Revelation of John 18* Another angel from heaven proclaims the fall of mysticalBabylon. (1-3) A voice from heaven admonishes the people of God,lest they partake of her plagues. (4-8) The lamentations overher. (9-19) The church called upon to rejoice in her utter ruin.(20-24)1-8 The downfal and destruction of the mystical Babylon aredetermined in the counsels of God. Another angel comes fromheaven. This seems to be Christ himself, coming to destroy hisenemies, and to shed abroad the light of his gospel through allnations. The wickedness of this Babylon was very great; she hadforsaken the true God, and set up idols, and had drawn all sortsof men into spiritual adultery, and by her wealth and luxurykept them in her interest. The spiritual merchandise, by whichmultitudes have wickedly lived in wealth, by the sins andfollies of mankind, seems principally intended. Fair warning isgiven to all that expect mercy from God, that they should notonly come out of this Babylon, but assist in her destruction.God may have a people even in Babylon. But God's people shall becalled out of Babylon, and called effectually, while those thatpartake with wicked men in their sins, must receive of theirplagues. 9-19 The mourners had shared Babylon's sensual pleasures, andgained by her wealth and trade. The kings of the earth, whom sheflattered into idolatry, allowing them to be tyrannical overtheir subjects, while obedient to her; and the merchants, thosewho trafficked for her indulgences, pardons, and honours; thesemourn. Babylon's friends partook her sinful pleasures andprofits, but are not willing to share her plagues. The spirit ofantichrist is a worldly spirit, and that sorrow is a mereworldly sorrow; they do not lament for the anger of God, but forthe loss of outward comforts. The magnificence and riches of theungodly will avail them nothing, but will render the vengeanceharder to be borne. The spiritual merchandise is here alludedto, when not only slaves, but the souls of men, are mentioned asarticles of commerce, to the destroying the souls of millions.Nor has this been peculiar to the Roman antichrist, and only herguilt. But let prosperous traders learn, with all their gains,to get the unsearchable riches of Christ; otherwise; even inthis life, they may have to mourn that riches make to themselveswings and fly away, and that all the fruits their souls lustedafter, are departed from them. Death, at any rate, will soon endtheir commerce, and all the riches of the ungodly will beexchanged, not only for the coffin and the worm, but for thefire that cannot be quenched. 20-24 That which is matter of rejoicing to the servants of Godon earth, is matter of rejoicing to the angels in heaven. Theapostles, who are honoured and daily worshipped at Rome in anidolatrous manner, will rejoice in her fall. The fall of Babylonwas an act of God's justice. And because it was a final ruin,this enemy should never molest them any more; of this they wereassured by a sign. Let us take warning from the things whichbrought others to destruction, and let us set our affections onthings above, when we consider the changeable nature of earthlythings.
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