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But though this oblique reflection may profitably be made, the great object to which we are directed by this chapter, is the certain and final ruin of Babylon, wbich, how highly soever exalted, how superbly soever adorned, how luxuriously soever regaled, shall fall, shall fall as a millstone cast into the sea. Strong is the Lord God who judgeth her; and it is impossible she can withstand the force of his omnipotent arm. Long has she, in a metaphorical sense, been the hold of every foul spirit, and the cage of every unclean and hateful bird : and God will make her so in another, even in a literal sense, when he shall appear to remember and punish those iniquities, which have reached unto heaven : among which, various and detestable as they have been, shedding the blood of the prophets and the saints must be reckoned as most enormous. Let no triumph of the antichristian powers, for the present, shake our faith in these most certain and indubitable prophecies; and let that charge never be forgotten, Come forth from her, o my people, and be separate. Blessed be God, that a separation has been begun; that it has been so long supported, and that so many attempts to bring back God's Israel into captivity have been defeated. May the boundaries of the Reformation be extended ; may the purity of the reformed churches be more and more advanced, and all remainders of superstition, persecution, and imposition, be taken away. And, to conclude all, let those who are now living deliciously, and glorifying themselves in the forgetfulness of God, abusing the vari. ous gifts of his bounty to his dishonour, and saying in their hearts, that they shall see no sorrow, remember how suddenly their state may ve changed; how quickly they may sink into the depths of misery, proportionable to the height of their abused prosperity; and experi. ence a torment and sorrow, wbich will be doubly bitter in the remembrance of their former condition. Let şuch, therefore, in whatever rank of life they are, according to the words of Daniel (Ch. iv. 27.) to the most illustrious king of Babylon, break of their sins by righteousness, and their iniquities by shewing mercy to the poor, if it may be a lengthening out of their tranquillity ; and give glory to God, before all their cheerful light be exchanged for darkness, and all the harmony of their music for weeping and wailing, groaning and lamentation for ever.
The triumphs of the heavenly host in the fall of Babylon. Christ's attack on
the beast ends in an entire victory. Ch. xix.
A ND after these things, I heard the voice as of a great multi,
tude in heaven, saying, Hallelujah! salvation, and glory, z and honour, and power to the Lord our God; for his judgments
are true and righteous ; for he hath judged the great härlot, who
corrupted the earth with her fornication, and he hath avenged the 3 blood of his servants shed by her hand. And a second time they
said, Hallelujah! And her smoke r ascends for ever and ever. 4 And the twenty-four Elders, and the four Animals fell down and worshipped God, sitting upon the thronc, saying, Amen : halle5 lujah. And a voice came out from the throne, which said, Praise
our God, all ye his servants, and ye that fear him, both small and 6 great. And I heard a sound which was as the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and like the voice of
mighty thunderings, saying, Hallelujah: for the Lord God, the 7 omnipotent reigneth. We will rejoice, and exult, and give glory
to him, because the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife 8 hath prepared herself. And it was given to her that she should
be clothed in fine linen, pure and resplendentand the fine linen 9 is the righteous acts of the saints. And he said unto me, Write,
happy are they who are invited to the marriage-supper of the
Lainb. And he further said unto me, These are the true words 10 of God. And I fell before his feet to pay homage to him; and
he said unto me, See thou do it not : I am a fellow-servant with thee, and with thy brethren, who keep the testimony of Jesus. Pay thine homage to God; for the spirit of prophecy is the testimony of Jesus. And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white
horsc; and he that sat upon it was called faithful and true; and he 12 judgeth and maketh war in righteousness. Whose eyes are as a
Hame of fire; and many diadems were upon his head, having a 13 name written which no man knoweth but himself. And he
was clothed in a garment dipt in blood; and his name is called 14 THE WORD OF Gop. And the armies which are in heaven fol
lowed him, riding on white horses, clothed in fine linen, white 15 and clean. And there went out of his mouth a sharp sword, that
with it he might smite the heathen: and he shall govern them
with a rod of iron; and he treadeth the wine-press of the indigna16 tion and wrath of Almighty God. And he hath upon his garment
and his thigh, a name written, KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF 17 LORDS. And I saw a single angel standing in the sun; and he
cried with a loud voice, saying to all the birds of prey which were
flying in the midst of heaven, Come and assemble yourselves to 18 the supper of the great God; that ye may eat the flesh of kings,
and the flesh of commanders, and the flesh of the mighty, and
the flesh of horses, and those who sat thereon, and of all freemen 19 and slayes, both small and great. And I saw the beast, and the
kings of the earth, and their armies gathered together, to make
war with him who sitteth upon the white horse, and with his ar20 my. And the beast was taken captive, and with him the false
prophet, who had wrought sigos before him, by which he had deceived those who received the mark of the beast, and those
who worshipped his image: both of them were cast alive into the 21 Jake of fire, which burned with brimstone. And the rest were
slain with the sword, that came out of the mouth of him who sat on the horse : and all the birds were satiated with their flesh. * So disaimusela evidently signifies, and therefore cannot refer, as some suppose, to the imputation of Christ's righteousness. I hope Christian divines will have the courage to speak with the scripture, though it should be at the expense of their reputation, with some, for their orthodoxy.
REFLECTIONS. Let us learn by what we have here been reading, to adore the Lord God Omnipotent, who reigneth over all, and who displays the truth and righteousness of his judgments, in his vengeance on the enemies of his church, even when he inflicts on them a torment, the smoke of which rise's up for ever and ever. In the certain assurance, that in due time he will plead his own cause, and rescue and exalt his people, let all his servants and people praise him, even all that fear him, both small and great, and labour to live that divine life of gratitude, and joyful thanksgiving on earth, which may anticipate the pleasures and employments of the heavenly world. The time will at length come, when all of such a character shall celebrate the marriage-day of the Lamb ; yea, when the whole society shall appear in his presence as one chaste virgin, whom he has espoused to himself; and whom, with unutterable delight, he places in his more immediate view, not only as arrayed in robes of pure and shining linen, which is the righteousness of the saints, but as perfectly free from spor, or blemish, or any such thing. He will admit them all to feast in his own presence ; yea to dwell for ever with him ; 80 shall we ever be with the Lord. These are the true sayings of God. And though a consciousness of our own utter unworthiness of such honours, might be ready to detract from the credibility of these divine assurances, or at least prevent us from giving so clear an assent to them, as we might otherwise do, yet let God be true, and every man a liar.
And in the mean time, in the mingled scenes of adversity and prosperity, which attend the Israel of God, let us direct our believe ing eyes to him, who is faithful and true ; to him, who both administers justice, and wages war in righteousness. Let us reverence his penetrating eyes, which are like a flame of fire. Let us rejoice in the diademe placed upon his head, to signify the extent of his dominion ; and read with ave the inscription upon his vesture, and his thigh, The word of God, the King of kings, and the Lord of lords. As such let us pay our homage to him ; and let the favour of lords and kings be as nothing to us, where his favour or his honour is concerns ed. The proudest of earthly potentates oppose his dominions in vain. In vain do they marshal their captains, and their mighty men ; vain is the strength of horses, and of them that sit thereon, and the combinations of bond and free, though Satan himself abet their rebellion. and inspire them with subtilty, and arm them with rage : their subtilty shall be defeated, their rage shall be repelled. The sword of the Lord shall devour them. The birds of prey shall at his pleasure be frasted with their carcases ; and the sad catastrophe of their bodies. shall be only an imperfect emblem of the anguish and misery of their spirits, when plunged with the evil spirit that deceived them, they sink deep into the lake that burns for ever, and feel the terrors of the second death. Be wise now therefore, O ye kings, and be instructed, ye judges of the carth, serve the Lord with fear; and, sensible of his uncontrollable dominion, and your own weakness and imperfection, evch while ye rejoice before him, rejoice with trembling.
The binding of Satan for a thousand years, when the gospel is greatly in prevail. The destruction of Christ's enemies on their last attempt against his church ; and the universal judgment. Ch. xx.
AND I saw an angel descending from heaven, who had the
1 key of the bottomless pit, and a great chain in his hand. 2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, who is the Devil 3 and Satan, and he bound him for a thousand years ; and he cast him into the abyss, and shut him down, and set a seal upon him, that he might not deceive the nations any more, till a thousand
years were accomplished ; and then he must be loosed again for ng a little time. And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and
judgment was given to them ; and the souls of them who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus, and for the word of God, and who had not worshipped the beast, nor his image, and had not received his mark in their foreheads, and upon their
hands; and they lived, and reigned with Christ a thousand years. 5 But the rest of the dead revived not till the thousand years were 6 accomplished ; this was the first resurrection. Happy and holy
is he who hath a part in the first resurrection ; on such the se cond death shall have no power, but they shall be the priests of
God, and of Christ ; and they shall reign with him a thousand 7 years. And when the thousand years shall be accomplished, San 8 tan shall be loosed from his confinement ; and he shall go forth
to deceive the nations who are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog*, to gather them together in war ; whose numg ber is like the sand of the sea. And they went up over the
breadth of the earth, and surrounded the camp of the saints,
and the beloved city; and fire came down from God out of heaven, 10 and devoured them. And the Devil, who had deceived them,
was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and
the false prophet were ; and they shall be tormented day and 11 night for ages of ages. And after this I saw a great white throne,
and him who sat thereon, from whose face earth and heaven fled. 12 away, and there was found no place for them. And I saw the
dead, small and great, standing before God ; and the books were opened : and another book was opened, which is the book of life :
and the dead were judged out of the things written in the books, 13 according to their works. And the Sea gave up the dead that
were in it; and Death and Hades gave up the dead that were in
them ; and they were judged every one according to their works. 14 And Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire : this is the 15 second death. And if any one was not found written in the book
of life, he was cast into the lake of fire.
* The enemies of God's people. Some think the Scythians and other Horthern nations to be intended. See Ezck, xxxviii. xxxix.
REFLECTIONS. We have here a most affecting view before us, of that important event, in which we are all intimately concerned. Whatever the first resurrection may import, or that glorious reign of a thousand years (wbich probably intimates a signal revival of the Christian cause in the world, and a display of its influence beyond what hath yet been known)o the illustrious day in which heaven and earth is to pass array, demands the attention of all mankind. For the dead, both small and great, whether buried in the earth or the sea, must then stand before God: Therefore let all the living, both small and great, seriously weigh the solemnity and importance of that appearance. Let them often look forward to the awful period, when the glorious throne shall be set, the important volumes opened, which contain the record of our lives and actions, and of God's gracious and mercitul transactions with us. We must be judged according to our works. That God, before whom are all our ways, and who searches all our hearts, will bring every work into judgment, and every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil. Let us judge ourselves impartially, that we be not condemned of the Lord ; and conscious how unable we should be to stand in that judgment;if God were rigorous to lay justice to the line, and righteousness to the plummet, let us humbly apply to the throne of mercy, to the blood of his Son, to the grace of his gospel-covenant. So shall we find mercy of the Lord in that day, and be the priests of God, and of Christ, and reign with him, not a thousand years alone, but for everlasting ages. In the mean time, let those who have no reverence for his ma. jesty, who have no estèem for his gospel, who have never taken this awful alarm, who have never fled for refuge to lay hold on the hopeset before them, tremble at these awakening views. Let them all, of every condition, both small and great, say in their heats, Who shall dwell with devouring flames, and lie down in everlasting burnings, even in this lake of fire, into which every one who is not found written in the book of life, shall be cast, and where the wretched victims of divine justice shall be tormented for ever and ever ?
How melancholy does the face of our earth appear, when we reflect on the reign of Satan on it, on the influence of the dragon, and the beast, and the fatse prophet! O Lord, cut short their power ; send down the angel that has the key of the bottomless pit, to bind this destroyer. Yea, when he shall be loosed for a season, moderate his rage ; support thy saints under the terror of every assault, till thou appear to the last confusion of their enemies, till thou appear to close this perplexing scene, by the wise and glorious catastrophe of all things; when it shall be seen, that the souls of them who are beheaded for the testimony of Jesus, were not lost, and that it was wisdom strenuously to refuse the mark of the beast, and the homage so generally paid to his image, though men might neither buy nor sell, nor enjoy their liberty, nor their lives, without making an entire submission to it.