Revelation of John 16* The first vial is poured out on the earth, the second on thesea, the third on the rivers and fountains. (1-7) The fourth onthe sun, the fifth on the seat of the beast. (8-11) The sixth onthe great river Euphrates. (12-16) And the seventh on the air,when shall follow the destruction of all antichristian enemies.(17-21)1-7 We are to pray that the will of God may be done on earth asit is done in heaven. Here is a succession of terrible judgmentsof Providence; and there seems to be an allusion to several ofthe plagues of Egypt. The sins were alike, and so were thepunishments. The vials refer to the seven trumpets, whichrepresented the rise of antichrist; and the fall of the enemiesof the church shall bear some resemblance to their rise. Allthings throughout their earth, their air, their sea, theirrivers, their cities, all are condemned to ruin, all accursedfor the wickedness of that people. No wonder that angels, whowitness or execute the Divine vengeance on the obstinate hatersof God, of Christ, and of holiness, praise his justice andtruth; and adore his awful judgments, when he brings upon cruelpersecutors the tortures they made his saints and prophetssuffer. 8-11 The heart of man is so desperately wicked, that the mostsevere miseries never will bring any to repent, without thespecial grace of God. Hell itself is filled with blasphemies;and those are ignorant of the history of human nature, of theBible, and of their own hearts, who do not know that the moremen suffer, and the more plainly they see the hand of God intheir sufferings, the more furiously they often rage againsthim. Let sinners now seek repentance from Christ, and the graceof the Holy Spirit, or they will have the anguish and horror ofan unhumbled, impenitent, and desperate heart; thus adding totheir guilt and misery through all eternity. Darkness is opposedto wisdom and knowledge, and forebodes the confusion and follyof the idolaters and followers of the beast. It is opposed topleasure and joy, and signifies anguish and vexation of spirit. 12-16 This probably shows the destruction of the Turkish power,and of idolatry, and that a way will be made for the return ofthe Jews. Or, take it for Rome, as mystical Babylon, the name ofBabylon being put for Rome, which was meant, but was not then tobe directly named. When Rome is destroyed, her river andmerchandise must suffer with her. And perhaps a way will beopened for the eastern nations to come into the church ofChrist. The great dragon will collect all his forces, to makeone desperate struggle before all be lost. God warns of thisgreat trial, to engage his people to prepare for it. These willbe times of great temptation; therefore Christ, by his apostle,calls on his professed servants to expect his sudden coming, andto watch that they might not be put to shame, as apostates orhypocrites. However Christians differ, as to their views of thetimes and seasons of events yet to be brought to pass, on thisone point all are agreed, Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, willsuddenly come again to judge the world. To those living near toChrist, it is an object of joyful hope and expectation, anddelay is not desired by them. 17-21 The seventh and last angel poured forth his vial, and thedownfal of Babylon was finished. The church triumphant in heavensaw it and rejoiced; the church in conflict on earth saw it andbecame triumphant. God remembered the great and wicked city;though for some time he seemed to have forgotten her idolatryand cruelty. All that was most secure was carried away by theruin. Men blasphemed: the greatest judgments that can befal men,will not bring to repentance without the grace of God. To behardened against God, by his righteous judgments, is a certaintoken of sure and utter destruction.
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