists in a state perfectly distinct from and unconnected with the body, and will so continue until the general resurrection. What a solemn thought, if properly attended to, and yet increasingly more solemn to every inhabitant of the earth when considered also, that the time of this separation may be the next moment for ought we know, when the disembodied soul shall receive the summons for departure.

And there is another thought connected with it, which gives solemnity to the former, and which this Scripture tends to prove, namely, that in that world of spirits they think and speak, have conversation and fellowship, with each other, as familiarly as we have with each other that are yet in the body. How remote from hence is not said. It may be immensely distant; it may be very near. One thing is certain, as this Scripture shews, namely, that they are intimately acquainted with the past circumstances of their own lives, and the lives of others with whom they dwelt. And hence, though they cease for ever from us, and we from them, in respect to farther communion; though as the Scripture saith, "Abraham be ignorant of us, and Israel acknowledge us not," (Isaiah 63:16) yet the existence is made up of identity, consciousness, and unceasing thinking, and acting, and the most lively perception. Hence, in either state, and in both states, the happiness of the blessed, and the misery of the damned, infinitely surpasseth the utmost conception our present faculties can form. Oh, the multitude, the unnumbered, unknown, unanswerable arguments which the Scriptures hold forth "to seek the things which make for our everlasting peace, and to flee from the wrath to come."

Bibliography Information
Hawker, Robert D.D. Entry for 'Lucifer'. Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance and Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/​dictionaries/​eng/​pmd/​l/lucifer.html. London. 1828.
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