Continuing with The Face of the Deep, Christina Georgina Rossetti’s 1892 devotional commentary on the Apocalypse, the first full commentary of any sort on that book written by a woman. Rossetti is one of the best poets in the English language, and her commentary is strewn with poetry throuhgout, which plays an integral role in the commentary, making this one a truly extraordinary commentary on the Book of Revelation.
9. I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the island that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.
“Your brother, and companion . . . in the kingdom . . . of Jesus Christ.”—Thus far St. John addresses all baptized Christians, but not necessarily all, as concerns “tribulation” and “patience.” The first and obvious priveleges are ours by Royal gift; the second and less obvious are likewise ours potentially and in the germ, yet neither effectually nor in maturity unless our own free will co-operate with God’s predisposing grace.
Patience is a great grace; but is it at all a privelege? Yes, surely. The patient soul, lord of itself, sits imperturbably amid the jars of life and serene under its frets. “Let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.” Hence we infer that where patience is perfect, nought else will remain imperfect.
Tribulation cannot but be a privelege, inasmuch as it makes us so far like Christ.