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16 shame. And he gathered them together into a place, which is 17 called in the Hebrew language, Armageddont. And the seventh
angel poured forth his vial into the Air; and there came forth a
great voice from the temple of heaven, even from the throne, 18 saying, It is done. And there were voices, and thunders, and
lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as there had
not been from the time that men were upon the earth; such and 19 so great an earthquake was it. And the great city was divided
into three parts, and the cities of the Gentiles fell down. And
Babylon the great came into remembrance before God, to give 20 her the cup of the wine of his fiercest wrath. And every island 21 fled away, and the mountains were found no more. And a great
hail, each stone as the weight of a talent, descended from heaven upon nien : and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail ; for the plague of it was very great.
REFLECTIONS, Whatever particular events these Vicls might be respectively intended to represent, they all agree in giving us most awful views of the divine power and agency over the whole universe. He is able to scorch and blast the carth with insufferable heat ; to vail it in midnight darkness ; to dry up its rivers, or even shake its foundations, so as to throw down, in a moment, the strongest and the proudest cities. From the air he can cause even rivers of ice to descend, sufficient not only to destroy our frail and tender bodies, but those regular fortifications which are deemed impregnable ; turning them into the graves of those who seek and expect protection from them. How worthy is this tremendous Being of our homage and reverence? And yet men hear of his awful judgments, and sometimes see and feel them too, and continue unreformed. Even while they are gnawing their tongues through the cxtremity, of pain and anguish, it is possible that, as far as their wounded tongues will give them leave, they may blastheme the God of heaven, and utter their impotent rage and malice against him. The infernal regions resound with diabolical language : and O, that so many parts of this earth bore no resemblance to them. But let the outrage of the wicked be what it may, God, when he en: ters into judgment, will overcome. And though the rage of his enemies engages them to gather themselves together, the event will prove, that it is only as sheep for the slaughter. And, while they are acting in this with the utmost freedom, they are indeed assembled by Him, their own angry passions subserving the purposes of his righteous providence. Let us confide in his work, let us attend to his voice; and, in spite of all our difficulties and dangers, let us do our endeavo our, to secure the blessedness of that man, who watcheth and keeneth his garments; who is always on his guard against every surprise, which might expose him to shame in the presence of his Master, though he should come in ever so unexpected a manner, even like a thief in the night.
+ Or, the mountain of Megiddo; a place remarkable for slaughter. Judg v. 19. 2 Kings ix. 27.
To explain to John the meaning of the seven vials, he is shewed the great harlot sitting upon a mysterious beast ; and hears her doomed to destruetion. Ch. xvii.
1 AND one of the seven angels who had the seven vials, came
N and spake with me, saying to me, Come, and I will shek thee the judgment of the great harlot, that sitteth upon many wa2 ters ; with whom the kings of the carth lrave committed fornica
tion, and the inhabitants of the earth have been drunk with the 3 wine of her whoredom. And he brought me in the Spirit into
the wilderness : and I saw a woman sitting upon a scarlet beast, full of blasphemous names, having seven heads and ten horns. And the woman was clothed with purple, and scarlet, and adorned with gold, and precious stones, and pearls; having a golden cup in
her hand full of the abominations and pollution of her whoredom. $ And she had upon her forehead her name written, MYSTERY,
BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINA6 TIONS OF THE EARTH. And I saw the woman drank with the
blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. 7 And I wondered, when I saw her, with great amazement. And
the angel said unto me, Why dost thou wonder? I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast which carrieth her, which 8 hath the seven heads and the ten horns. The beast which thou
sawest, was, and is not; and he will ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into destruction ; and the inhabitants of the earth (whose names are not written in the book of life from the founda
tion of the world) shall wonder, on seeing the beast, who was, and 9 is not, though he is*. Here is the understanding that hath wis:
dom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the wo10 man sitteth. And there are seven kings, or forms of government;
five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come ; and 11 when he cometh, he must endure but for a little time. And the
beast that was, and is not, he is the eighth, and is of (i. e. &firinging 12 from the seven, but goeth into destruction. And the ten horns
which thou sawest, are ten kings, which have not yet received
their kingdom ; but they shall reccive authority from the beast 13 as kings for one hour. These have one mind, and shall deliver 14 their own power and authority to the beast. These shall make
war with the Lamb; and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he
is Lord of lords, and King of kings ; and those that are with 15 him are called, and chosen, and faithful. And he said unto me,
The waters which thou sawest, on which the harlot sat, are people, 16 and multitudes, and nations, -and tongaes. And the ten horns
which thou sawest on the beast, thesc shall hate the harlot, and make her desolate and naked, and they shall eat her flesh through
# 1. e. who shall quickly be overthrown, though he is to appear for a while."That the beast was, but is not, yet will soon come.” “To this let the mind that hath wisdom attend." W.
17 indignation, and shall burn her with fire. For God hath given it
into their hearts to execute his sentence, even to perform one pur
pose ; and to give their kingdoms to the beast, till the words of 18 God be fulfilled. And the woman which thou sawest, is the
great city that ruleth over the kings of the earth.
REFLECTIONS. Easily might we liave apprehended, that Rome had been here designed, though it had not been so particularly described by its situation, on seven hills, or by the empire it then possessed over all the kingdoms of the worlil. The horlot might be sufficiently distinguished by her names of blasphemy, by her cup of enchantment, by her titles, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS, AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. Yea, she might be known by this single character, of having made herself drunk with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Je8!18. And is it heathen Rome, to whom these characters are more remarkably applicable ? The apostle would not then have wondered with 80 great admiration, that idolatry and persecution should prevail, where the former had raged for so many ages, and the latter almost from the very beginning of Christianity; and to such a degree, in the days of Nero, who, as their own historian tells us, had, thirty years before this, added mockeries and insults to torment, that Christians were dressed up in the skins of wild beasts, and so exposed to be worried on the theatre: a method which hath indeed, figuratively speaking, been every where practised, and must be practised, if Christianity is, to be made ridiculous, or odious. But the true occasion of the apostle's astonishment was, that Rome professing Christianity, Rome setting up for the Head of the Christian world, should have emulated and exceeded any Pagan city, and even itself in its Pagan state in its idolatries, and in its cruelties. And this is a fact indeed wonderful. But these are the secret counsels of God, even those counsels which are to us unsearchable. Nevertheless, the beauty and glory of them shall at length be apparent.
The kings of the earth, though, like Nebuchadnezzar, they meant it not, are now fulfilling the plan of divine providence; a plan that shall at length appear wise and harmonious, though the permission of all these absurdities and horrors make a part of it. And when the words of God are fulfilled, they who with one mind have given their power and strength 10 the beas!, in order to support the harlot, shall be as unanimous in hating hers and making her desolate and naked; shall be ready to devour her-flesh, and consume her in her own fires. Fierce and savage as the beast may at present appear, its war with the Lamb shall be utterly in vain ; for the Lamb is always victorious, and will assert his grand imperial titles, LORD OF LORDS, AND KING OF KINGS. May we all list under his banner; may we not only be called, but chosen and faithful, faithful even to death ; since all the rage of men, and multitudes, and nations, and congues, if it were united against us, could not prevent his giving us a crown of victory, and a part in his everlasting triumphs. Vợt. IĨ.
A sublime description of the fall of Babylon.
1 A ND after this I saw an angel descending from heaven, who
A had great power; and the earth was enlightened with his 2 glory. And he cried with great might, and a loud voice, saying,
It is fallen! it is fallep! even Babylon the great: and it is become
the habitation of demons, and the hold of every unclean spirit, 3 and a cage of every unclean and hatcful bird : For she hath caus
ed all the nations to drink of the wine of her raging whoredom ; and the kings of the earth have committed whoredom with her, and the merchants of the earth have been enriched by the abundance of her luxuries. And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out from her, O my people, that ye may not be
partakers with her in her sins, and that ye may not partake of her 5 plagues ; for her sins have followed up to heaven, and her un6 righteous actions are come up in remembrance before God. Give
her, as she also hath given to you, and recompense to her double
according to her works : In the cup which she hath mingled, 7 mingle her a double quantity. In proportion to the degree in
which she hath made ostentation of her glory, and lived in luxury, inflict upon her torment and grief; because she hath said in her
heart, I sit a queen, and I am not a desolate widow, and shall not 8 see sorrow. Therefore in one day shall her plagues come; death
and mourning and famine ; and she shall be burnt with fire ; for 9 strong is the Lord God who judges her. And the kings of the
earth, who have committed fornication, and lived in luxury with
her, shall mourn over her, and lament for her, when they shall 10 see the smoke of her 'burning; standing afar off for fear of her
torment, saying, Woe! woe! O thou great city, Babylon, the 11 strong city! for in one hour thy judgment is come. And the mer.
chants of the earth shall wail and lament over her, because no one 12 any longer shall buy their wares : the ladings of gold and silver,
and every precious stone, and pearls, and fine linen, and purple, and silk, and scarlet, and every odoriferous wood, and every ves.
sel of ivory, and every vessel of most precious wood, and of 13 brass, and of iron, and of marble, and cinnamon, and perfume,
and myrrh, and incense, and wine, and oil, and finc flour, and
wheat, and kine, and sheep, and horses, and chariots, and slaves, 14 and the very lives and souls of men. And the fruits which thy
soul desired, are gone from thee, and all delicious and splendid
things are departed from thee, and thou shalt never find them any 15 more. The merchants of these commodities, who were enriched
by her, shall stand afar off for fear of her torment, weeping and 16 mourning*, and saying, Alas! alas! the great city, that was
* An evident reference to the lamentation over Tyre, Ezek. 28, 18. xxiii. 1.7, 14.—Some think the circumstances of Popish worship, and the trade of their priests, &c. intended in these verses.
clothed with fine linen, and purple, and scarlet, and adorned with 17 gold, and precious stones, and pearls ! for in one hour all these
riches are made desolate. And every pilot, and every one of the
ship's company, and the mariners, and all that bestow their la18 bour upon the sea, stood afar off, and cried, when they saw the
smoke of her burning, saying, What cily is like to the great city ? 19 And they cast dust upon their heads, and cried weeping and
mourning, saying, Alas! alas ! the great city, by whose magnif
icent expenses all that had ships in the sea were enriched ! for 20 she is made desolate in one hour. Rejoice over her, O thou
heaven, and ye holy apostles, and prophets ; for on your account
God hath pronounced sentence upon her. 21 And a strong angel took a stone, like a great millstone, and
hurled it into the sea, saying, Thus shall Babylon the great city 22 be violently hurled away, and never be found any more. And the
sound of harpers, and musicians, and those who sound the flute, and the trumpet, shall no more be heard in thee; and every artificer of every trade, shall no more be found in thee; nor shall the
noise of the millstone to prepare bread be heard in thee any more. 23 And the light of the lamp shall no more be seen in thee; and the
voice of the bridegroom and the bride shall be heard in thee no
more: because thy merchants were grandees of the earth, and 24 because all the nations were deceived by thy sorceries. And in
her was found the blood of the prophets, and of the saints, even of all those who were slain upon the earth.
REFLECTIONS. From the particular detail which is here given us, of the various commodities in which Babylon traded with its merchants, we may surely take an incidental occasion to reflect upon the rich bounty of divine providence to the children of men, in giving them such a variety of good things, which tend not only to their necessary support, but their ornament and delight. To wbatever pernicious purposes vanity and luxury may abuse the silver and the gold, the gems and the pearls, the fine linen and silk, the purple and scarlet, the ivory and marble, the cinnamon and the myrrh, as well as the more important blessings of wheat and oil, of kine, and sheep, and horses, all are the gifts of God; and, if wisely and properly used, may justly excite our thankfulness to him ; and it is on ourselves, and not on him, that we are to charge it, if what should have been for our welfare becomes a trap, and our treasures be turned into idols. Nor is the wise dispo. sition of providence to be disregarded, in causing many of these things to be the peculiar products of different countries, denying to some what he has given to the rest, that so traffic and commerce may be encouraged, and by it, society and intercourse extended among different nations, and provision made for that spread of divine knowl. . edge, which had, in many instances, been impossible, if human industry, quickened by necessity, and the prospect of gain, had not invented those arts of navigation, to which Great Britain, above all other nations, is so much indebted, and without which, indeed, our beautiful and fruitful island had been a desert, inaccessible to men.