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Verse 8 And another angel followed, saying, She is fallen! Babylon, the great city, is fallen, for of the wine of the rage of her fornication she hath made all the nations to drink.

9 And a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any one worship the beast and his image, and receive a mark upon his forehead, or upon his hand;

10 Even he shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, of the embittered powerful wine, in the cup of his anger, and shall be tormented with fire and brimstone before the holy angels, and before

the Lamb.

11 And the smoke of their torment ascendeth for ever and ever : and they have no rest day nor night who worship the beast and his image, and if any one receive the mark of his name.

12 Herein is the patience of the saints, they who keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.

13 And I heard a voice from heaven, saying, Write; Blessed are they who die in the Lord, henceforth, even so saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours, but their works follow with them.

A general view of the downfal of the beast is now prefigured, as that of true religion had before been, in terms borrowed from the description of the day of judgment.

The evils foretold under the metaphor of divine wrath, are evidently the calamities naturally arising from the corruption of religion.

Moral evils of infernal origin, such as fanaticism and immorality, were symbolized by fire, smoke, and brimstone, under the fifth trumpet, and appear to be equally signified by the same symbols here.

The kingdom of Christ being the figurative heaven, the holy angels symbolize his followers, who will now witness the evil works of their persecutors recoiling upon themselves.

The true Christian is again encouraged, and exhorted to wait with patience, for

In the same figurative style it is here declared, as it was in the downfal of true religion, that the real Christian shall be exempt from participation in these calamities; an exemption which must be referred to spiritual evils.

From the restoration of the Gospel, the revival of true religion, and the downfal of the spiritual Babylon, may be distinctly dated. At the reformation, the usurped dominion of superstition and priestcraft was shaken to its very foundation, and from this time the power of the Romish church has

continued to decline, each succeeding age producing further abridgments of its influence and authority. Nor was this occasioned alone by the light which the Gospel diffused, but in part also by the disclosure of those frauds which had been practised by the priesthood; these together excited a general disposition to shake off their tyrannical usurpation.

An empire, however, founded upon worldly interest, supported by the indulgence of the passions, and which had so long subsisted, was not likely to fall without a struggle. Every effort would naturally be made, and every artifice be employed, to prolong the reign of Antichrist. And those who had been hitherto deluded by him, but whose eyes at length were opened, and who, in consequence, became desirous of emancipation from their thraldom, must feel the weight of that tyranny which they had helped to establish and support. The calamities attendant upon this struggle must needs fall upon those who had been the supporters of Antichrist; the true Christian can have no participation in them; whether they consist in the loss of those worldly goods which were the main object of this usurpation, in the unavailing efforts to escape from and subvert this tyranny, or in the remorse felt by those who at length become sensible of their former error and delusion in supporting it.

Of these evils a general view will be presented under the symbols of harvest and vintage, and a particular detail under the seven vials.



Verse 14 And I looked, and lo! a white cloud; and upon the cloud one sitting, like the Son of man; having upon his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle.

15 And another angel came forth from the temple, crying with a loud voice to him who was sitting on the cloud, Send forth thy sickle, and reap; for the time of thy reaping is come, for the harvest of the earth is ripe.


16 And he who was sitting upon the cloud cast his sickle upon earth, and the earth was reaped.

17 And another angel came forth from the temple in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle.

18 And another angel came forth from the altar, having power over the fire; and he called with a loud voice to him who had the sharp sickle, saying, Send forth thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth, for her grapes are fully ripe.

19 And the angel cast his sickle to the earth, and gathered the grapes of the vine of the earth, and cast them into the wine-press of the wrath of God.

20 And the wine-press was trodden on the outside of the city; and there came forth blood from the wine-press cren unto the bridles of the horses, for the space of a thousand six hundred furlongs.

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The separation of the wheat from the tares, which had ripened together, began at the reformation; the first signal effort to emancipate the mind from the thraldom of superstition and priestcraft.

This is distinctly the harvest. The vintage follows, and is declared to be a vintage of wrath.

As the mind expanded, further efforts at emancipation naturally followed.

While corresponding efforts to perpetuate the reign of imposture and delusion produced religious warfare with its attendant horrors; denoted by the fire of the altar, and the wrath of God.

A conspicuous instance of this, and apparently alluded to here, was the French revolution; avowedly an effort of resistance to tyranny and priestcraft.

But these calamities, here intimated only in a general way, will be more minutely described under the seven vials of wrath which follow.

Of the evils resulting from a system of delusion and falsehood, one is its laying the foundation for infidelity and atheism. For, as knowledge increases, and the mind becomes

enlightened, the imposture will be detected, and none but the blindly ignorant, or the foolishly credulous, will any longer be imposed upon. But while the system of delusion thus works its own downfal, it is not to be supposed that those who once held it sacred, and never knew a more perfect religion, will, on rejecting it, select some other from among the number of those which they have hitherto despised or abhorred. The consequence to be expected is rather, that they will for a time regard every other form of religion as a system of priestcraft and imposture like their own; and thus infidelity or atheism naturally follows.

This evil has been abundantly exemplified during the last three centuries; for since the revival of learning has exposed the impositions of the Romish church, and excited resistance to its usurped authority at the reformation, we have witnessed the rise and progress of infidelity, secretly working its way, and diffusing its influence through the writings of wits, sages, and philosophers. It reached its summit at the French revolution, when an event unparalleled in history occurred, a national renunciation of the belief in God and a future state.

The next evil that results from a system of fraud and imposture, is immorality; following as a natural consequence of infidelity, which removes at once the restraints imposed both by superstition and by religion; for the worst form of religion imposes some moral restraint, and is preferable to absolute atheism. The consequence that ensues from the removal of this restraint, is to loosen the bonds of social order; and as these evils have been coexistent, namely, infidelity and immorality, so they reached their summit at the same period, and both received ample illustration in the horrors committed during the French revolution.

But the general view here offered of the calamities that flow from the corruptions of religion, will be more minutely detailed in the sequel.




Verse 1 And I saw another sign in heaven, great and wonderful; seven angels having the seven last plagues: for in them was completed the wrath of God.

2 And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire, and those who had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over the number of his name, standing upon the glassy sea, having the harps of God.

3 And they sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb; saying, Great and wonderful are thy works, O Lord, God Almighty: true and just are thy ways, King of nations.

4 Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name, for thou alone art holy! For all the nations shall come and worship thee: for thy righteous judgments have been made manifest.

5 And after this, I looked, and there was opened the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in


6 And the seven angels, who had the seven plagues, came out of the temple, clothed in pure resplend ent linen, and girt about their breasts with golden girdles.

And one of the four living creatures gave unto the seven angels seven golden vials full of the wrath of God, who liveth for ever and


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The evils arising from irreligion are now declared to be drawing to a close, and are to end with the emptying of the seven vials.

Christ's church militant again coming into view, now appears triumphant. Those who have not received the mark of the beast, who have refused to wor ship his image, and have discovered the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, being of the Gentile nations.

The song of Moses being joined with that of the Lamb, denotes the reunion of the parent with her child, or the Jews again entering into the church of Christ.

All nations will eventually embrace the Christian faith; for the fulfilment of prophecy will be made manifest; what is future being put by anticipation, as if past.

The true spirit of the Gospel dispensation, hitherto darkened or veiled from the sight of the world, will now be laid open.

But the seven last vials of wrath must first be poured out. The angels' issuing from the temple, bespeaks the religious origin of these evils.

And their commission to execute these judgments being immediately derived from the cherubim about the throne of God, denotes the same.

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