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“ The hour of his judgment is come." This flight commenced at the early part of the hour of that unprecedented judgment of the French revolution, in 1789; the wars and horrors of which terrified the world ; and which
be viewed as a new era of judgments, which shall lead on to the battle of the great day of God. And indeed, the battle of the great day itself, may be said to be then, as it were, within an hour! As though the angel should say, that great battle is now near; and the great judgments which lead to it, are now thundering through the nations. This is a warning, to be given by the angel of missions, as we learn, Joel ii. 1; “Blow ye the trumpet in Zion; sound an alarm in my holy mountains (or through the midst of the ecclesiastical heaven, as in our text); let all the inhabitants of the land (earth) tremble for the day of the Lord, for it is nigh at hand.”
Ver. 8. And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.
A second angel flies through the midst of the mystical or ecclesiastical heaven, the
church on earth, proclaiming the fall of papal Babylon. This is an event antecedent to, and distinct from the battle of the great day; as that is given in the closing part of this chapter, after the event in this text, and after several subsequent events of great interest, which intervene between this proclamation of the second angel, and that battle. The event here proclaimed is the falling of the papal see from being a predominant power, and thus constituting Babylon. From being such a predominant power, it fell, when a vial of wrath was poured upon his seat (throne), and filled his kingdom with darkness ; chap. xvi. 10. This was the event given in chap. x. in the first general division of this prophecy; and in chap. xviii. in the second general division; where it is said, “ Babylon is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird :" precisely as was exhibited in France, in and after the French revolution of 1789. The notice of mankind is by this second
angel called to this event, as being a notable sign of the times, which assures us of a train of collateral, and of subsequent events, which will lead to amazing results, and to the battle of the great day. This decisive battle is manifestly future of the fall of papal Babylon in our text; as is shown in this 14th chapter, the battle being at the close of it; as is decided also in chap. xviii. 21 ; where, after the fall of Babylon (there noted in verse 2), we read, “ And a mighty angel took up a stone, like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying, Thus with violence shall the great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all.” Here then, after the falling of papal Babylon from its predominant height, and the filling of its kingdom with darkness; as chap. xvi. 10; a Babylon still exists, to be cast at a time then future, as a millstone into the depth of the sea. This is the power of infidelity, known as the beast from the bottomless pit. This beast became the reigning Babylon, when it rosè, and hurled the papal power from its predominant station. This beast, with the subordinate remains of popery, will go into perdition at the battle of that great day of God.
Very little practical improvement has been made in Zion, of God's thus having taken the papal Babylon in hand, in her fall, in the bursting out of the Voltaire system of infidelity and licentiousness, given in chap. x. and xviii. But this fact, with its train of synchronical and subsequent events, demands particular notice and improvement. And a call to this is the commission of this second angel.
The prophecies, which relate to this event, to the power of infidelity of the last days, the beast which ascendeth out of the bottomless pit, and goeth into perdition, are of deep interest to the church. These things lead on a train of amazing events. Warnings are given of them which God will not suffer long to remain carelessly overlooked. The warning will then be heard, and obeyed, “Come and see !" 6 Come, behold the works of the Lord; what desolations he hath made, and is going to make in the earth!" Something will call the attention of the church to these things. The signs of the times will be noted, that due improve ment of them may be made.
· Ver. 9. And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand,
10. The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:
il. And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.
The signs of the times, noted in the warning of the second angel, will soon furnish a third angel with his message; which is to testify the impending judgments of Heaven against all the subjects of the grand scheme of infidelity then exposed, and of popery, which God has thus taken in hand. It will then be clearly understood, that the blasphemous system of the Voltaire infidelity; and that of Jesuitism—the sinking papacy; as well as all the efforts of the licentiousness of the day, are of one and the same diabolical family. And the warning voice, in chap. xvi. 13, 14, relative to the three unclean spirits like frogs, spirits of devils working wonders, coming from the mouths of the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet, going forth unto the kingdoms of all the world, to gather them to the battle, will then come to be well understood by the children of Zion. And the warning voice in our text will go forth with power, calling on men to flee from all sinful affinity with them. The call of Heaven will now be urged upon the conscience, “ Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins; and that ye receive not of her plagues.”. “Ho, ho, come forth and flee from the land of the north ; deliver thyself, O Zion, that dwellest with the daughters of Babylon." And the warning, said in the text to be with a loud voice, is enforced with denunciations the most terrible. Let them be re-examined, and well remembered.
Events, at the time of the flight of this third angel, will
be found to be such as both to justify and demand the special warnings here given. This will appear, if we consult the warnings given in prophetic descriptions of the chambers of imagery, in Ezek. viii.; and of the same characters of the last days, in 2 Pet. chap. ii., and iii. 1-5; and in the epistle of Jude. Relative to such characters of the last days, the words of Moses to Israel, concerning Korah and his impious company, will come most fitly in point ; “Depart, I pray you, from the tents of those wicked men. Jude says of these infidels of the last days, “ Wo unto them, for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam, and perished in the gainsaying of Korah." And he says of the vengeance then just ready to light on them, “Even as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities about them giving themselves over, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.” This, one would think, is the parent passage of the warning in our text, given relative to the same impious characters of the last days.
Most happy is every new appearance of Christ on his earthly Mount Zion. That on the day of Pentecost; that in the revolution in the Roman empire from paganism to Christianity; that in the subsequent season of peace in the empire, when 144,000 were said to be sealed in their foreheads for salvation ; that in the first verse of this chapter. The sealing times of the present age, especially in our States, have been rich and wonderful. We behold in them a degree of a glorious fulfilment of the following ancient promise, relative to this very day, “ When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up his standard against them.” This is an event most cheering to the children of God, --confounding to the enemy; and which baffles the confident calculations of Antichrist, Even the papal power, towering for many centuries among the stars, and exulting, “I sit a queen, and know no sorrow;" when the Lamb of God appears on his mount Zion in the Reformation,-must leave its zenith, and commence its fatal plunge. When violent persecutors, like Saul of Tarsus, are smitten to the ground, and turned to support the gospel which they had laboured to destroy; the enemy are deeply troubled at such appearances of Christ on his mount Zion! Such, 0 Zion, is the Captain of your salvation.
Let the faith of the present Christian church be invig orated by the testimony borne from heaven to the correctness of the doctrines and order of the Reformation ; “ These are they that follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth!” “ They are virgins. They are without fault before the throne of God!” In these days of error, when many will not endure sound doctrine ; but, after their own lusts, heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears, and turn away their ears from the truth, and are turned unto fables ; let us abide closely by the doctrines of the Reformation thus divinely sanctioned. Let us inquire for the old way, the good path, and walk therein. The command is now of deep interest ; "that ye contend earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints. For there are men crept in unawares,--turning the grace of God (the doctrines of grace) into lasciviousness.”
This generation have seen the fall of papal Babylon from her predominant height, in which she had reigned over the kings of the earth. The throne of that kingdom has been overturned, and filled with darkness. And though it is struggling, and the dying throes of the monster may wound some of the people of God; yet its certain fall, its descent to the burning lake, is infallible. These things mark a most interesting period to Zion. Papal Babylon is already fallen, and is falling; and the events connected with the incipient stages of its fall, are now visible before the eyes of the nations.
Blessed be God that we live to see the flight of the angel of missions. May our prayers and alms pursue
the heavenly object. Wo will be to all, to whom the following warning from heaven applies : "Curse ye Meroz, saith the angel of the Lord ; Curse ye bitterly the inhabitants thereof; because they came not to the help of the Lord, to the help of the Lord against the mighty.”
Behold the following wonderful providence of Him who came to destroy the works of the devil! Just as the blasphemous plan of Voltaire seemed triumphant as being about to banish the gospel from the earth; the angel of missions starts from heaven to go round the world, to proclaim this blessed cause to every nation and tongue. Most easily can our Lord confound Satan and his prime instruments. At the very period marked out for its ruin, the cause of salvation arises from its depression, like the healed cripple