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النشر الإلكتروني

free and separate dominions, yet wielding their secular power so frequently at the will of the ecclesiastical dominant? Mahomet and his wide-spread religion is indeed a horn, and a very“ notable one,” of the second two-horned beast; but the enigmatical description in this chapter, belongs exclusively to the other horn, the Papal.

PART VI.

SECTION IV.

The Judgment of Babylon continued.

CHAP. xviii. ver. 1-24.

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, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hate ful 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 merchants 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 plagues.

5 For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remem. bered 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 glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she saith in her heart, I sit as 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 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 susted after are departed from thee, and all things which were 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 fear of her torment, 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 nought. And every ship-master, 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 throwu 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 are now come to that part of this sacred book, where its prophecies seem to look for their completion to future time only: the useful light of history forsakes us. It is in vain that we search the records of past ages, to fulfil the symbolical narration : our curiosity may be increased, but our knowledge and means of interpretation are greatly diminished. It is therefore highly important, that we proceed with pious caution and discretion.

We have a permitted right to examine accurately the symbols of the predictions; for they are presented before us to call forth and exercise our active enquiries; and we may apply them generally, and in the sense which they evidently bear in other sacred prophecies. But, a particular application of them to future events, to such as may be pictured only in our own imaginations, is not to be indulged. The notes published upon this part of the prophecy in my former work, were written under this restraint, and, after a careful examination of the best comments; I shall therefore have frequent recourse to them upon the present occasion.

Ver. 1. And after these things.] The angel of the vials having fulfilled the purpose for which he had taken the prophet apart into the wilderness, to show him “ the harlot,” the mystical Babylon, whose fall had been denounced in chap. xiv. 8; xv. 19; the same scenery is renewed, which had attended the exhibition of the warnings and vials. Heaven is again restored to view, and the angels descend to perform the parts allotted them. The prophecy now to be produced, is connected with chap. xiv. 8, where the same words are used by the angel, who proclaims the fall of Babylon. That which is there said in few words, is now particularly described. It is a sequel also to the seventeenth chapter, in which the angel proposed to show not only Babylon the great harlot, but also her judgment; which is now pronounced. It is connected also with the seventh vial; for it is here that Babylon is remembered,as was promised under that vial (ch. xvi. 19.); her plagues are come, and she is finally destroyed by fire, as, in ch. xvii. it was said she shall be.

Ib. Another angel.] A foreign commentator, impressed with the enlightening character of this heavenly messenger, had pronounced him to be the Holy Ghost. And Vitringa, though he sees the impropriety of this interpretation, so far gives way to it as to admit that he may be a symbolic resemblance of this portion of the divine Godhead. But we are told expressly, that it is “ another angel.” And the illumination is expressive of that heavenly light of pure doctrine, which will beam upon the earth at the destruction of Babylon the great. The symbol of the Holy Ghost was already placed upon the scene, as stationary before the throne. (Ch. i. 4.) This divine Spirit never appears in the form of man or angel; but his heavenly presence is indubitably proved by his wondrous works and universal action. He does not speak, but inspires others, whether angels or men, to speak the words of God, declaratory or prophetic. If this speech were immediately from the Holy Spirit, it would not have been interrupted by “ another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, &c.” (Ver. 4.)"

Ver. 2. An habitation of devils.] Or, dæmons, Δαιμονια. . The mystical Babylon, like the ancient and literaloneits type, is to be utterly destroyed. And when the utter destruction of a city is denounced in Scripture, the site of that city is commonly described as becoming the haunt and babitation of wild beasts, and of such loathsome reptiles as are found in the forsaken ruins of a city. (See for examples, Isa. xiii. 20—22; xxxiv. 10–16; Jer. ix. 11; li. 37.) On one of these passages it is observed by Bishop Lowth, that Hebrew words expressive of such animals, are translated in the Septuagint by the word Δαιμονια, , which is used here."

i See the note on chap. X. 2.

Ver. 3. Because all the nations, &c.] The cause of her judgment and fall is assigned. She who, as a Church of Christ, should have been the teacher and preserver of pure religion and morality, had become the seducer and corrupter of the nations and their kings; and had set the example of that insolent luxury, disposing to irreligion, which it was her duty to oppose. It will be seen clearly from this verse, as well as from other passages of this chapter, that the great harlot of the seventeenth chapter, there called Babylon, and the Babylon whose judgment is here pronounced, are the same. The same intoxicating cup, the same nations and kings are repeated as the causes of the divine judgments upon her.

Ver. 4. Come out of her, my people.] The same commanding call is to be seen in Jer. li. 6, which is again repeated after the fall of the literal Babylon. (2 Cor. vi. 17, 18.) Of this injunction, great use was made by the Reformers. The sentence of retaliation is to be seen also in the ancient prophets. (Ps. cxxxvii; Jer. 1. 15–17, 29; li. 24, 49.) To

1 Bishop Lowth on Isa. xxxiv. 14. ? See Schleusner or Parkhurst in voc. otprvos.

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