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Ver. 1. And after these things, &c.] In the 20th verse of the last chapter, Heaven, as described in ch. iv. and the saints, who are stationed in grand chorus before the throne, (ch. xv. 2,) are exhorted to rejoice over the fall of Babylon. The representation of this fall being now completed, we hear the
Ib. Allelujah!] Heb. Praise ye Jehovah ! а. word of holy exultation, which hath passed into many languages even of the heathens, both ancient and modern. This song of praise breaks forth on the fall of the harlot,-of Babylon ; and as she falls by the last vial, it has retrospect to that vial, and to the rest, which are preparatory to her fall.
Ver. 4. And the twenty-four elders, &c.] The song of praise is begun by the redeemed saints, in conjunction probably with the innumerable company of angels. The elders, and the cherubim, who are near the throne, sing the antiphonal Allelujah, Amen.” Thus the song beginning, from the lowest, advances to the highest orders of heavenly beings;8 from “ the redeemed from amongst men,
to the cherubim, who are “in the midst of the throne and around the throne,” (ch. iv. 6;) till at length a voice proceeds from the throne itself, (ver. 5.) joining in the same harmony, and exhorting all the servants of God, of every rank and degree, to praise him. The exhortation is immediately obeyed.--And magnificent is the effect, when all unite their accordant voices, to sing praise to the almighty King; who, by destroying the impure harlot, (which had usurped the name of his Church upon earth,) had prepared the way for the Virgin-Bride, the true Church, who is now to be owned and espoused publicly by her Redeemer.
1 See Schleusner or Parkhurst, in voc. 2 See notes, ch. iv. 9, 10.
3 And therefore the elders are mentioned here before the cherubim, as observed in note, ch. iv. 6, 9.
Ver. 7. The marriuge of the Lamb is come.] The holy and mystical union of Christ with his Church, is frequently mentioned in Scripture, (Isa. liv. 5; Jer. iii. 14; Hos. ii. 19, 20; Matt. xxii. xxv; 2 Cor. xi. 2 ; Eph. v. 22–32.) The harlot, pretending to be that spouse, (ch. xviii. 16,) having been now convicted of fornication with the worldly powers; having been judged, and eternally discarded; the attention in heaven and earth is naturally turned to that chaste and pure Virgin, (2 Cor. xi. 2) who is now to be presented to her Lord. The choral song brings her to view: arrayed, not " in purple and scarlet, and gold and precious stones ;” not in worldly splendour, like the harlot; but in the pure, simple, but resplendent garments, which are the clothing of the heavenly inhabitants. She had “ washed her
garments, and made them white, in the blood of the Lamb,” (ch. vii. 13.) By faith in her Redeemer, she is become righteous; for this is “the fine linen, the righteousness of the saints.”
Ver. 9. And he saith unto me, Write.] From the first opening of the vision, which exhibits “the judgment of the great harlot,” an angel, one of the seven, had graciously accompanied the prophet, explaining to him the mystery, (xvii. 7.) This vision now closes with the triumphal chorus in heaven. The angel then orders him to write what he had seen; which was to be delivered to the seven Churches, and not to be sealed or suppressed with the prophecy of the
1 Matt. xxviii. 3; Rev. iv. 4; iji. 5, where see the note; xv. 6.
. xix. 1-10.]
seven thunders, (ch. x. 4.) He then fixes the attention of the prophet, and of those who are to read what he thus writes, on the due application of what is now represented. “ Blessed are they who are called to the marriage-supper of the Lamb !” Blessed are they who by the grace of God, co-operating with their own endeavours, “ make their calling and election sure,” (2 Pet. i. 10;) who, having on the “ wedding garment” of righteousness, (Matt. xxii. 11,) become entitled to “ sit down to meat” in the kingdom of heaven, (Luke xii. 37.) The angel then concludes with this solemn assurance :
66 These are the true words of God." All that thou hast now heard and seen, will assuredly come to pass.
Ver. 10. And I fell down before his feet, &c.] The prophet, affected with astonishment at what he had beholden and heard, and with veneration and gratitude towards his heavenly conductor, follows the natural bent of his feelings; and falls down before the angel, to express them, after the custom of the eastern nations. But the angel renounces this kind of adoration, ranking himself only where other intimations of Scripture have placed him and his fellowangels, “ as a ministering spirit, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation,” (Heb. i. 14.) The prohibition to worship angels, or any other being than God, is repeated in chapter xxii. 9, and, thus repeated, contains a very strong injunction against that angel-worship in which a great part of the Christian world has been involved.
Ib. The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.] My office (says the angel) for which you honour me, is of the same kind with yours ; I
support the testimony of Jesus, by bringing prophecy from heaven; you and your fellow-servants perform a simi
lar duty on earth, supporting the same testimony, by preaching, confession, martyrdom, &c.; even in the present instance, we are fellow-servants of the same Lord. I show to thee the vision from heaven, thou writest it for the use of those who inhabit the earth. Let us both worship God, and God only.
The Lord, whose name is called the WORD OF GOD,
descends to battle and victory.
CHAP. xix. ver. 11-18.
11 And I saw heaven opened ; and behold, a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True; and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.
12 His eyes were as a flame of fire; and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew but he himself:
13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood : and his name is called, The Word of God.
14 And the armies which were in heaven, followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.
15 And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations : and he shall rule them with a rod of iron : and he treadeth the wine-press of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.
16 And he hath on his vesture, and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.
17 And I saw an angel standing in the sun: and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God;
18 That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great.
We are now arrived at that signal and expected point of the prophecy, to which the preceding parts