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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 Tarshish, 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 off, 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 seafaring 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 (se) holy apostles and propliets; 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 himsel?, as we may infer from the whole purport of the fourth and fisth 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 error: these holy a postles 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 inischievous 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 ας up a stone like a great πmilletone, and μύλον μέγαν, και έβαλεν εις την θάλασσας, violence shall that great city Babylon be λέγων· ούτως ορμή ματι βληθήσεται Γαβυthrown down, and shall be found no more
λών η μεγάλη πόλις, και οι μη ευρεθή έτι. at all. And the voice of harpers, and Και φωνή κιθαρινιδών και μουσικών και musicians, and of pipers, and trumpeters
, athritāv xai ondmuotoi ou un ixoroli, in shall be lleard no πιore at all in thee; and σοι έτι, και πας τεχνίτης πάσης τέχνης ου no craftsman, of whatsoever craft (he be,) shall be found any more in thee; and the ạn tipeg) iv ovi ini, xui fori uidor ou un sound of a millstone shall be heard no ixouo9j év goi frı, xui quis dizrov oirein more at all in thee; and the light of a pies év voi ēri, x:rà qorn rruqiov xuè ripcandle shall shine no more at all in thee; qui ou un úxovolj iv osi ën• öti o čuand the Voice of the bridegroom and of ποροι σου ήσαν οι μεγιστάνες της γης, ότι the bride shall be heard no more at all in εν τη φαρμακεία σου επλανήθησαν πάντα thee: for thy merchants were the great
τα έθνη. . men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived.
$416. 'And a mighty angel,' &c.; or, a strong angel, as the same word ioxvgós is elsewhere rendered; the strength of the angel corresponding with the magnitude of the stone taken up, although this appears hardly a sufficient reason for introducing the adjunct ; for, if the angel took up the stone and cast it, he was of course sufficiently strong to do so. The Latin rendering, unus angelus potens, would appear to attach importance to the circumstance that the operation was performed by one single angel. If we use the numeral eis, according to a suggestion before made, ($ 145,) as an ordinal, its employment here will carry us back to the first strong angel mentioned in the Apocalypse, (Rev. v. 2.) acting as a herald on the occasion of the opening of the sealed book; the same angel or messenger then calling for a development of the mystery, now announces the first important result of that development.
An argument in favour of this construction is, that when the strong angel is mentioned the first time, as above, xai eidor ägyelov iogupór, no article, either definite or indefinite, is used. On the second occasion, (Rev. x. 1,) the term another (äldov) is employed also without an article. On this third occasion, therefore, the numeral eís, used as an article, would appear as unnecessary as it was in the first instance ; but if we consider it an ordinal, we then have a specific reason for its introduction-showing the connection between this account of Babylon and the sealed book, and reminding us that this angel had been watching, as it were, with peculiar interest, the whole development through which we have been conducted.
• A stone like a great millstone, and cast it,' &c.—There may be an allusion here to the sentence pronounced, Matt. xvič. 6, against certain causes of offence—the casting of stumbling-blocks in the way of those seeking after truth, the little ones believing in Jesus. Babylon has proved a trap, or cause of offence, to multitudes of this character, and now like a millstone she is cast down, never to rise again. A principal feature in this comparison, is the irrecoverable nature of the destruction illustrated : a stone cast into the midst of the sea; being utterly lost sight of, leaving no trace behind it, while it is incapable of coming again to the surface, either by its own or by any human power; the figure in this respect corresponding with the direction given to the messenger of the prophet, Jer. li. 63, 64: “And it shall be, when thou hast made an end of reading this book, that thou shalt bind a stone to it, and cast it into the midst of Euphrates ; and thou shalt say, Thus shall Babylon sink, and shall not rise from the evil that I will bring
Taking the sea also as a figure of the vindictive wrath of divine justice, this casting of the stone is a comparison equivalent to an exhibition of the -result of an exposure of the mixed system of Babylon to the action of this element of infinite justice, showing how entirely the one must be swallowed up or ingulfed in the other; as we might say of any mixed system of salvation, that it is 'no more adequate to a satisfaction of the claims of the law than a millstone would be to a filling up of the abyss.
* Thus with violence,' &c.—The word translated violence is applicable to a great vehemence or impetuosity of action. Our imagination is conducted by it to the velocity of accelerated motion with which any ponderous body must descend from an immense height to the earth. The illustration corresponds with the swiftness of destruction (ταχινήν απώλειαν) predicted of certain false teachers and their heresies, 2 Peter ii. 1. This swiftness also involving the idea of suddenness; as it was predicted of Babylon, Is. xlvii. 10, 11, “ Thy wisdom and thy knowledge, it hath perverted thee; and thou hast said in thy heart, I am, and none else besides me. Therefore shall evil come upon thee; thou shalt not know from whence it riseth (the morning thereof, Heb.]: and mischief shall fall upon thee; thou shalt not be able to put it off [expiate] : and desolation shall come upon thee suddenly, which thou shalt not know."
$ 417. “And shall be found no more at all.'—We have seen Babylon in flaines as a system—as a system tried by fire, and proving to be entirely of combustible materials. But even the site of Babylon is to disappear—the location of the city is nowhere to be found. The smoke of her burning, it is said in the next chapter, shall rise up forever and ever; the evidence of the trial and destruction of the system will be eternal, but the system itself will no longer have an existence.
The sign of the future, shall, is employed here, as in the previous description of the conflagration. We may consider the events themselves as synchronizing with the final destruction of the beast and false prophet, although in a literal sense the idea of time is not to be taken into consideration. The final destruction of Babylon and that of the beast happen simultaneously, because one is involved in the other; but the particulars are related successively, no doubt that the narrative may be better adapted to human comprehension. The declaration of the mighty angel, Rev x. 6, is ever to be kept in view : zpóros ouxérı žotai, There shall be time no longer; our construction of this declaration ($ 230) being confirmed, especially by the use of the words où un érı, no more at all, as we find them employed on this occasion.
* And the voice of harpers,' &c.—Here follows an enumeration of various characteristics of the happiness, prosperity, and increasing power of a kingdom or great city, of all of which Babylon is to be suddenly deprived.