Revelation of John 18

* Another angel from heaven proclaims the fall of mystical

Babylon. (1-3) A voice from heaven admonishes the people of God,

lest they partake of her plagues. (4-8) The lamentations over

her. (9-19) The church called upon to rejoice in her utter ruin.

(20-24)

1-8 The downfal and destruction of the mystical Babylon are

determined in the counsels of God. Another angel comes from

heaven. This seems to be Christ himself, coming to destroy his

enemies, and to shed abroad the light of his gospel through all

nations. The wickedness of this Babylon was very great; she had

forsaken the true God, and set up idols, and had drawn all sorts

of men into spiritual adultery, and by her wealth and luxury

kept them in her interest. The spiritual merchandise, by which

multitudes have wickedly lived in wealth, by the sins and

follies of mankind, seems principally intended. Fair warning is

given to all that expect mercy from God, that they should not

only come out of this Babylon, but assist in her destruction.

God may have a people even in Babylon. But God's people shall be

called out of Babylon, and called effectually, while those that

partake with wicked men in their sins, must receive of their

plagues.
9-19 The mourners had shared Babylon's sensual pleasures, and

gained by her wealth and trade. The kings of the earth, whom she

flattered into idolatry, allowing them to be tyrannical over

their subjects, while obedient to her; and the merchants, those

who trafficked for her indulgences, pardons, and honours; these

mourn. Babylon's friends partook her sinful pleasures and

profits, but are not willing to share her plagues. The spirit of

antichrist is a worldly spirit, and that sorrow is a mere

worldly sorrow; they do not lament for the anger of God, but for

the loss of outward comforts. The magnificence and riches of the

ungodly will avail them nothing, but will render the vengeance

harder to be borne. The spiritual merchandise is here alluded

to, when not only slaves, but the souls of men, are mentioned as

articles of commerce, to the destroying the souls of millions.

Nor has this been peculiar to the Roman antichrist, and only her

guilt. But let prosperous traders learn, with all their gains,

to get the unsearchable riches of Christ; otherwise; even in

this life, they may have to mourn that riches make to themselves

wings and fly away, and that all the fruits their souls lusted

after, are departed from them. Death, at any rate, will soon end

their commerce, and all the riches of the ungodly will be

exchanged, not only for the coffin and the worm, but for the

fire that cannot be quenched.
20-24 That which is matter of rejoicing to the servants of God

on earth, is matter of rejoicing to the angels in heaven. The

apostles, who are honoured and daily worshipped at Rome in an

idolatrous manner, will rejoice in her fall. The fall of Babylon

was an act of God's justice. And because it was a final ruin,

this enemy should never molest them any more; of this they were

assured by a sign. Let us take warning from the things which

brought others to destruction, and let us set our affections on

things above, when we consider the changeable nature of earthly

things.
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