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without fault before the throne unto them that dwell on the of God.
earth, and to every nation, and 6 And I saw another angel fly kindred, and tongue, and people, in the midst of heaven, having 7 Saying with a loud voice, the everlasting gospel to preach Fear God, and give glory to
that he may see good? Keep thy therefore, refers back to viii. 13, tongue from evil, and thy lips from where we read of an angel flying speaking guile. Depart from evil, through the midst of heaven. The and do good; seek peace, and pursue angel mentioned in the verse before it;" Psa. xxxiv. 12–14. When Jesus us, flew in the midst of heaven, and saw Nathanael coming to him, he hence is called another, in reference was struck with his honesty and sin- to the former. In the midst of cerity, and said : “Behold an Israelite heaven ; — i. e., he proceeded in the indeed, in whom is no guile!” John most public manner, having the everi. 47. But the most remarkable pas- lasting gospel. | Everlasting gospel. sage, and the one which it is the most - The gospel is “an everlasting cov. necessary we should quote in connec- enant, ordered in all things and sure,'' tion with this subject, is 1 Pet. ii. 22, 2 Sam. xxiii. 5, and hence is called where, speaking of Jesus, the apostle the “everlasting gospel.” " The says: “ Who did no sin, neither was grass withereth, the flower fadeth : guile found in his mouth.” We have but the word of our God shall stand but little doubt that the Apocalypse forever;" Isa. xl. 8. | Every nation, was written before the epistle of Pe. and kindred, &c. - The gospel having ter, and that Peter had seen it, and been preached to the Jews, and hav. learned this phraseology from it. We ing been rejected by the great body have mentioned other instances of of that nation, the apostles turned to Peter apparently quoting from the the Gentiles with the heavenly mesApocalypse. 9 IVithout fault. — sage ; Acts xiii. 46–49; xxviii. 28. Similar_language often occurs in the This preaching the gospel to the GenNew Testament. Zacharias and tiles is described by the angel “havElizabeth “were both righteous be. ing the everlasting gospel to preach fore God, walking in all the com- to them that dwell on the earth, and mandments and ordinances of the to every nation, and kindred, and Lord blameless ;" Luke i. 6. See, tongue, and people.” This must be also, Eph. v. 27; Phil. ii. 15; 2 Pet. intended to describe the preaching of iii. 14; Jude 24. O that Christians Christ to the Gentiles, who were might all live up to these descriptions! called upon to fear God, and give T Before the throne of God. - To do glory to him, for the hour of his judg. a thing before God, or before the ment had come. throne of God, is to do it seriously, 7. Fear God. – That is, reverence heartily, solemnly, as if standing in him. Fear does not here signify the very presence of God. To be terror, nor any feeling inconsistent without fault before the throne of God, with the purest worship of God, besignified to be faultless in the sight cause it is joined with worship, and of God, in his estimation, or judg. with giving glory to God. It is not ment. “Pure religion and unde- therefore slavish fear; but that true filed before God and the Father,” Jas. filial fear, or reverence, which is the i. 27, means a religion that was pure beginning of wisdom. It is perfectly and undefiled in his sight.
consistent with love; but the holy 6. Another angel. - No angel had passion of love cannot exist towards been spoken of previously in this con- an object which we dread. 6. There nection. The word another here, 'is no fear in love ; but perfect love
him : for the hour of his judg- ment is come: and worship him casteth out fear: because fear hath that they should seek the Lord, if torment. He that feareth, is not haply they might feel after him, and made perfect in love ;" 1 John iv. 18. find him, though he be not far from | The hour of his judgment is come. every one of us; for in him we live, Mark the fact, that the hour of his and move, and have our being; as judgment came simultaneously with certain also of your own poets have the preaching of the gospel. The said, For we are also his offspring. same angel that goes out to preach Forasmuch then as we are the offthe everlasting gospel to them that spring of God, we ought not to think dwell on the earth, also proclaims that that the Godhead is like unto gold, or the hour of God's judgment is come ; silver, or stone, graven by art and and at the same time that the judg- man's device. And the times of this ment is come, he calls on men to ignorance God winked at; but now worship God that made heaven and commandeth all men everywhere to earth, &c. What judgment can this repent: because he hath appointed a be except the judgment of the world day, in the which he will judge the by Jesus Christ under the gospel | world in righteousness, by that man reign? It is referred to in xv. 4: whom he hath ordained : whereof he " Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and hath given assurance unto all men, in glorify thy name? for thou only art that he hath raised him from the holy : for all nations shall come and dead;" Acts xvii. 24—31. There worship before thee; for thy judg- are striking points of resemblance ments are made manifest.” Was there between the passage now quoted and any judgment set up simultaneously the passage we are considering, viz., with the opening of the gospel, or the verses 6, 7. First, observe the subject setting up of Christ's kingdom in the of the preaching of the gospel to the world? Most certainly there was. Gentiles. The angel flying through Let the reader re-peruse what we the midst of heaven is commissioned have said on this subject, xi. 18, and to preach the gospel to 6 every nation, let him observe carefully what we and kindred, and tongue, and peoshall say on xx. 12, 13. Suffice it to ple ;” ver. 6. Paul says God “comsay here, that if the sacred writers mandeth all men everywhere to rereveal any fact with distinctness, it is pent." Second, observe the fact, that this, viz., that the books were opened God is announced as the Creator of and that the judgment of the nations all things. The revelator calls on was begun when the kingdom of men to "worship him that made Christ commenced. The events were heaven and earth, and the sea, and simultaneous. So Paul, in his address the fountains of waters.” Paul says: to the Athenians, (which we quote,)“God made the world, and all things speaks of the two events as simulta- therein.": Third, observe the fact,
“God that made the world, that the judgment and the proclamaand all things therein, seeing that he tion of the gospel , are joined as it is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth respects time. The revelator says not in temples made with hands; the hour of God's judgment is come, neither is worshipped with men's in connection with the proclamation hands, as though he needed any ng, of the gospel.
“God seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, commanded all men everywhere to and all things; and hath made of one repent, [i. e., he said, Repent, for the blood all nations of men for to dwell kingdom of heaven, or the gospel, is on all the face of the earth, and hath at hand] because he hath appointed determined the times before appointed, a day in the which he will judge the and the bounds of their habitation; I world in righteousness.” Fourth,
that made heaven, and earth, of waters. and the sea, and the fountains 8 And there followed another
observe this judgment is by the Lord I have spoken, the same shall judge Jesus Christ. The revelator repre- him in the last day;" John xii. 46; [or sents it to be under the reign of gospel day, for that is called the last Christ; for it was at the same time day; Isa. ii. 2; Micah iv. 1; 2 Tim. with the proclamation of the ever- ii. 1; Heb. i. 2; 1 Pet. i. 5, 20 lasting gospel; and Paul says God 2 Pet. 11. 3 ; 1 John ii. 18; Jude 18.] " will judge the world in righteous- In certain cases, where it is said ness by that man whom he hath Christ shall judge men, it means his ordained, whereof he hath given assur- principles shall judge them, Christ ance unto all men, in that he hath being put metaphorically for the prinraised him from the dead." This is ciples of his gospel, as Moses is put clearly a reference to Jesus Christ ; for the principles of the law. « There and he said, “For judgment I am is one that accuseth you, even Moses, come into this world ;" John ix. 39. in whom ye trust. For had ye beThe day God had appointed in the lieved Moses, ye would have believed which he would judge the world in me: for he wrote of me. righteousness by Jesus Christ, was believe not his writings, how shall ye the gospel day, referred to by Paul in believe my words ?" John v. 45–47. the words, “Now is the accepted Here evidently Moses is put for his time, now is the day of salvation ;" principles. He accused the Jews by 2 Cor. vi. 2. Lastly, observe the what he had said in his writings. motive which is advanced in each Again : “They have Moses and the case why men should repent of their prophets ; let them hear them ;' Luke errors and sins, and worship God. xvi. 29. “If they hear not Moses The revelator says: "Fear God, and 1 and the prophets, neither will they be give glory to him, for the hour of his persuaded, though one rose from the judgment is come;" and Paul says: dead ;" 31. Once more: "For Moses “God commandeth all men every- of old time hath in every city them where to repent, because he hath that preach him, being read in the appointed a day in the which he will synagogues every sabbath-day;" Acts judge the world," &c. &c. From all xv. 21. It must be evident to all that these facts, there can be no dispute, Moses is here put met phorically for that both the apostle Paul and the his principles. revelator were speaking of the call to 8. Another angel. - Different from the Gentiles, to turn from their idols, the one mentioned ver. 6. Both their errors and their sins, and wor- these are to be ranked among the ship God, the Creator of all things, angels of proclamation. See because the hour, or time, of his classification under Rev. 2. judgment had come, – the time in Babylon is fallen, is fallen. - All the which he would judge men in this power of the dragon, the beast, and world (John ix. 39] by the great prin- the false prophet, was combined to ciples of the gospel of the Lord Jesus | arrest the spread of the gospel. But Christ. This judgment is not a per- notwithstanding all they had the sonal judgment; Christ is not visibly power to do, the gospel flourished. present; the mediatorial throne is not The church on mount Zion (viz., the an outward, tangible throne; it is a Jewish converts to Christianity] rejudgment by the principles of Christ, mained firm in their devotion to the which is now going on wherever the Lamb, and the gospel was sent out, gospel is known. “He that rejecteth and prospered wondrously among the me, and receiveth not my words, hath Gentiles. The spread of it could not one that judgeth him; the word that I be arrested. On the other hand, the
But if ye
angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, she made all nations drink of is fallen, that great city, because the wine of the wrath of her powers that opposed it were doomed was to happen to the church, both in to fall.
The revelator shouts over its Jewish and Gentile branches ; and the fall of Babylon. Babylon was a he commences at ver. 8 [now before great city, the capital of Babylonia, or us] to describe what was about to hapChaldea. It was to this place that pen to her enemies throughout the emthe Jews were carried away captive pire. This fall of Rome is to be by Nebuchadnezzar. See the 137th understood in a somewhat different Psalm. In consequence of this event, sense from the fall of Jerusalem. the name Babylon became symbolical, There was not such an utter devastaamong the Jews, for a state of suffer- tion that not one stone was left upon ing and calamity, as Sodom was sym- another. It partook more of the bolical of a place of great wicked character of a moral fall, as we learn ness; and hence Jerusalem was spirit. from chap. xviii. 2: “ And he cried ually called Sodom and Egypt ; Rev. mightily with a strong voice, saying, xi. 8. As in this place where Sodom Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, is named, we know that Jerusalem is and is become the habitation of devils, intended, so here where Babylon is and the hold of every foul spirit, and named, Rome is intended. The Jews a cage of every unclean and hateful believed, from the time of the seventy bird.” This is not too strong a years' captivity, that Babylon would description of the wickedness of Rome. be destroyed, in consequence of their She did become “the habitation of detention in bondage. When that devils;" she was “the mother of city fell, therefore, they esteemed it harlots and of the abominations of a judgment of God. İsaiah sung: the earth ;” xvii. 5. 66 She made all
Babylon is fallen, is fallen; and all nations drink of the wine of the wrath the graven images of her gods he of her fornication ;" i. e., she caused hath broken unto the ground;” xxi. them to participate in her crimes and 9. And Jeremiah takes up the same her punishments. The fall of Rome strain : “Babylon is suddenly fallen is more particularly described in and destroyed : howl for her; take chapters xvii. and xviii., and we shall balm for her pain, if so be she may treat of it again when we come to be healed;" li. 8. Thus we see those sections. Made all nations where the revelator found the lan- drink of the wine. — She had power guage he employs, “ Babylon is fal- once, and she used it. She pressed len, is fallen.” That Babylon is put all nations into her service; she infatfor Rome in the Apocalypse, is placed uated them with zeal against Chrisbeyond all doubt by what we find in tianity, and made them partakers of the 17th chapter, where we are told her sins. Hence it is said she made that the woman Babylon, who sat all nations drink of her wine. Two upon the Roman beast, with seven qualities are attributed to wine in the heads and ten horns, [evidently the Scriptures, the strengthening and the Roman Empire,] was “ that great city intoxicating quality. Used judiwhich reigneth over the kings of the ciously, by those in a weakly state, earth ;” a description that would apply wine is beneficial; but if taken to to no city on the earth at that time excess, the effect is highly injurious. except Rome. Rome was “that great These contrary qualities will account city,” or empire, which had “made for the apparently contradictory manall nations drink of the wine of the ner in which the sacred writers speak wrath of her fornication.” In the of wine. In the one case, it “is a first of this chapter, viz., from verses inocker; and strong drink is raging; 1–7, the revelator had shown what I and whosoever is deceived thereby is
beast and his image, and receive 9 And the third angel fol. his mark in his forehead, or in lowed them, saying with a loud his hand, voice, If any man worship the 10 The same shall drink of
not wise ;" Prov. xx. 1, and xxiii. inflammatory, raging wine of her 29; but in the other, “wine maketh wickedness. She infuriated them by glad the heart of man;" Psa. civ. 15, her example, and stimulated them by and we are told to give it to “him her power. that is ready to perish;" Prov. xxxi. 9. Third angel. — This again is one 6. Wine, like other medicines, if of the angels of proclamation. The used judiciously, will be beneficial ; first is mentioned ver. 6; the second if otherwise, it will be injurious, per- ver. 8. | Worship the beast and his haps fatal. We see now why wine image. - The beast here is the seven. is made a metaphor for the influence headed beast, and his image the same of wicked men, as in the passage as referred to xiii. 15. Worshipping before us; it is because of its destruc- the beast and his image means nothtive qualities when taken in excess. ing more than paying allegiance and It is said of the wicked : “For their devotion to the beast himself. | Revine is of the vine of Sodom, and of ceive his mark in his forehead, or in his the fields of Gomorrah: their grapes hand. — This is a reference to what are grapes of gall, their clusters are is said xiii. 16, that the beast, which bitter : their wine is the poison of represented the false prophets, or dragons, and the cruel venom of teachers of the pagan religion, caused asps;" Deut. xxxii. 32, 33. May all, both small and great, rich and not this description be justly applied poor, free and bond, i. e., all whom to the wine of which Rome made the he could terrify into acquiescence, to nations drink? The figure of the receive a mark in their right hand, or revelator in the verse before us seems in their foreheads. See the notes on to have been taken from Jeremiah. that verse. The heathen nations, by “Babylon hath been a golden cup in whom the Jews were surrounded, the Lord's hand, that made all the were in the habit of receiving incisearth drunken: the nations have ions, or marks, upon their bodies, to drunken of her wine; therefore the denote the class of idolaters to which nations are mad;" li. 7. Such, evi- they belonged, or the idol whom they dently, was the passage which sug- adored. The Jews were forbidden to gested the metaphor to the revelator's follow their custom. “ Ye shall not mind. He uses it repeatedly ; see make any cuttings in your flesh for xvii. 2, 4. 1 Of the wrath of her for the dead, nor print any marks upon nication. — Wrath here is put for the you : I am the Lord ;" Lev. xix. 28. inflammatory nature of the wine, as Horne says, of the heathen : “A more if the phraseology had been, drink frequent, and, indeed, very general of the inflammatory wine of her for- custom, was the carrying of marks on nication. If strong drink is raging, their body in honor of the object of its qualities may well be described their worship. To this day, all the by wrath. Fornication, as we have castes of the Hindoos bear on their repeatedly shown, is used metaphori- foreheads, or elsewhere, what are cally for idolatry. See our remarks called the sectarian marks, which not on ver. 4 of this chapter. Purity in only distinguish them in a civil, but worship is represented as chastity, also in a religious point of view, virginity; whereas the worship of from each other. Most of the barbaridols is described by opposite terms. ous nations lately discovered have Rome made the nations drink of the I their faces, arms, breasts, &c., curi.