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SEVENTH SEAL.-SEVENTH TRUMPET.-SEVENTH VIAL.

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niary advantage in pandering for the vices, and in fostering the voluptuousness of this dissolute city. This is their motive of action. They may not have participated in drinking of the cup of Babylon, but they have assisted in furnishing the wine and the drugs of abomination with which it is prepared. They may not wear her costly array, but they have grown rich by furnishing its various materials. Perhaps they would have taken an equal interest in the glory of the New Jerusalem, if they could have equally enriched themselves by dealing in her fine linen, pure and clean. But as the holy city represents an economy of grace, all its enjoyments being matters of free gift, there is no room for trade or commerce in it. There, accordingly, such elements of calculation find no place; the economy of grace is neither sustained by, nor can it furnish a harbour to, mercenary principles of conduct.

These traders, however, are not spoken of here as otherwise punished than by the loss of their vocation. Babylon once destroyed, her commerce is at an end, and the merchants disappear, (Is. xlvii. 15,) which is all that the illustration requires. The mixed system being destroyed, there is no further room for the action of mercenary motives ; accordingly, one of the reasons for the destruction of Babylon is, that she sustained and gave a lucrative employment to merchants. This, as a matter of political economy, we should say was rather a favourable feature in her character, and it is only as an illustration of a matter of doctrine that we can put a different construction upon it. The adulterated economy is destroyed, because it sustains and gives action to mercenary and selfish motives, and because these motives can be banished or expelled from the mind only by the entire destruction of the views of doctrine to which they are peculiar.

$ 405. This is the first direct intimation we have had in the Apocalypse of the commercial character of this great city, or of the peculiarly mercenary Ralure of the system represented by it; but we are to recollect that it is Rot till the fall of Babylon that her true character is developed ; a peculiarity equally to be predicated of the fallacious system symbolized by her. Jeremiah speaks of the covetousness of Babylon ; but he makes no allusion to her commerce in his last prediction concerning her, from which we have made several quotations. The same mystic feature, however, is apparently alluded to by different prophets under similar figures: as Is. xxiii. 8 and 11, “Who hath taken counsel against Tyre, the crowning city, whose merchants are princes, whose trastickers are the honourable of the earth.” “ The Lord hath given a commandment against the merchant-city, to destroy the strongholds thereof.” So also in the prophecy of the fall of Babylon, by the same prophet, Is. xlvii. 15, “ Thus shall they be unto thee with whom thou hast laboured, even thy merchants, from thy youth : they shall wander every one to his quarter ; none shall save thee.” So in the prophecy concerning Nineveh, Nahum iii. 16: it was her reproach that she had multiplied her merchants above the stars of heaven. There seems likewise to be a typical peculiarity in the fact, that in the rebuilding of Jerusalem after the restoration, the merchauts and sellers of ware were not allowed even to lodge about the wall of the city during the Sabbath, (Neh. xiii. 20, 21.) As if to point out to us the doctrinal peculiarity of the economy of grace, that when its truths are delivered from the bondage of the law, and are fully exhibited, it will be manifest that no mercenary motives can be harboured in that portion of its arrangements which affords its position of rest.

So every mercenary principle or selfish motive is wholly inconsistent with a perfect confidence in the work of Christ,-an entire reliance upon the merit of his righteousness.

On the other hand, no allusion is made throughout this book of Revelation to the military or naval prowess of Babylon. Great as she is, her greatness consists in her riches, (the corruptible riches of self-righteousness.) Her merchants were the great men of the earth, (Rev. xviii. 25,) and so we may suppose her great men (rulers) were her merchants. Corresponding with this, the chief elements of the mixed system are its mercenary priuciples. These obtain great credence in the earthly construction of revelation ; as we find, in fact, mercenary motives and calculations of selfinterest in the matter of religion to be most appreciated with mankind, and even to be esteemed the chief elements of the divine plan of government. A fallacy, the general currency of which corresponds with the deceptive characteristic scripturally imputed to the occupation of trading; as it was said of Ephraim, “ He is a merchant, the balances of deceit are in his hand," Hosea xii. 7.

Vs. 4, 5. And I heard another voice Και ήκουσα άλλην φωνήν εκ του ουρανού from heaven, saying, Come out of her, heyoudar Šć 19878 +5 avris, å ivós pov; my people, that ye he not partakers of her ira na oryxotromkorte ruie i prezios ausing, and that ye receive noi of her plagues. For her eins have reached unto heaven, της και εκ των πληγών αιτης να μη λάand God hath remembered her iniquities. βητε· ότι εκολλήθησαν αυτές οι μαρτίαν

χρι του ουρανού, και εμνημόνευσεν ο θεός τα αδικήματα αυτής. .

$ 406. And I heard another voice,' &c.—The first voice was that of the angel having great power, by whose glory the whole earth was lighteddeclarative of a fact-something equivalent to a manifestation of Christ himself, ($401.) The second voice is that of warning, as of the voice of prophecy. The desolate state of Babylon is already exhibited : hier final destruction is at hand; the people addressed are supposed, like the family of Lot, to be still lingering amidst their ancient connections, while the execution of judgment is delayed only for their departure; as the impending

deluge was withheld till after the entrance of Noah and his family into the ark.

Come out of her, my people,' &c.—This favoured class probably bear the same relation to Babylon that the one hundred and forty-four thousand sealed ones bear to the earth ; different figures representing the same truth. The system symbolized by Babylon is a consused mixture, but in this mixture there are some elements of true doctrine. So long as these remain connected with principles of error, their whole character is changed, perverted; and in that state their destruction must be as necessarily called for as that of the errors themselves : brought out, they are like the grain separated from the chaff, or like the wheat separated from the tares.

* That ye be not partakers of her sins.'-As the Babylon in contemplation is not literally a city, so neither are the people called out from her literally human beings, nor are the sins of Babylon alluded to literally acts of immorality, although they may be figuratively spoken of as such, The primitive signification of the term translated sins (opcoria) is a missing or mistaking of the object aimed at; as the adjective duapríroos is applicable to the state of error peculiar to the mind of an insane person, (Donnegan.) the secondary meaning is that of a fault, or sin. We must judge of the meaning by the occasion upon which the word is used: if it be applied to the conduct of a rational being, the signification may be that of sin in the ordinary sense of the term ; but is applied to the character and tendency of a doctrinal system, it may signify error in matters of faith. The truths of the economy of grace are accordingly to be discriminated and separated from the errors of the mixed system, with which they have besome commingled, and this in order to prevent them from sharing in the common destruction.

The figure immediately in contemplation may be that of the Jews, while in a state of captivity in Babylon. The time of their deliverance is now at hand, their confinement hitherto having arisen out of circumstances not here alluded to ; the admonition very closely resembling that of the prophet, (Jer. li. 6,) “ Flee out of the midst of Babylon, and deliver every man his soul : be not cut off in her iniquity ; for this is the time of the Lord's vengeance; he will render unto her a recompense.” We might suppose, by way of illustration, the people of God to have been permitted to remain in captivity with the view of converting their captors, by bringing them to the knowledge and worship of the true God. The insane proneness of the Babylonians to idolatry, however, is so great, that, instead of being thus changed, it is to be apprehended that they will change or pervert the views of the captives under their influence. The season of forbearance is now therefore at an end: Babylon must be destroyed, and her captives must be released.

" That ye receive not,' &c.—The principal plague or blow prospectively

But we may

in contemplation is that of fire, as appears from the remainder of the chapter, (the action of the revealed word upon every element of error.) suppose this second voice to have been uttered contemporaneously with the previous visitations. The call to the truths of the gospel to come out of the mixed system, is as much to prevent them from being perverted by association with foul and hateful principles, as to prevent their entire destruction.

The admonition corresponds with that of the apostle Paul, (2 Cor. vi. 17,) “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean (thing);"—this unclean thing, in the language of the apostle, being the same element of selfishness and mercenary consideration as that for which the mixed system of Babylon is peculiar; the rudiments of the world, spoken of Col. i. 20, being apparently of a similar character.

$ 407. For her sins have reached unto the heavens.'--Some Greek editions employ here the verb axolovféw, which our common version has rendered in this place by the English verb reach, although elsewhere in the Apocalypse it is translated follow. The Greek edition we have adopted in this work, however, employs the word éxodhuonoar, from the verb xodów, signifying the fastening upon, or cleaving, or joining of one thing to another ; as Luke XV. 15, εκολλήθη ενοι των πολιτών, κ.τ.λ., He joined himself to a citizen of that country. So, Acts ix. 26, Paul assayed to join himself to the disciples after his conversion, but they were afraid of him ; and Acts x. 28, Peter says to Cornelius, Ye know that it is an unlawful thing for a Jew to keep company; and 1 Cor. vi. 16, 17, the term is employed to express even that intimacy of union which is a figure of identityHe that is joined to the Lord is one spirit.

The errors of Babylon have fastened upon or joined themselves to the very heaven—to the revelation of truth itself, agglutinata sunt ejus peccata ad cælum, (G. & L.) As we might say, the errors of this mixed system have arrived at such an excess of perversion, that they have identified themselves even with the whole language of the Scriptures, affecting the entire construction of the sacred volume ; the spiritual heaven or heavens being a display of the scheme of divine government in spiritual things, as the physical heavens afford an exhibition of divine power and wisdom in physical things, ($ 115.) The presumption of the errors of this system (Babylon) corresponds with that of its sustaining principle (self) the beast; the blasphemous character of both being expressed in the language of Lucifer, (Is. xiv. 3,) quoted on a former occasion ; as it is also symbolized by the presumptuous attempt of the ancient inhabitants of the land of Shinar to perpetuate their own name and glory, by building a city and a tower whose top should reach unto heaven.

* And God hath remembered her iniquities ;' or, God hath called to mind her acts of injustice.-We have to make the same remark with respect to this terın iniquities (28ızíucro) as we have made with regard to that of sins. The meaning depends upon the manner and the occasion upon which it is used. If applied to the conduct of a human being, it is to be understood literally, as of injuries or offences; if applied to a system, it must be taken for something the opposite of justice or of justification, ($ 174.) Apparently these αδικήματα of Babylon, are opposites of the δικαιώματα, judgments or justifications of the Lord, (Rev. xv. 4, 352.) The tendency of the mixed system is to operate against justification through the imputed righteousness of Christ. Its principles, therefore, are the opposites of justification : or, if we consider the mixed system as offering other means of justification, such as a composition of the merits of man with those of bis Saviour, these means are her acts of injustice. The 'noun údiuruee occurs in two other places only of the New Testament, Acts xviii. 14, and xxiv. 20, where it is employed in the singular to express any act of injustice coge nizable to human laws. The acts of injustice of the apocalyptic Babylon, if exercised towards God, consist in her substitution of false means of salvation for the true means, thereby robbing him of the glory due to his name. If these acts be exercised towards man, they must consist in the same substitution of false means for the true, thereby operating against the plan of justification by grace, or tending so to do. In either case, these iniquities of Babylon are of the same character as her cup of abominations; as indeed they accord with the view we have presented of all the elements of this mixed system.

no sorrow.

Vs. 6, 7. Reward her even as she re- 'Απόδοτε αυτή, ως και αυτή απέδωκε, και warded you, and double unto her double διπλώσατε αίτη διπλά κατά τα έργα αυτής according to her works: in the she hi1th filled, fill 10 her double. How to stoupim, txiquos, xspioure ait; much she hath glorified herself, and lived Sirloir. jou idófugiv čutiv xai coret deliciously, so much torment and sorroιν νίασε, τοσούτον δύτε αιτη βασανισμών και give her: for she saith in her heart, I sit névtoş. Ön is to xapdiq aitis liysexús. a queen, and am no widow, and shall see

ιμαι βασίλισσα, και χήρα ούκ ειμί, και

πένθος ου μη εδω: $ 408. · Reward her even as she rewarded you.

.'*—As we have sugo gested, on a former occasion, ($ 162,) it would be very extraordinary is language like this were to be taken literally, even if addressed to Christian martyrs in times of bitterest persecution. Modri xazov ivri xcxov dro8i8órTES—“ Reward no one evil for evil,” is the express instruction of the

* The word translated you is not found in all editions of the Greek: without it the reading would be, “Reward her as she has rewarded;" that is, upon the primciple of reward that she has assumed, so recompense her-corresponding with the construction we have adopted.

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