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great city which reigneth over the kings of the earth.
We have here a confirmation of the remark, that the beast with the papal harlot on his back, is indeed bearing her as her executioner to the place of her execution. As the beast was gendered in the abominations of popery; so it is made to operate as a rod of iron to dash her to pieces, and then to destroy itself.
So easily can God confound his enemies, and make them to furnish rods of iron for their own destruction. And we have in this chapter the estimation in which God holds the remaining system of popery. This fatal system is now struggling to fill our beloved land, as the last hope of the papal see. And our incautious and ungrateful nation may indeed by this means be scourged. But the fall of that system of the dragon is revealed, and is inevitable.
Ver. 1. And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory.
2. And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great 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.
3. For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the mer
chants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies.
4. And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plague.
5. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.
6. Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double, according to her works: in the cup which she hath filled, fill to her double.
7. How much she hath gloried herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow.
8. Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine: and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her.
9. And the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her, shall bewail her, and lament for her, when they shall see the smoke of her burning.
10. Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come.
11. And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buyeth their merchandise any more:
12. The merchandise of gold, and silver, and precious stones, and of pearls, and fine linen, and purple, and silk, and scarlet, and all thyine wood, and all manner vessels of ivory, and all manner vessels of most precious wood, and of brass, and of iron, and marble,
13. And cinnamon, and odours, and ointments, and frankincense, and wine, and oil, and fine flour, and wheat, and beasts, and sheep, and horses, and chariots, and slaves, and souls of men.
14 And the fruits that thy soul lusteth after are
departed from thee, and all things which are dainty and goodly are departed from thee, and thou shalt find them no more at all.
15. The merchants of these things, which were made rich by her, shall stand afar off for the fear of her torments, weeping and wailing,
16. And saying, Alas, alas, that great city, that was clothed in fine linen, and purple, and scarlet, and decked with gold, and precious stones, and pearls!
17. For in one hour, so great riches is come to naught. And every shipmaster, and all the company in ships, and sailors, and as many as trade by sea, stood afar off,
18. And cried, when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, What city is like unto this great city!
19. And they cast dust on their heads, and cried, weeping and wailing, saying, Alas, alas, that great city, wherein were made rich all that had ships in the sea, by reason of her costliness! for in one hour is she made desolate.
20. Rejoice over her, thou heaven, and ye holy apostles and prophets: for God hath avenged you on her.
21. And a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying, Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all.
22. And the voice of harpers, and musicians, and of pipers, and trumpeters shall be heard no more at all in thee; and no craftsman, of whatsoever craft he be, shall be found any more in thee; and the sound of a millstone shall be heard no more at all in thee;
23. And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth: for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived.
24. And in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth.
We have here the fall of the papal beast, the fall of popery, from being a reigning power, under the fifth vial; not her final destruction under the seventh. This chapter gives the same event with that in chapter x.,--the same descent of Christ. So great an event should be given in each great division of the book; and this second view of it should be found alluding chiefly to its effects on the state and feelings of the friends of the papal see. These accounts of that event should each be introduced as a notable descent of Christ. And in the text he cries with a loud voice, "Babylon is fallen, is fallen!" Or, the dominant power of popery is broken by the pouring of a vial of wrath on its throne, Rev. xvi. 10. This phrase seems to rest on Isa. xxi. 9, as a parent text, and as giving the same event. And it is also the same event and period with that given by the second angel, Rev. xiv. 8: "And there followed another angel (next after the angel of missions now flying) saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen!" In this passage (chap. xiv. 8), we find that this fall of the papal Babylon is an event distinct from, and antecedent to her final destruction with the infidel beast under the seventh vial; as this latter event, in this 14th chapter, is given at its close, under the figure of the harvest and vintage, which are distinctly future of this fall of papal Babylon. This the glancing of our eye upon that chapter will show. This fall of Babylon, then, is the fall of popery under the fifth vial; her fall from being a reigning power. These passages are a calling of the attention of mankind to this event, as a fact, which is an interesting sign of the times, and connected with other things of prime importance.
In this fall, papal Babylon had exhibited to the world, the fact, that her realms were but a “habitation of devils; a hold of every foul spirit; and a cage of every unclean and hated bird," as our text assures. The abominations of this system were, to a great degree, exhibited to the world, at the time of the Reformation, and the same thing had ever since been more and more manifest. But, at this time, in the bursting out of the Voltaire infidelity, in
and after the French revolution, the blasphemies and licentiousness of the system petrified the world with hor ror! It seemed like the infernal world broke loose indeed and we can scarcely conceive what more would, or could have been done, had all the legions of the fallen angels been suffered to come forth, incarnate and visible on earth, and done their worst! Here was a beast from the bottomless pit indeed. No wonder, then, another voice from heaven was heard, as verse 4-7 of our text, warning against all affinity with Babylon,-calling on people to come out of her,—or sink under her plagues; precisely as is given in warning by the third angel flying in the midst of heaven, chap. xiv. 8-11; warning all that have the mark of the beast, of the pending judgments of Heaven that shall fall upon them. Compare the two passages, and we may well tremble at the judgments of God, while we feel the urgent duty of avoiding all connexion both with the papal see, and the more latent system of infidelity. The mark of these systems in either the forehead or hand, here ensures the eternal burning of divine wrath. Her sins having reached heaven, and God having taken her in hand, he will give her little respite till the seventh vial shall finish the scene of divine wrath on the whole concern of popery, and the horrid scheme of infidelity which originated in her corruptions. The saints are called upon (verse 6), to execute upon papal Babylon the judgments of Heaven denounced upon her, and to double them to her for the persecutions they have received. The Bible sense of this has been explained, as being the same with that of the two witnesses having power to shut heaven; and to smite the earth with all plagues; and with the honour of the saints, in Psalm cxlix ;executing upon the enemies of God the divine judgments; also saints breaking the nations with a rod of iron, Rev. ii. 27. The allusion clearly is to the power of their prayers with God;-Christ's destroying his enemies in their behalf; and their fellowship with him in it. In the battle of the great day all this will be fulfilled. "Therefore shall her plagues come in one day," verse 8. And the same is in verse 21, assuring, that with violence shall the whole concern of popery and of atheism then sink, as a millstone in the ocean, to utter perdition. The wailings of papal kings are noted;-crying "alas," at her ruins,