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lon is utterly burned with fire. She is never to be resuscitated. The mixed system in contemplation, once exposed by a just application of revealed truth, can never again obtain credence.
Vs. 15, 16. The merchants of these Οι έμποροι τούτων, οι πλουτήσαντες απ' things, which were made rich by her, autis, únó uazpótev o11oorrai di rov shall stand affar off, for the fear of her torment, weeping and wailing, and say xui na9oivtes, hijortes: orai, ovai,
φόβον του βασανισμού αυτής, κλαίοντες ing, Alas, alas! that great city that was clotlied in fine linen, and purple, and scar- πόλις η μεγάλη, η περιβεβλημένη βύσσινον let, and decked with gold, and precious και πορφυρούν και κόκκινον και κεχρυσωμένη stones and pearls! For in one hour so
χρυσίω και λίθω τιμία και μαργαρίταις, ότι great riches is come to nought.
μια ώρα ερημώθη ο τοσούτος πλούτος.
$413. The merchants of these things which were made rich,' &c. Our remarks upon the eleventh verse of this chapter, have already anticipated the observations to be made here. Mercenary principles depend for their currency, and for their appreciation in the sight of men, upon the legal and upon the mixed system. The legal system we suppose to be out of the question ; and if it were not, the law strictly put in force, as illustrated by the action of the ten horns upon the harlot, ($ 397,) would not admit of a mercenary or selfish principle in the sight of God; for the law applies to the heart and to the motive, as well as to the outward conduct. Mercenary principles, therefore, in effect depend altogether upon the mixed system. As if the prosessing Christian, while he expressly repudiates the idea of receiving eternal life as a compensation for his faithful services, still supposed the design of the economy of grace to be that of placing him in a position in which he may consider the favour of God a reward for bis good conduct. Eternal life he admits to be the gift of God, and death to be the wages of sin ; but he argues, 'Eternal life having been given me, I am now to receive a reward for the duties I perform. Under this apprehension, whatever his professions may be of unworthiness and of love to his Redeemer, he is actuated by mercenary principles, and these principles depend upon his mixed system of faith. His chief discrimination between the law and the gospel seems to be, that whereas the first demands a purity of motive as well as an exactness of service to escape punishment alone, the last is not so rigid in either of these respects; and not only so, under the gospel dispensation, however imperfect his services, and however tainted with selfishness his motives, he may now expect a reward pro rata for every act of obedience. The apprehension of the advocate of these views appears to be, that the inotive of gratitude for eternal salvation is not sufficient; and that accordingly the prospect of some specific reward must be held out to stimulate the disciple to obedience.
Mercenary principles depend upon the reputation of the mixed system, as the artificers of Ephesus depended upon the credit of the great
goddess Diana. As it was said by Demetrius, “Sirs, ye know that by this craft we have our wealth,” (Acts xix. 25.) If the temple of Diana came to be despised, the craftsmen lost their employment. In like manner we sometimes find subverted views of gospel doctrine sustained, lest the avocations of those interested in their support should come to nought.
· Alas! alas! that great city that was clothed,' &c.—The language is that of astonishment as well as of regret, that a city so important, whose inhabitants were so richly clad, and were in possession of such great wealth, should be so suddenly destroyed. The mixed system of faith holds out the promise that all dependent upon it are clothed with garments of salvation, obtained by their own works, and robes of righteousness of their own fabric, or at least of their own ornamenting. An astonishment, like that of these merchants, may pervade the breast of the disciple, who has been laboring to establish a clain of reward for his own faithful services, as he esteems them, when he finds that his garments are moth-eaten, and his gold and his silver cankered. Light ist thrown in upon his mind, he perceives his folly, but he cannot be otherwise than astonished that so plausible a theory of faith should be thus suddenly demolished.
Vs. 17-19. And every ship-master, and Και πας κυβερνήτης και πας και επί τόπον
η μεγάλη, εν ή έπλούτησαν πάντες οι έχον-
τος αυτής, ότι μια ώρα ερημώθη.
We may suppose these to represent soinething of an auxiliary class of mercenary principles. The merchant is interested in Babylon directly by the sale or exchange of his commodities; those connected with shipping are interested, because they are the instruments of effecting this exchange, and are compensated for it by the merchants. They represent mercenary principles, although somewhat of a different grade : the ship-master labours for his freight, the supercargo for his commission, the sailor for his wages, the shipmechanic for his pay, and the merchant for his expected profit. The motive
is the same with all, and the interest of all is the same in sustaining the prosperity of a country, upon the commerce of which they depend even for their means of life. Allusions to similar auxiliary principles of a mercenary character appear to be made by the prophets Isaiah and Ezekiel, in their mention of the ships of Tarsbish, Tyre, Sidon, and even of Chaldea ; as it is said, Is. xliii. 14, “ Thus saith the Lord your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel, For your sake I have sent to Babylon, and have brought down all their nobles, and the Chaldeans, whose cry is in the ships.” The picture of the desolation of Tyre, especially in her maritime relations, as given by the prophet Ezekiel, bears so strong a resemblance to the account we have of Babylon now under consideration, that we cannot but be confirmed in the belief that the Tyre of one prophet is the Babylon of another, and that both have a like reference to the great city of the Apocalypse : Ezek. xxvii 12-36.
* And they cried when they saw,' &c.—Our English version omits the particular that these ship-masters, &c., stood afar of, but the Greek includes it. They are not, however, said to stand off from fear of her torments, as is said of the kings and merchants. Their first sentiment seems to be that of surprise, that so great a city should meet such a fate ; their feeling is next that of sorrow, disappointment, and regret. “They cast dust upon their heads,” &c., as it was said of Tyre: “The suburbs shall shake at the sound of the cry of the pilots (ship-masters]. And all that handle the oar, the mariners, and all the pilots of the sea, shall come down from their ships, they shall stand upon the land ; and shall cause their voice to be heard against thee, and shall cry bitterly, and shall cast dust upon their heads; they shall wallow themselves in the ashes,” &c.
· And they cried, weeping and wailing, saying, Alas! alas ! that great city, wherein were made rich all that had ships.'—The mourners now call to mind their own interest, as navigators, ship-owners, &c., in this scene of desolation ; they mourn the loss of that commerce through the instrumentality of which they themselves became rich.
There is something strikingly in keeping in the lamentations of these three classes of spectators. The kings lament the loss of pleasure, and are astonished that so powerful a city should be destroyed so suddenly ; the merchants lament the loss of a most important customer for their wares, and wonder that so wealthy a city should be ruined in so short a space of time; while the sea faring class, regretting the loss of freights for their ships, are equally astonished that a city making others so rich should herself so suddenly come to nought.
The treble repetition of the remark, that all this desolation of Babylon comes upon her in one hour, is to be particularly noticed. The mixed system, like an opulent city, may have been small in its origin : its accumulation of power and advancement in human estimation has been gradual; but its destruction, whenever it takes place, is to be sudden, and speedily accomplished : corresponding apparently with all that is said in Scripture of the coming of the day of the Lord ; and applicable, in the case of the individual, to the mental change taking place when he discerns the difference of his position in Christ and out of Christ, and still more applicable to the change taking place in his views on his transition into another state of existence. Besides this, we trust it also applies to a general change in the views of the Christian community, at a period not far distant, scripturally spoken of as a period when the knowledge of the Lord shall cover the earth as the waters cover the deep, (Heb. ii. 14 ; Is. xi. 9.)
V. 20. Rejoice over her, (ihou) heaven, Είφραίνου εν αυτή, ουρανέ, και οι άγιοι and (ye) holy apostles and prophets; for και οι απόστολοι και οι προφήται, ότι έκριGod hath avenged you on her.
νεν ο θεός το κρίμα υμών εξ αυτής.
$415. “Rejoice,' &c.—The apostle, we are to bear in mind, has not himself witnessed this conflagration of Babylon, nor has he heard himself the lamentations of the kings, merchants, and mariners, but the voice spoken of in the fourth verse of the chapter tells him how these things shall be; and the same voice apparently now apostrophizes the holy apostles and prophets, calling upon them to rejoice over Babylon, for the vengeance executed by God upon
her on their account. This voice can be no other than that of Jesus himself, as we may infer from the whole purport of the fourth and fifth verses. Can we suppose that he who wept over Jerusalem, (Luke xix. 41-44,) notwithstanding all her rebellion, would, in any thing like a literal sense, call upon his apostles and prophets to rejoice over the desolation of a city, the character and fate of which so much resembles that over which he mourned ?
There is a difference here in some of the Greek editions. According to those followed by our common version the term holy is applied to apostles and prophets; according to others, as in the text we have adopted, it forms a distinct class—holy ones, or saints. This difference is not material according to our mode of interpretation; as we consider saints, apostles, and prophets, figurative appellations of elements of a scheme or exhibition of a scheme of divine government spoken of as the heaven ; apostles, prophets, and saints, bearing the same relation to the figurative heaven as the inhabiters of the earth bear to the earth or to the world. The rejoicing called for, is not that of a class or classes of human beings over the downfall of a city, but it is the rejoicing of certain classes of truths over the downfall of a system of error: these holy apostles and prophets, with their company of saints, constituting the band of sealed ones—elements of scriptural revelation-elsewhere represented as the one hundred and forty-four thousand ;-heaven, as we have supposed, being the display of the wonders of divine administration in spiritual things, corresponding with the display of natural wonders afforded by the physical heaven. As the prophets and apostles were literally the instruments of revealing these spiritual wonders, so they are appropriately employed as figures of the elements of that revelation ;-as if it were said, laying aside the figure, ' Let the scriptural revelation of the divine economy of salvation and government, with all its elements, both of the Old and New Testaments, now rejoice over, or concerning, the detection and destruction of this mischievous mixed system of doctrinal errors, this perversion of gospel truths.'
• For God hath avenged you on her;' quoniam judicavit Deus judicium vestrum de illa—since God has judged your judgment concerning her. Literally, the prophets and apostles are vindicated by a manifestation of the coincidence of divine judgment, in all that they have proclaimed or uttered against the false doctrines in contemplation. Spiritually, the elements of the Old and New Testament revelation are vindicated or avenged, by a like manifestation of the correctness of the testimony borne both by the law and the gospel to the fallacy of this great refuge of lies.
There is joy in heaven, and amongst the angels of heaven, over one sinner that repenteth. Even Nineveh was spared, because, besides human beings, the city contained much cattle; and Paul had continual sorrow for his brethren according to the flesh, who were in error, and even in absolute unbelief. Here saints, prophets, and apostles, are called upon to rejoice over the distress and destruction of the whole population of an immense city; the conflagration of Babylon, involving, as may be presumed, the loss of life on the part of most of her inhabitants, as is implied in the call to the objects of divine mercy to come out of her.
It is evident that the passage will admit of no other construction than that which we have given to it—the overthrow of some immense system of false doctrine, ruinous to the souls of men, and hostile to the glory of God The destruction of such a system may well furnish occasion for rejoicing to all interested in the promulgation of truth, and in the eternal welfare of their fellow-beings.
Vs. 21-23. And a mighty angel took Και ήρεν εις άγγελος ισχυρός λίθον ως up a stone like a great milletone, and μύλον μέγαν, και έβαλεν εις την θάλασσαν, cast (it) into the sea, saying, Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be λέγων· ούτως ορμήματι βληθήσεται Βαβυthrown down, and shall be found no more
λών η μεγάλη πόλις, και ου μη ευρεθή έτι. at all. And the voice of harpers, and Και φωνή κιθαρωδών και μουσικών και musicians, and of pipers, and trumpeters, auntốy. xai ou motaw où un úxovo In év shall be lleard no more at all in thee; and σοι έτι, και πάς τεχνίτης πάσης τέχνης ου no craftsman, of whatsoever craft (he be,) ahall be found any more in thee, and the μη ευρεθή εν σοι έτι, και φωνή μύλου ου μη sound of a millstone shall be heard n0 ακουσθή εν σοι έτι, και φώς λύχνου ου μη more at all in thee; and the light of a φαινή εν σοι έτι, και φωνή νυμφίου και νίμcandle shall shine no more at all in thee; φης ου μή ακουσθή εν σοι έτι· ότι οι έμ