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execute vengeance upon her on account of them. The persons and nations, who had been persecuted by her, were now called upon to retaliate upon her as a condemned criminal, and to give her a double measure of the wine of his wrath. This call for retaliation is a prophetic declaration of what would certainly take place. We have similar language used in the Psalms, and the prophecies of the Old Testament *To God alone vengeance belongeth, yet men may be employed to execute it. Hence they are called upon to inflict on her torture and anguish proportionable to her former ostentation, splendour, and luxury; and to that pride and presumption with which she had set the predictions of God at defiance. This deluded and antichristian church will never be persuaded that the divine threatenings point to her ; but declares that she sits as a queen over many people and nations, that she is no bereaved destitute widow, and that she shall see no sorrow, whatever the word of God may threaten. Therefore all the plagues denounced against her shall surely come upon her in one day: her punishment and ruin shall be unexpected and sudden, like that of ancient Babylon af. Death, by pestilence or sword, or by both, shall cut off multitudes of her subjects, and fill her with lamentation and mourning for the loss of her children. Destruction by famine, from the want of the necessary supports of life, shall invade her; and at length she shall utterly be consumed with fire. All these tremendous judgments shall unite and meet upon her; for the Lord Jehovah, who judges and condemns her, and who is determined to destroy her, is almighty to execute the tremendous sentence which he has denounced.
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. Stunding 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.
* See Paalm cxxxvii. Jer. I. 15-17. li. 24, 49.
Isaiah, xlvii, 7-11.
It has been stated before, that the hearts of the kings symbolized by the ten horns of the beast, will be turned to hate the whore, and to eat her flesh, and burn her with fire; but here it is asserted that the kings of the earth, who had committed fornication, and lived delicately with her, shall lament her overthrow. It appears, therefore, that the kingdoms of Europe, represented by the ten kings, will be divided into two parties. One of these will hate and set themselves against her; the other will espouse her cause, but being unsuccessful, will lament over her. They will mourn for her when they behold the tremendous tokens of her torment and desolation, as appearing like pillars of smoke, that rise from a raging fire* in the conflagration of cities. Dismayed and terrified at this awful judgment, they will stand at a distance, like spectators of a city in flarnes, full of confusion and astonishment, and cry. ing out in the anguish of their souls, “ Alas, alas " that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in “ one hour is thy judgment come.” They will, however, be unable to quench the fire, or to relieve the
mendous tokens of her when they behold over her.
* The smoke of her burning may signify the dreadful destruction of all the ponip and power of Rome, through the whole extent of the Papacy. Some, however, suppose that it includes likewise the litcral conflagration of Rome, the seat of the Pope's authority, and the capital city of his dominion. They have conjectured that the city itself will be destroyed, either by subterraneous fires, bursting out of the volcanoes which exist in those parts; or by the fires of the enemies in besieging it; or finally, by fire immediately from heaven, like that which consumed Sodom and Gomorrah. The figurative sense is without doubt principally intended; but whether or not the prophecy will also have this literal accomplishment, time and the event will discover. Commentators must not prophesy.
torment of this mystical Babylon; and they must either renounce her or share her doom.
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 lusted 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 the 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 shipmaster, 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.
The lamentation of the merchants over this figurative Babylon coincides with that of the merchants over Tyre. Those who traded in the spiritual wares of Rome are represented as deploring the annihilation of their former traffic. The gold, silver, precious stones and pearls, in which they trade with her, may allude to the large revenues of the Papal church, the riches and shrines of their saints, and well as of the superstition, idolatry, and wickedness of this mystical city. But the most notable article on the list of her commodities, is the “souls of men.". Here seems to be an allusion to Ezekiel, xxvii, 13; but the persons of men there spoken of can mean only slaves; but the souls of men are here distinguished from slaves, or the bodies of men, as the word rendered slaves is in the original.: By slaves, or bodies of men, may be meant those whom she has literally bought and sold as slaves, or those whom she has deprived of property and liberty by her tyrannical power. But perhaps the term bodies of men may here have a literal signification; for it is well known, that the bodies of men became an extensive article of trade, with most extravagant profits, in the great store of holy relics possessed by the Romish church. The climax of this merchandise, it will be seen, terminates in the traffic of souls, And this is the most infainous of all traffics that the demon of avarice ever devised. The sale of indulgences, dispensations, absolutions, masses, and bulls, has indeed been a source of great wealth to the pope and clergy of Rome, and their dependants; but it has enriched them at the expense of deceiving and destroying the souls of millions, of whom, by feigned words, they have made merchandise. All this traffic, however, will at length come to nothing, and no man will buy of the merchandise of Rome any more. The merchants, and the dealers in these things, and every shipmaster, and all the company in ships, and sailors, and as many as trade by sea; in fine, all who have shared the gains of her cominerce, temporal or spiritual, will stand afar off for fear of her torment, and will behold the smoke of her burning, ascending up as that of Sodom. Such will be the complete destruction of this mystical Babylon. But while those, whose hopes of farther gains are annihilated, will lament the fall of Rome,