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gines, bis ample protection. So the elements or principles of the beast system of self-deification, are wholly inconsistent with this preliminary qualification required by the gospel plan.
And give glory to him,'—that is, give glory to God, and fear him, as the opposite of fearing and giving glory to the beast : seek the glory of God, instead of seeking that of self. This also is a necessary preliminary for a reception of the gospel. There are two systems of salvation, we may say, presented to the mind of the sinner already convinced of sin. One way by which the glory of his salvation appears to redound to himself; in which he may
be contemplated literally as having worked out his own salvation, and must therefore be entitled to the glory of it. The other way is that in which God the Redeemer has wrought the work, and in which the glory must of necessity belong entirely to God. The disciple is not prepared to receive the gospel till he can deny himself in this particular; till he can place himself in his own mind in the position of the condemned malefactor; not only, as it were, crucihed with Christ,-being in the same condemnation,
- but feeling and consessing that he is so justly, as the reward of his own deeds; and such being the case, whatever glory may ensue from his deliverance, it cannot belong to himself. He can then feel no otherwise disposed than to give all glory to him to whom it belongs. When this is the case, he hears the gospel of salvation, through the merits of Christ, with joy ; rejoicing that the glory of the work is God's, and not his own. So, apocalyptically, every principle of doctrine belonging to the true plan of redemption must be manifested to be possessed of these characteristics : they must presuppose the fear of God, and premise that the glory of the sinner's deliverance belongs entirely to his divine Redeemer ; as also that every work, and every device of the creature, is to be performed from the motive of giving this glory to God alone.
For the hour of his judgment is come.”—The fear of God in the heart of man in its own nature depends upon the belief of a judgment to come; where there is no such belief, there can be no such fear. It is the belief of this that prompts the sinner to fly for refuge, while there is yet time, to the hope set before him in the gospel; and which implants in his mind the sentiment of gratitude for his escape, in proportion to his faith and hope. Here, however, we suppose the reference of coming judgment to be more especially to the divine discrimination between true principles and false; between those principles upon which God is served, strictly speaking, in purpose and motive, and those in which self, or some other idol, is the real object of service. The time of manifestation is now at hand, when this discrimination will be made, or rather exhibited to have been always made, by Him who searcheth the heart and trieth the reins. The difference between these two classes of motives (these different counsels of the heart) will then
be perceived by all'; as it is said, Mal. iii. 18, “ Then shall ye return and discern between the righteous and the wicked; between him that serveth God, and him that serveth him not.”
"And worship him that made,' &c.—As if it had been said, instead of worshipping an object of adoration, risen from the sea, worship him who made the sea itself. The sea is his, and he made it, and his hands formed the dry land: consequently, whatever emanates from the sea, or land, or from any other portion of creation, is but the creature of his will, as he created, it is said, even the wicked for the day of evil. To worship or serve the beast, is directly worshipping and serving the creature, instead of the Creator. Instead of worshipping the beast, rising as he does from a vindictive element, affording no foundation for hope, worship him who is as able to save, as he has shown himself able to create.
Such we may suppose to be virtually the language of the gospel message during the whole period of the reign of the beast. We do not, however, confine this admonition to any particular place or time; but wherever and whenever the beast is worshipped, there, or then, this warning voice is intended to be heard. The action of the angel is something going on in the mid-heaven. The admonition may be supposed not yet to have reached the earth, or not to be found in any part of the earthly system. If we view the mid-heaven, or second heaven, however, as the Levitical economy, or revelation of the Jewish people, this admonition of the angel may be said to be all found in that dispensation expressed in the first and great commandment: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy strength,” &c., (Deut. vi. 5.) In this respect the old economy may be said, like this angel, to have the gospel to preach, at the proper period of its development; and in the meantime, to prepare the
way for it by inculcating the disposition of mind necessary for its reception.
V. 8. And there followed another an- Και άλλος άγγελος δεύτερος ήκολούθησε gel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, leyov • ČTETEV, ének Busuhor i meyúin, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her ή εκ του οίνου του θυμού της πορνείας αυfornication.
της πεπότικε πάντα τα έθνη.
. $331. “And there followed another angel,' or, according to the Greek we copy, there followed another angel, a second.—This is probably the most correct, as the next heavenly message appears to be uniformly denominated the third. We may presume this angel followed in the track of the other; the element or medium of his revelation, like that of the other, being the midheaven. The revelation is not yet made on earth, neither is it something entirely confined to the highest heaven, as in the secret purpose of the Most High. It may be partially revealed in a series of symbols equivalent to the middle heaven.
· Saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city.'—This fall of Babylon is to be understood as having been revealed as yet only in the mid-heaven. It is an annunciation of the purpose of God. The words that great city are not found in all editions of the Greek; the reading of ours, it will be perceived, is, verbatim, Fallen, fallen, is Babylon the great.
It seems somewhat extraordinary that the first mention made of Babylon by name, in the Apocalypse, should be the annunciation of her fall, and this in a manner as if presuming her existence and her greatness to be familiarly known to the reader. The only great city previously mentioned is that in the street of which the bodies of the two witnesses remained unburied three and a half days, and of which the tenth part was destroyed by the earthquake, Rev. xi. 8, 13. We suppose this great city to be that which is now said to have fallen, and the term great to be applied in reference to its lofty pretensions.
Babylon was not only a great city, but it also gave its name to a kingdom or empire, and in this respect we may suppose the apocalyptic Babylon to be an equivalent for the kingdom of the ten-horned beast;—the annunciation of the fall of Babylon being equal to announcing the overthrow of the kingdom of the beast. We have already noticed some correspondence between the blasphemous character of the beast and the lofty pretensions of the monarch of Babylon, prior to his temporary expulsion ; as also a correspondence between the image of his erecting, and the image of the beast. If we suppose the false prophet to discharge the functions of the astrologers, magicians, and principal advisers of Nebuchadnezzar, the identity of the kingdom of Babylon, as a figure, with the kingdom of the beast, and consequently with the great city Babylon of this revelation, will be perhaps sufficiently made out.
The apostle had been contemplating Babylon (the Babylonish kingdom) in her prosperity—the ten-horned beast in full power. Impatient at this prosperity of the wicked, he may be supposed to have exclaimed, with the souls under the altar, Lord, how long? In answer to this interrogatory, the heavenly vision shows him that the fate of this idolatrous system is already decided. In the divine counsels Babylon—the kingdom of the beast-has already fallen, but the account of the manner of her fall is reserved for a subsequent part of the narrative.
The name Babylon signifies confusion, mixture, as universally admitted. The Asiatic city of this name derived its appellation from the tower and city in its vicinity, the building of which was defeated by the confusion of tongues ; on which account the yet unfinished city received the name Babel, 5, Greek cúrluais, (Trom. Index. Heb. and Chald.,) Latin, confusio sive commistio, (Leusden.) We may suppose the great city afterwards built to have grown out of the scattered materials of this abortive enterprise.
The account we have of the motive for erecting the immense building contemplated in the first instance, throws some light upon the character of the system represented by the figurative Babylon : “Come," said they,“ let us build a city, and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the earth,” (Gen. xi. 4–6.) Their design was that of perpetuating their own name ; —their only end in view was their own glory: one of the earliest typical illustrations of the folly and impiety of that blasphemous principle of selfexaltation in man, which prompts him to go about to promote his own honour and glory, instead of seeking to glorify the name of Jehovah. This folly and impiety was manifested too by a people just saved from destruction—a people owing their existence entirely to a gracious act of divine mercy,--the ark by which their ancestors had been preserved amidst an overwhelming deluge; as if the Christian, snatched as a brand from the burning, and scarcely saved by the merit of his Redeemer's atonement, should ascribe the glory of his salvation to his own works, and should thenceforth be occupied with exalting the reputation of his own name.
The ancient Babylon, although erected in a plain, was especially remarkable, according to Herodotus and others, for its immense walls and artificial mounds, its hanging gardens of paradises, and imitation hills; (v. Calmet ;) so extraordinary, that even the account of them, as handed down by ancient heathen historians and geographers, appears to be fabulous. The whole structure of the city was an opposite of that of the city of David upon Mount Zion. The defences of Babylon were entirely the work of men's hands : a combination of brick and slime, the foundations of which were in the dust, or upon the sand; the whole figure being an opposite of Zion, a rock, the material and the formation of which was immediately the work of a divine Creator. Such we suppose to be the composition of the doctrinal system spiritually called Babylon—a system of works; a confused mixture of the supposed merits of man with the merits of Christ; a city, the opposite of that of which it is said, her walls are salvation, and her gates are praise ; a system emanating from the self-righteousness and selfishness of the human heart, having no end in view but that of making a name for man, or in other words, that of glorifying self; and yet nominally a Christian system, with an admixture of some portion of the elements of Christian faith ;-all its elements, however, so confused and heterogenous, as, when carried out, to prove eventually the instruments of their own dissolution : every one, like the builders of Babel, speaking a different language ; agreeing in nothing but the purpose of self-exaltation, of promoting the glorification of man. The system symbolized by Babylon being identic with that represented by the kingdom of the beast, we may consider the two symbols convertible; the mystery heretofore con
templated as the reign of the beast being now, by a change of figure, about to be exhibited as a city.
§ 332. Because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath' (or rather of the rage) of her fornication.'—Babylon, as a figure, is an opposite, as we shall find, of the Bride or Lamb's wife—the new Jerusalem. The system represented by Babylon, we suppose to be an opposite of that represented by the marriage union—the great mystery, alluded to by Paul, Eph. v. 32. The mixed character of this Babylonish system is accordingly symbolized by the promiscuous and adulterous intercourse of an abandoned harlot-a criminal indulgence carried to such an extreme as to be appropriately termed a madness or rage; the original gouvs being a term applicable to a vehemence of passion, whether of desire or anger, (Donnegan Lex.) The figure appears to be that of a harlot seducing her followers by means of an intoxicating drink; the nations having drunk the wine, become the victims of the artifices of Babylon. The true wine we suppose to be the atonement of Christ—the water of purification converted by the power of the Redeemer into the wine of joy—the good wine of the marriage feast, (John i. 10.) The cup of Babylon is an opposite of this—her wine is adulterated ; her cup is a cup of mixture. Bearing the name of wine, it has its pretensions to the exhilarating qualities of a provision for the pardon of the sinner ; but, as a mixture of abominations, (Rev. xvii. 4,) we may suppose it to represent an atoning provision, composed principally, if not altogether, of pretended human means of propitiation.
The nations we take to represent supposed powers or subordinate systems of salvation—nations of the earth, being such powers or elements of the earthly system. These powers or elements adopt the means of atonement proposed by the system of Babylon, being led away by the plausibility of her propitiatory scheme, and are thus represented as participating in her cup, and consequently, as a matter of course, becoming the victims of her delusive errors.
Systems of salvation, perhaps of various sects and denominations adopting the pretended means of atonement peculiar to the harlot system, become in effect identified with that system ; the atoning provision of any doctrinal system being perhaps that leading feature which characterizes its whole tendency.
“ The cup of blessing which we bless,” says Paul, (1 Cor. x. 16,)“ is it not the communion of the blood of Christ ?" In other words, “ The real, the spiritual cup of blessing—the atonement of Jesus, represented by the sacramental cup—is this not the element of eternal life, identifying us in God's account with his beloved Son ?" So we may say of the opposite cup of abomination of Babylon, Is it not the pretended element of propitiation furnished by the blasphemous principle of self ; and is not its tendency that of destroying our only hope of salvation, by identifying every system